5-19-07 -
 to start with, I was so tired, I felt like I was passing out.  I could hardly walk back to the house with the mail .
I felt forced to lay down and I fell asleep almost instantly and this was the dream.


.I was living in a house in a compound of houses somewhere. an older white-haired woman from next door, walked past the window and came to the front door. She handed my husband an old red book - rather thin. The title was :

"The Man Who Killed Kennedy"  by Arthur Renfrew

The book was very old and it had been a gift to my 1st husband on his birthday .

( In real life President John F Kennedy was killed on my 1st husband's birthday - Nov. 22, 1963)  I was baking his birthday cake when it happened.  i sat on the living room floor with my three little baby boys on my lap and sitting by my side and cried when the news came that he was dead. My oldest son - age 3 kept asking me, "Mommy, why are you crying?"
I couldn't even speak through the tears watching the newscast with Walter Cronkite announcing the death. )

Now back to the dream

I couldn't figure out how my 1st husband knew the woman next door in order to give me the book, or how he knew that I collected Kennedy assassination books. I had a bookcase there with other Kennedy Assassination books right there where I was standing

The dream shifted and I was then back in my childhood home with the little red book about the Kennedy assassination- and I walked up the street a few feet and tossed the book on the stairs of the house next door where the attorney lived.

There was a young man there who looked like Michael J Fox and I was telling him about the book. My mother was standing there on the porch, wearing a darker green flowered dress with a white apron over it, and my father came downstairs, to see what was going on.

I can't remember any more except that I kept wondering how my husband knew the woman next door with the white hair or who she was .

end of dream

Here is the skinny on Arthur Renfrew
Arthur Renfrew was Secretary of State in the 1977 movie - played by Joseph Cotten
Movie Title - Twilight's Last Gleaming
Its about Nuclear War about to happen - based loosely on Kissinger's 1957 book about nuclear War possibility


This morning's dream was about working in a large building for a company that did government contract work. When I went to the building, I made a wrong turn in a hallway and came to a wide door that went all the way across the room. There was a window like a wide windshield with black gasket around it. Inside I saw a large group of Storm Troopers from Star Wars ready to go to war.  I called them - "those Mookies"

NOTE: A Mook is a 'contemptible person' in the dictionary. I don't know why people call themselves that.

I quickly found the correct office and inside there was a group of old men in frumpy brown suits, sitting around a dark wooden table. Behind them was a lot of dark file cabinets and other smaller tables covered with stacks of papers.

I needed to hand them a thick contract for them to sign.  There were many names at the top of the contract, one of which I remember was Balestreri. I couldn't remember the other ones.

I didn't have the contract in an envelope, so I asked them if they had a white envelope to put the contract in.  One of the men gave me a white envelope. I put the contract into the envelope and then handed the contract back to the man.

end of dream

When I looked up the name 'Arthur Renfrew' I found several references to different men, but the movie 'Twilight's gleaming' seemed to fit the dream because Arthur Renfrew was the Secretary of State in the movie.

Then I found out what the movie was about and that made me 'very afraid' and it reminds me of all the warnings I've heard in the news about the possibility of nuclear war looming in the near future.

It portends something I don't want to think about .

A friend says: 

it's been looming on the horizon for a long time now it just a matter of when.

Dee777:  I know - we've been hearing about it for a long time ad I keep pushing the idea away.

Friend: Well, and then it keeps presenting itself to you to look at again we have no control over these madmen  but we can not be fearful of what could be inevitable when it happens we will deal with it or not just like 911 ...people just want to keep going on with their life and not think but any of what repercussions are looming over us .

Dee777:  can I quote you on that?

Friend: yes you may

Dee777:  thanks

 They act like 911 didn't happen coz it wasn't personal enuff to them didn't happen to them so why should they continue to care or be mindful. See - things are gonna have to get real up close and very personal to wake up this nation to action. Many are going to give up their lives to make this happen the waking up of the country's people - they will not die ever in vain there is always reason and purpose.  T
heir death is to jolt others to seek an action  - to me it better they are dead then to come back dead in soul and mind body .

i cry everyday for the earth her beings and humanity of what the hell we are doing and allowing to happen

NOTE:  With regard to the JFK assassination, new information is still coming in almost every day.

I put up this web page about it quite a few years ago.

I have a whole library of books on every aspect of the assassination and of his life.

There is something about the clue in the dream about Arthur Renfrew that I need to follow up on now.

In the movie, 'Twilight's Last Gleaming' - Arthur Renfrew was Secretary of State in 1957  (prior to John F Kennedy being elected.) 

In real life, the Secretary of State in 1957 was: John Foster Dulles under President Eisenhower.
This is a speech he made that year on PEACE

John Foster Dulles passed on to his reward in 1959.  His family background included a grandfather, John Watson Dulles, who served as secretary of state under Benjamin Harrison. His uncle, Robert Lansing, was secretary of state for the Woodrow Wilson administration. His older brother, Allen Welsh Dulles, was the CIA head under Eisenhower. Dulles' first taste of diplomacy came in 1907, when his grandfather brought him along to the Hague Peace Conference.

On 29 November, 1961, Allen Dulles formally relinquished his office with the C.I.A. and retired from the intelligence business. As with all retired professionals, Dulles made speeches and wrote books. Among them were The Craft of Intelligence, which became a best seller. Dulles also lectured at universities and attended private meetings to discuss the abandonment of National Intelligence Estimates by President Kennedy known as the Gun Club.

Robert F. Kennedy Urged Lifting Travel Ban to Cuba in '63

In a December 12, 1963, memorandum to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Kennedy urged a quick decision "to withdraw the existing regulation prohibiting such ...

RUSK, DEAN. Secretary of State, 1961-1969.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover "mistrusted and disliked all three Kennedy brothers. President Johnson and Hoover had mutual fear and hatred for the Kennedys," wrote the late William Sullivan, for many years an assistant FBI director. Hoover hated Robert Kennedy, who as Attorney General was his boss, and feared John. In turn the President distrusted Allen Dulles, easing him out as CIA director after the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle.

Allen Dulles long had a connection to the Nazi's in Germany. 

As with many other U.S. presidents, there was a report that Kennedy had sighted a UFO. The event occurred in 1963, while boating off Hyannisport on Cape Cod. The object was "disc-shaped, about 60 feet in diameter, with a gray top, and shiny bottom." It hovered above the water for 40 seconds, emitting a low pitched humming sound. Then it flew straight up in the air and was gone. Kennedy swore those present to keep the incident secret.

A former steward aboard Air Force One Bill Holden, was on board Air Force One with Kennedy flying to Europe in the summer of 1963. A UFO convention being held in Bonn Germany that month prompted Holden to bring up the subject of UFOs with the President

Kennedy’s new CIA Director, was John A. McCone.  He retired in 1965 because President Johnson didn't like him. He went to work for ITT.  See:

He became a director of ITT and a USC trustee in 1965, while remaining a consultant for the CIA at least through 1970.

McCone resigned in 1965 partly because the CIA's intelligence sources in Vietnam were being ignored by Johnson in favor of the Pentagon's more optimistic sources. The Pentagon Papers depict McCone as one who recognized the futility of Vietnam sooner than most policy makers. He objected to U.S. policy on the grounds that it could not be successful and advocated the use of increased force.

During McCone's tenure at the CIA, the secret war in Laos (secret from Congress and the public), organized and directed by the CIA, increased to major proportions. Diem was overthrown in 1963 with CIA assistance, and the CIA ignored the Mafia/Saigon-government heroin connections that were developing. After 1965 the heroin trafficking moved to Laos in a big way and received important logistical support from the CIA.

In April 1965, Johnson appointed Vice-Admiral William Raborn CIA Director (DCI, or Director of Central Intelligence) and Richard Helms Deputy Director. Since Raborn's days at the helm of be CIA seemed numbered from the outset, he never really became involved in the nuts and bolts of domestic operations; that was left to Helms, a career intelligence officer who had come up through the ranks (he had been Deputy Director for Plans (DDP) since 1962 and Deputy DCI from 1965-66) and who could be trusted. Helms became DCI in June 1966. As Deputy Director, he had allowed the CIA slowly to expand its domestic intelligence operations and understood his orders from President Johnson were to collect intelligence on college and university campuses with no governing guidelines other than "don't get caught." Helms now had a free hand to implement Johnson's orders and, by August 1967, the illegal collection of domestic intelligence had become so large and widespread that he was forced to create a Special Operations Group (SOG). The SOG was imbedded in the DDP's counterintelligence division and provided, data on the U.S. peace movement to the Office of Current Intelligence on a regular basis.  See:


Allen Dulles and The Warren Commission

After President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November, 1963, the newly sworn in Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, asked Allen Dulles to be a member of a the Warren Commission tasked by President Johnson to investigate JFK's murder and report back to him with their findings.

(Gerald Ford was also on this commission.)

There has been a lot of speculation and rumors regarding Johnson's decision to pick Allen Dulles as a member of the Warren Commission and became a focus point by conspiracy theorists. One theory is, that Allen Dulles could act as a back channel source to the CIA appraising those concerned on the progress—or lack thereof in determining the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused trigger man. Another, that Dulles knew of the conspiracy and steered the panel away from any CIA connections. And still another, that Dulles had a secret running dispute with Kennedy over disclosure of classified UFO intelligence collected by the CIA and Kennedy threatened to make such disclosure at Dallas in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce. Whatever the reasons, it is believed by many that Allen Dulles conspired to set the President up for a coupe orchestrated by a secret intelligence cabal who wanted Kennedy out of the way.

Among the findings found in The Warren Commission Report: The Official Report of The President's Commission On the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the report stated in regards to official contact with Oswald, that contacts were “made in the regular exercise of their different responsibilities.” The CIA did indicate in their response for information on visa applicants into the Soviet union that Oswald “obtained permission to remain within one or two months"” and when the Warren Commission asked if this was “normal procedures,” CIA responded by saying, “It is impossible for us to state any “normal” procedures.” Allen Dulles would have been in a position to know this and he may have warned the CIA to not be specific in their response to the question. It is now known that the CIA did maintain a 201 personnel file on Oswald declassified in 1992 through the CIA Historical Review Program and released to the National Archives. The whereabouts of Lee Oswald were suppose to be unknown until 23 February, 1963, but internal Counter Intelligence documents relate to queries regarding Oswald's return from the Soviet Union in 1960. There are no references to Oswald's 201 files in the entire 26 volumes of the Warren Commission Report and Dulles might have had a hand in keeping this vital information from the commission members as well.

When New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrsion had long-time CIA operator Clay L. Shaw arrested in 1967 as a conspirator in President Kennedy's murder, Garrison attempted to have the United States Attorney's Office serve a subpoena on Allen Dulles regarding Oswald, black ops, and Shaw, but was declined. On 29 January, 1969, Allen Dulles died in his house from an acute influenza infection. On 1 March, 1969, Clay L. Shaw was acquitted.

Today - 5-21-07 I received this e-mail:


In the attachment, Webmaster of the Web site, Bob Collins, has provided a rare audio statement from the late President John F Kennedy. In it, he states to Walter Cronkite that the South Vietnamese would have to stand on their own up to the Viet Cong or risk losing everything, strongly suggesting that U.S. involvement would do NOTHING nor have any effect if they didn't have the force, will and conviction to fight for their own country ... the 1973 fall of South Vietnam showed they did not. 

Here is some additional historical support in the form of choice excerpts of that belief -- that Kennedy was bent on WITHDRAWING U.S. advisers from Vietnam AFTER the '64 elections -- from a bestseller on the JFK Assassination:

HIGH TREASON 2: THE GREAT COVER-UP: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F KENNEDY – By Harrison Edward Livingstone, ISBN# 0881848093,  Chapter #24: "President Kennedy and The Issue of His Intent to Withdraw From Vietnam," pp. 479-503.    


On January 21, 1991, a "Top Secret" draft of National Security Action Memorandum 273 [NSAM] was released at the John F Kennedy Library in Boston.  It was dated November 21, 1963, the day BEFORE President
Kennedy died, when Kennedy was in Texas. 

NSAM 273 was UNclear that 1,000 American troops would be WITHDRAWN from Vietnam, and some point at NSAM 273 as a reversal of the President's orders. There was no abrupt change in Vietnam policy after JFK's death. The 1,000 men were withdrawn, BUT this was OFFSET in the following weeks by President Johnson. 

Almost four (4) months later, NSAM 288 began the process of heavy American involvement in Vietnam under Lyndon Johnson. The emotional and social wounds of that war still run deep. But it is NSAM 288 that truly
began to heavily involve the U.S. in Vietnam in a major war, NOT NSAM 273. 

Dave Powers and Kenny O'Donnell wrote in JOHNNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE: "The President's order to reduce the American military personnel in Vietnam by 1,000 BEFORE the end of 1963 was still in effect that day he went to Texas. A few days AFTER his death, during the morning, the order was quietly RESCINDED."   

At the beginning of October 1963, after Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor had returned from an inspection in Vietnam, it was announced by the Administration: "U.S. Troops Seen Out
of Viet by '65." It was also made publicly clear that 1,000 or more troops would leave by the end of 1963. 

A few weeks later and two (2) days before Kennedy died, it was again stated in a public announcement that more than 1,000 troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam BEFORE the end of the year, only five (5) weeks

Days after Kennedy died, there was an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, under the impression that Kennedy had approved NSAM 273, signed it into law. 

From that moment forward, the COVERT ESCALATION of the war against North Vietnam -- known to half the world but kept from the American public -- began to inextricably carry America into Vietnam and the great tragedy and national upheaval that followed. 

The same document [NSAM 273] also revalidated the planned phase WITHDRAWAL of U.S. forces announced publicly in broad terms by President Kennedy shortly before his death: "The OBJECTIVE of the United States
with respect to withdrawal of U.S. military personnel remains as stated in the White House statement of October 2, 1963."    

NO new programs were proposed or endorsed, NO increases in the level or nature of U.S. assistance suggested or foreseen.... The emphasis was on persuading the new government in Saigon TO DO WELL those things which the fallen government was considered to have DONE POORLY ... NSAM 273 had, as described above, limited cross-border operations to an area 50 kilometers within Laos.  

What we had then was a struggle between hard-line "Cold War" warriors who wanted a "commitment" that flowed from the "objective" to defeat the Communists. The hard-line foreign policy establishment men closest to Kennedy perceived him as soft and ambiguous on the issue, and they saw Vietnam as an opportunity to serve up a defeat to Communists in general.  These men ultimately had their wish and committed the United States to a long and hard war, which we catastrophically LOST.

[NOTE: Sounds eerily like today's Iraq quagmire which we are presently losing and which we WILL LOSE.]

General Douglas MacArthur and General Charles de Gaulle told Kennedy that the "domino theory" in the modern nuclear age was ridiculous which gave Kennedy the foresight NOT to engage this country's resources and lives. 

Kenny O'Donnell described these meetings in JOHNNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE and says that Kennedy came out of the meeting with MacArthur:  "stunned. That a man like MacArthur should give him such 'unmilitary' advice impressed him enormously."

MacArthur was a 5-star general and told Kennedy that our DOMESTIC problems were more important than Vietnam. 

[NOTE: Fast forward to 2007: Our DOMESTIC problems are more important than Iraq where 90%+ of their populace wants the U.S. out NOW, and 72% of the American public thinks the U.S. should WITHDRAW from Iraq.] 

As soon as Kennedy was dead, the words "overriding objective and commitment" began to appear and at least two separate Pentagon studies understood the "objective" to constitute a "commitment" of the U.S. to
defeat the Viet Cong in South Vietnam.

From the moment John Kennedy was shot to death, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a captive -- or a very willing and eager participant -- of an increasingly escalating war effort that KENNEDY HAD KEPT THE LID ON FOR

The military was getting ready [after Kennedy's death] to conduct aerial bombing against North Vietnam and the basic policy was set that: "We are GOING TO STAY IN VIETNAM IN A SUPPORT FUNCTION AS LONG AS NEEDED TO WIN THE WAR." 

[NOTE: Shades of Iraq.] 

On October 2, 1963, Kennedy had announced that 1,000 military training personnel could be withdrawn by the end of the year because the training of the Vietnamese had progressed well enough. In his press conference of October 31, 1963, Kennedy again talked about some of the troops coming out. 


The key point is that there were NO TROOPS in combat in Vietnam at ANY time during Kennedy's presidency. He had merely provided men who could TRAIN the South Vietnamese. Revisionist historians have tried to say
that Kennedy got us into Vietnam, BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. 

At another press conference on November 14, 1963, he said that the exact number of men to be withdrawn would be decided at the Honolulu conference scheduled for November 20, 1963, two days BEFORE he was to
die. Kennedy demanded a "full-scale review" of U.S. policy in SE Asia when Diem was killed. 

Pentagon Paper IV.B.4 tells us that at that November 20 conference, it was secretly agreed that the accelerated plan for withdrawal from Vietnam agreed to in October would be maintained. The conference issued a press release that "reaffirmed the United States plan to bring home about 1,000 men of its 16,500 troops from South Vietnam by January 1, 1964." 

Any intent on the part of others to escalate the war had to have been WITHOUT Kennedy's knowledge. Johnson signed NSAM 273 without hesitation, and from that moment on he began to ESCALATE AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT in the peninsula, though it more properly dates from NSAM 288, enacted four (4) months later in 1964 during the Johnson administration.   

Whatever failings Kennedy had, he would NOT have changed so quickly such a long-thought-through policy change -- a change contemplated for three (3) years -- and then made it so PUBLIC on numerous occasions.     


In a clip from Walter Cronkite's interview with Kennedy in 1963 which was shown last night on CBS 05-18-07 (not mentioned below) Kennedy said that, "The South Vietnamese should step up to the plate or we need to start thinking about withdrawing." Right there on camera Kennedy mentioned withdrawing.

This was a hotly contested point by naysayers who would say that Kennedy never considered such action. We are now in the same situation in Iraq except we have a President who is backed by the DoD.

We were in Vietnam because of the Communist Threat, now we are in Iraq because of the Terrorist Threat, notice the corollary? Kennedy was the enemy of the DoD, the FBI, and, the CIA and one of the reasons why they killed him making lots of money from the Vietnamese's war in the process.....Rmc


Twilight's Last Gleaming DVD with Burt Lancaster (1977)

Also Known As: Nuclear Countdown (1977)

Joseph Cotten played Secretary of State -Arthur Renfrew


"Twilight's Last Gleaming"
1977 Film RARE!

"The soft, the complacent
the self-satisfied societies
will be swept away
with the debris of history"

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be..."

A renegade USAF general, Lawrence Dell, escapes from a military prison and takes over an ICBM silo near Montana and threatens to provoke World War 3 unless the President reveals details of a secret meeting held just after the start of the Vietnam War between Dell and the then President's most trusted advisors!.

Burt Lancaster .... Gen. Lawrence Dell
Roscoe Lee Browne .... James Forrest
Joseph Cotten .... Arthur Renfrew
Melvyn Douglas .... Zachariah Guthrie
Charles Durning .... President David Stevens
Richard Jaeckel .... Towne
William Marshall .... William Klinger
Gerald S. O'Loughlin .... O'Rourke
Richard Widmark .... Gen. Martin MacKenzie
Paul Winfield .... Willis Powell
Burt Young .... Augie Garvas
Charles Aidman .... Bernstein
Leif Erickson .... Ralph Whittaker
Charles McGraw .... Gen. Crane
Morgan Paull .... Lt. Cannellis

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

DVD Features:
Full menu with scene selection!
Language: English with (no subtitles)
Runtime: 146 min

Region-free: NTSC, SECAM & PAL will play worldwide!

The secret policy is closely based on the 1957 book "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" by Henry Kissinger in which the future Secretary of State outlines a strategy committing the US to promoting regional conflicts to deter the Soviets initiating full scale war.

With those words Thomas Jefferson cautioned a newly independent United States of America against the perils of, well… ignorance. Jefferson knew that for any people to govern themselves successfully, they must first become and then remain wise enough to do so. That's a very grown up responsibility. It requires a willingness to acknowledge transgressions among those in whom we've placed sacred trust. It requires accepting that our leaders, whether chosen or presumed, might harbor and respond to political and ideological motivations of a kind we'd perhaps prefer to ignore or otherwise rationalize.

But failing or refusing to recognize official deceit is to abdicate ones intellectual liberty and swear blind obedience to authority. That is not very grown up behavior. Neither is it behavior worthy of those who would be free.

Yet such is the present. Rather than the enlightened germ of human equality he envisioned, Jefferson's land of the free would today appear to a him a nightmare utopia, a place whose destiny is being sealed by that same blissfully ignorant, blindly obedient segment of the populace his words so eloquently disdained.

The home of the brave he loved with such passion is at once a frightened and frightening behemoth crowding out a world made small by the behemoth's influence and reach. Democracy's birthplace has grown to belie the very thing it spawned.

But not even Jefferson's fecund imagination could have dreamed that, in the end, the high office his genius helped create would degenerate into the instrument of exploitation and peril against which he had warned over two centuries ago. Never would Jefferson's worst nightmares have foretold that his republic of the people, by the people and for the people would meet what might well be its end at the hands of a simple-minded, impossibly inadequate, arrogantly corrupt successor to the very office his own tenure so brilliantly served: that of the President of the United States.(1)

Yet so it is. The America of our founders was a nation of but two-million, but from their numbers came Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Tom Paine, Betsy Ross, Nathan Hale, and Benjamin Franklin, to name but a few. Today, that nation is become a land divided against both itself and the world, and driven there by the divisive manifestation of its now 280 million people's dissonance, George W. Bush.
Today, to our national shame, we find ourselves enduring the confused leadership of a single wholly unremarkable American fool, who stands before a multitude of American fools, as they gaze dumbly - one upon the other - mutually unaware that the precipice onto which they've stumbled, has already cracked beneath their weight. Or worse: aware but in childlike denial of the impending collapse their respective actions and inactions - one toward the other - have assured. It is a collapse whose inevitability the rest of the world -
a world of 1.3 billion outraged Muslims and ten-trillion eurodollars - awaits. (1,3)

That an entire peoples, a society that so fondly considers itself enlightened, would so closely and warmly identify with a president whose abject stupidity, professed irrationality, and legacy of failure-compounding-felonious-failure, stands as a bold and damning testimony of our nation's susceptibility to exploitation.(1)

America's instant mutation from a great and noble society-of-man, into a panic-stricken primeval predator has precedent in the modern world by the likes of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and their own subsequent and dramatic collapses. Today, this once greatest of all nations, this land of the still free, but home of the no-longer-brave, is become more notably home of the advertising agency, the gas guzzler, the Pet Rock, astrology, mystic crystals, faith healers, personal auras, guardian angels, acupuncture, weapons of mass destruction, duct tape, gas masks, militias, armchair warriors, chickenhawks, Nostradamus cults, UFOs, Bible codes, breast enhancing cream, penis enhancing cream, snake handlers, missile defense delusions, exploding shoes, TV economists, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, CNN, dangling chads, spiritualism, and bottled water. America - dysfunctional, post-traumatic America - has withdrawn into the somnambulance of self-deception more completely than ever. And since September 11, 2001, more blindly irresponsibly and pointlessly than ever as well, leaving little hope or possibility that anything but grief and remorse will greet our ultimate, and inevitable awakening with the dawn's early light.

This country, the Bankrupt States of America, in two short years has endured a self-inflicted collapse of rationality equaled only by the concurrent supernovael collapse of her economy. While we were alternately shaking our fists and cowering in terror, the American economy has been allowed to freefall $600 billion from the most prosperous period in its spectacularly prosperous history to the status of a banana republic economy characterized by a national debt of $6 trillion and a cancerous deficit of $400 billion with neither a single thing to show for it, nor so much as the germ of a plan for recovery. This society of the ostensibly enlightened that casually gives its president another $87 billion it does not have (on top of the $600 billion), adding yet again to the $79 billion it's already squandered in Iraq alone so that he may further destroy a sovereign country and its institutions, only to presume its reconstruction through corporations his assistants, owners, and family control, is this time perhaps deservedly beyond saving.(3,4)

"We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we most not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."

This declaration (above) was made by US Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, America's senior representative at the 1945 Nuremberg war crimes trials: , and the tribunal's chief prosecutor.

America is rushing toward self-destruction. It is being driven there by that which its brilliant founders anticipated, forestalled, and called the Tyranny of the Majority. Every penny in taxes you and I have ever earned and contributed to this country over our entire lives, has been squandered before the alter of misguided ideology. Our dollars, the billions upon billions we've contributed as a peoples, are used daily to murder innocents in the name of profit. (5)

How, I ask you, how do we not see it? How very much have we never learned from our immigrant ancestors?

The shame of it, the stupidity of it, the avoidability of it, each contribute to making America's fall from the heights it had so recently achieved all the more painful. For after standing as a beacon of hope for four centuries, the brash human experiment that became the American nation entered this new century shining brighter than ever and illuminating a world of never-before possibilities for all its people.

America's successes were to a great degree seen as humanity's successes. We'd built a big rep for a mongrel society, hell, for any society. A fledgling nation became an unprecedented superpower, a secular, scientific societal model based on human equality for the world to emulate. And make no mistake, it was those successes, piled one upon another through our history, those successes and an open challenge to the world to partake of them, that ended the Cold War, not the unbridled and idiotic military spending of the Reagan years.

Look back to understand what we are (or were and can be again), at what we've done and what we've challenged the world to match. The Mayflower Compact. The Declaration of Independence. The Federalist Papers. The Constitution. The Bill Of Rights. The Emancipation Proclamation. The Marshal Plan. The Voting Rights Act. The Wage Hour Laws. The Civil Rights Act. Each of these declarations was a promise made to ourselves. Each was a world-altering, yet humane act of reformation. Each was a correct and considered response to self-inflicted injustice. Each followed the cognitive recognition of that injustice. Each acknowledged and denounced an affront to humankind before the world. Each was a triumph of the human spirit, and slowly - ever-so-slowly - came to be seen by all of rational humanity as such. Our actions demonstrated to the world that America was before all else, humanitarian.

When viewed on balance, of course it's not been all good. How could it have? Many of America's mistakes rank among humankind's most vile atrocities: Manifest Destiny, Native Genocide, The Trail of Tears, Slavery, Child Labor, Japanese Interment, Racial Segregation. Let's face it, America was - and is - just a young country. It had been abused by its parents, rebelled, broke away from home, grew to gigantic stature and strength and promise all before learning quite how to behave on its own. Americans have always been left to learn their humanity with little frame of reference save the abuses heaped upon them by the overlords they'd left behind. But unlike us, our forbears learned from their transgressions. Each segregated immigrant brought his or her unique experience to America. Many attempted to impose the same injustices they'd come here to escape. Some succeeded. But America alone has both admitted, and corrected the mistakes of its people and its government more willingly than any society before, and we've done so on the world stage. We did not hide our transgressions, or deny them, or even lament them very much. We learned of them, and we corrected them. America's failings were not European, or African, or Asian failings. Neither were they native failings. They were human failings. American triumphs, too, should be shared in credit by all of its people, whatever their shade of pale.

So here we stand at the start of a new age, a country founded and populated far, far more by the descendants of atrocity's victims than by those of its perpetrators. One more time, in what Jefferson called the course of human events our republic is remaking itself. One more time we await the cognitive recognition of an American mistake by the majority of her people. And it's been but a mere instant since that glorious age the world named 'The American Century.'

Here we stand, the work, dreams, and prospects born of our ancestors' sacrifices having been betrayed. Everything they'd learned, everything they'd fought against, everything they'd fought for, everything they left us at the cost of their lives or their time on this earth in the hope that better lives would be created for their children and ours, being squandered before our closed eyes. How did we fall so far in so short a time?

There are those who would say that we did not fall, but were pushed. Either way, we allowed it to happen. We've been neither vigilant, responsible, skeptical, courageous, or adult. We've allowed the treasures of liberty, security, and promise, the sacred trust bequeathed us by our immigrant ancestors to be stolen from us right-by-precious-right and from our children by the very tyrants our fathers tried to teach us to distrust. We learned but little.

I would submit, however, that it's not too late. Not yet. We are living another of America's mistakes. Nothing more, nothing less. Some of us have achieved cognitive recognition. Many more of us have not.

But it is clearly now our turn to sacrifice if we hope to leave our children a nation of value. The question then becomes, do we have the stuff of our fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers, and theirs? Will our tranquilized, therapied, 'I'm okay, you're okay' generation be able to face and overcome what we've wrought in but two years? Will we have the courage to retake what we've allowed to be taken from us, from our parents, from their parents, and theirs? Do we have what it takes to correct this latest American mistake? Only our children will know the answer. It will be revealed to them with the dawn's early light.

To shamelessly paraphrase, Will our flag be still theirs? Or will our failure be their American legacy?

Because the simple truth is this. With the American Century's end, came the perhaps unexpected (perhaps not),(6) unnecessary, and hopefully temporary end of so many things American: the year 2000 saw the end of our functional democracy; 2001 the end of our perceived security; 2002 the end of our rationality; 2003 the end of our global fraternity; 2004 will see the end of our privacy; and unless we find that strength buried in our genes, 2005 will see the end of our intellectual liberty; 2006 the end of our prosperity; 2007…

The possibilities arrayed before us on the Millennial threshold were many. We had, as President Clinton said, " opportunity to lead the world." We grabbed, instead, an opportunity to run it.

Contrary to popular opinion, America's myriad possibilities were not co-opted by the horrors of nine-eleven, but were in fact multiplied by them, multiplied exponentially. Because, for the first time in its history, America found the entire world standing with her. Despite the vigilante-like inferences and Ox Bow Incident approach to vindication characteristic of our cowpoke-from-New England president, neither Iraq nor any nation was responsible for the horror. Neither was any nation spared its grief. To a greater degree than ever before humanity transcended politics on a global scale. Even in America herself, the people united behind their then-foundering president. For the first time in memory, a misguided act intending to isolate and punish a specific people, was instead seen as an act of unfathomable hatred committed by idiots against all people. No atrocity, wherever or whenever it might have occurred, had so galvanized the squabbling world the way nine-eleven galvanized all of rational humanity. Every people saw and felt their own kind crushed beneath the towers' terrible weight. Every shade of flesh was as easily ripped by the mangling iron. Every color save blood red faded in the mud of Ground Zero.

Yet somehow, from the ashes and tears, the America born of her founders' experiment in liberty and human dignity emerged valid, stronger than ever before, more unified and whole, and all at the moment of our greatest prosperity. For a very short time - but a time unique in all of time - the entire world felt one people's shock, awe, grief, anger...

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:28 am    Post subject: The Twilight's Last Gleaming The Twilight's Last Gleaming

The American Town Hall Theme

"Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death."


"The soft, the complacent
the self-satisfied societies
will be swept away
with the debris of history"

Twilight's Last Gleaming

By Dom Stasi ResponDS1@xxx
August, 14, 2003

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be..." 

Irresponsibly and pointlessly than ever as well, leaving little hope or possibility that anything but grief and remorse will greet our ultimate, and inevitable awakening with the dawn's early light.

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" — Euripides

But then, in a flash all the rational pursuit of innocence and guilt and right and wrong and mercy and vengeance and justice was gone. All of the proselytizing over punishment for the guilty turned to an exploitative witch hunt intent on punishing those superficially similar to the guilty, while the guilty themselves run free, aided in their flight by the very government whose people they'd violated.8

The decimated towers themselves, whose own similarity their immigrant architect proclaimed "A living symbol of mankind's dedication to peace in the world" were turned instead to a symbol of a different kind.(7) They were mutated by an at-once frightened and exploitative political establishment into a symbol of hatred, invoked and invoked again to instigate renewed polarization and rage and anything but peace in the world.
If that rage happened to be turned against anyone unfortunate enough to culturally or physically or geographically identify with the murderers, so be it.

Jefferson's admonitions have been made manifest, mutated into a vulgar self-fulfilled prophecy by the abject stupidity of his impossible successor and those who would blindly follow him. And, blinded by that very rage, we allowed him to steal our children's' future. We allow it still. Were we not forewarned?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be..."

Of course it's heresy to compare Thomas Jefferson with George W. Bush in any context, contrast included, but I doubt that any president since Jefferson has better represented the bleak future Jefferson's words portended. Because simply put, never has an American administration more thoroughly capitalized on its countrymen's ignorance than has this one. Never has a president had so powerful a tiller as today's mass media, or so fertile a field of public credulity in which to sow the seeds of exploitation. Neither has any gaggle of fanatical advisors ever had a landscape so completely cleared of the obstacles of preconception, so empty a tract into which they in turn can sow their personal ideologies as is the wholly commonplace mind of George W. Bush. Nowhere in this president's head is one likely to find the cluttered forest of ideas which characterize the great leaders.

No. To a man, America's great presidents have been men of their own ideas. The great ones have been men who turned to their advisors seeking refinement of those ideas, but not for the ideas themselves, not for direction, not this completely.

So while we indulge ourselves in speculation on how few Americans actually voted for George W. Bush or his snarling understudy, I submit that no Americans voted for Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Ken Lay, William Bennett, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Perle, Billy Graham, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, John Ashcroft, or Don Quixote Rumsfeld. Yet it is this gaggle of ideologues whose ideas are leading our country. Our president is but their ventriloquist's dummy.
And while I doubt that George W. Bush has ever considered or even encountered Thomas Jefferson's words of warning - nor would he much comprehend them if someday he should - his cadre of handlers most certainly has, and they comprehend them just fine.

They regale us with references to the "Bush Doctrine" and its plan for a new American century. Who among you believes that this sneering martinet - a man incapable of speaking in sentences on those rare occasions when the words are his own - is smart enough to have intuited a doctrine?! How supremely insulting such a presumption is to the genius and principles of our nation's founders, if apparently not to most of its people.
If there is a doctrine to be found amid the rudderless lunacy of this presidency, it is a doctrine of deceit. (9)

Were we not forewarned?

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all the time." — Abraham Lincoln.

Whether Honest Abe actually penned those words or not (there is conjecture), he would today agree that the observation stands incomplete. For today we have nationwide polls. They show to an accuracy of plus-or-minus 3% just who can and cannot be fooled at any given time.

And that knowledge is being expertly used and abused to mislead a credulous and childlike American majorty.10 For example, this very month, Bush launched a publicly funded public relations campaign. Meanwhile, papers around the world were reporting things such as the almost indescribably dismal failure of the Middle East "Road Map" for peace, the undenied reports of high treason from the White House in the Valerie Plame affair, the return of Afghanistan to the Taliban, its renewed stature as the world's leading producer of heroin, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (other than our own), proof that well over 3000 of our American service people have died in Iraq ALONE...

and a like (much LARGER [40,000?]) number are being maimed physically & psychologically everyday for Bu$h's outright lies...

Most recent update: June 5, 2006. All numbers are actual counts or lowest credible estimates. See: for the latest updates


and 25,761 SERIOUSLY INJURED July 2004

and 6,273 SERIOUSLY INJURED July 2004

and 876 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

and 429 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006


US and coalition deaths and injuries listed above include deaths and injuries reported in all of "Operation Enduring Freedom," which is the Pentagon's public-relations name for what's commonly called "the war on terror." About 75% of these deaths and injuries have occured within Afghanistan and its neighbor nations, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Other US and coalition deaths and injuries included in the above numbers may have occured in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.

Special thanks to Mark Herold: at the University of New Hampshire, for information on Afghan casualties.

-- IN IRAQ --

and 90,000 SERIOUSLY INJURED Aug. 2003

and 370,015 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

and 38,091 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

and 672 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

and 234 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

and 364 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2006

US and coalition deaths and injuries listed above include deaths and injuries reported in all of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," which is the Pentagon's public-relations name for the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. US and coalition deaths and injuries included in the above numbers may have occurred in neighboring or nearby nations, in support of OIF.
Once again,

... verification that Colin Powell lied before the U. N. General Assembly on Bush administration orders, verified reports that the Bush administration flew Osama bin Laden's relatives out of the US on September 11th, the failure to find either Osama bin Laden, or Saddam Hussein, the highest unemployment among American workers since his father was president, and a poll released by Time Magazine Europe showing that 86% of Europeans consider George W. Bush the most serious threat to world peace of any man alive. Despite that the rest of the world was being made aware of all this, despite further that Mr. Bush finds $166 billion ($79B + $87B) of our American tax money to spend on Iraq, yet still has paid not one penny of the remaining $13 billion he promised New York City at his emotional September 2001 Ground Zero lie fest, despite all this real news, the TV talking heads and newspapers in the US chose to lead with a report that Bush's public relations campaign had resulted in an 8% jump in his popularity (Re: Aug '03). That's right. This was the most domestically reported political story on the worst day of American casualties in the middle east in three months and the deepest federal deficit in American history, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum.

Incredibly, this sweeping and instantaneous influence over American public opinion in the face of such extreme adversity and failure, cost the Bush reelection organization nothing, nada, not one red cent of their own money.

Disturbing? Certainly. Impressive? Undeniably. But does not such an incomprehensible level of public credulity, coupled with this radical administration's disregard for truth beg a far more troubling question for thinking Americans. Simply stated, if he gets an 8% jump in the polls for free, what sort of public popularity will be purchased with the $300 million Bush and his Rightist legions are putting behind his 2004 campaign?
I think against hope that the answer to that question is clear by now. For these polls reveal far, far more than that which is immediately apparent in their dry statistics. These polls reveal a permutation not considered even by the cynical likes of ol' Honest Abe when he wrote his now-famous words about which of the people can and can't be fooled. What these polls show - and why they are held in an almost religious reverence by the likes of Bush and his dubious political advisor Karl Rove - is that you can also fool most of the people most of the time. And today, beneath the rubble of Jefferson's democracy, that's apparently all it takes to disgrace and sack America.

For those willing to face it, there's an irony in all this. That irony, that supreme irony, is this: our first unelected president has invoked the Tyranny of the Majority (11) and done so to stunning and disastrous effect.

Will history reveal that therein lay the true and only Bush Doctrine?

- END -

Footnotes & References:
11.Definition: A phenomenon characterized by a homogenity of public opinion, caused by the peculiar psychological dynamics of public democratic politics, and resulting in little tolerance for difference of opinion. Public opinion is seen as authentic rather than ascribed, and therefore has a great deal more moral force.

This article may be linked to without prior consent. It may be reproduced online as well as in print without changes
as long as credit is given to its author and source —
*Note: "Twilight's Last Gleaming" is also the name of an obscure film.

Also Known As: Nuclear Countdown (1977)
Runtime: 146 min

This movie is a highly exciting political thriller, written by Edward Huebsch - based on the novel '
Viper Three' by Walter Wager and it has some deeply disturbing things to say about the powers that be in America.

The action begins in 1981 (the near future for this 1977 release) and centers on former US Air Force general Lawrence Dell (Burt Lancaster), a Vietnam veteran who served five years as a POW. Upon his return, Dell became a vocal advocate of disclosing the truth behind US involvement in Southeast Asia in the hope that a post-Watergate America would forgive its government and have renewed faith in its leaders.

Regarded as a dangerous embarrassment by the higher-ups, Lancaster is framed on a manslaughter charge and sent to prison. Still determined, he recruits three inmates (Paul Winfield, Burt Young, and William Smith) to help him escape and take over a nearby SAC base that he helped design. Once in control of the base, Dell demands that the president,
David Stevens (Charles Durning) reveal the truth about the Vietnam War to the American people by reading National Security Council document 9759 on national television. If these demands that top-secret Vietnam files are not made public, Dell promises to send the nine Titan missiles to their targets in the Soviet Union.

"Twilight’s Last Gleaming" is a stunning indictment of the arrogance of America's decision makers and the lengths to which they will go to maintain "business as usual." At the same time it also dramatizes the danger of our unthinking faith in technology. Tellingly, it comes as a deep shock to the military that their usually reliable machines and detailed procedures seem to have gone haywire on the day of the siege (of the missile silo he is in – Ed), leaving them powerless to stop Dell.

Though a bit slow at the outset and suffering from some occasional lapses of logic, Robert Aldrich's film--
shot in Germany with no cooperation from the US military--is a fascinating, tension-filled effort. Lancaster contributes a fine performance as the righteous, populist general, and Durning is superb as the president who comes to share Lancaster's high hopes.

Further, Aldrich uses some remarkable split-screen techniques (pioneered [excellently, BUT quite expensively {at the time}] in Don Siegal's 1970 film adaptation of Arthur Hailey's Best-Selling Novel "Airport", which also happened to star Burt Lancaster as 'Mel Bakersfeld', the ‘Airport Manager’) which add to the film's tension and speed up the complicated expository passages. Despite some flaws, "
Twilight’s Last Gleaming" is a gripping drama that will have you on the edge of your seat until the bitter end.

In addition to the primary cast members noted above, it also has a distinquished supporting cast that includes Richard Widmark as Gen. Martin MacKenzie, Charles McGraw as Gen. Crane, Ed Bishop as Maj. Fox, Roscoe Lee Browne as James Forrest, Joseph Cotten as Arthur Renfrew, as well as Melvyn Douglas, Leif Erickson, Richard Jaeckel, Vera Miles, and Gerald S. O'Loughlin among others.

This movie was released on VHS in the mid 80's, and obviously does not have a happy ending. The President is shot dead by members of some shadowy branch of American Special Forces before he is allowed to reveal one word of this document; and, if my memory serves me correctly…General Dell (Lancaster) suffers a similar fate.

I thought I’d mention this movie, as it fits into the general theme of this essay.
I found this dated article (03/05/ 03) that I thought would fit into this thread...

At The Twilight's Last Gleaming
Is oil-driven war fever anyone's cherished vision of America?


When I'm disoriented by the pressure of immense events, my tendency is to defer to someone whose moral authority is beyond question. These people are in pitifully short supply.
But certainly Nelson Mandela qualifies -- a man in his 80s with no more deals to make except his final peace with God, a man who spent the best years of his life as a political prisoner and emerged as the leader of a morally inevitable revolution that changed not only Africa but some basic assumptions of the human race.

If we can't admire Mandela, then whom? Jesse Helms didn't admire him, and it was a stern measure of the moral bankruptcy of Jesse's life. What does Nelson Mandela have to say to us, citizens of the United States of America, at this critical moment in our history?

"One power, with a president who has no foresight and cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."

This old warrior is not mincing words. It's little comfort to read European newspapers and the World Press Review and realize that an overwhelming majority of the articulate world -- statesmen, clergymen, poets, journalists --endorses Mandela's misgivings with interest. It's not an irresponsible generalization to say that the community of nations, representing 90-plus percent of the earth's population, rejects our government's argument that Iraq must be invaded -- and fears George W. Bush far more than it fears Saddam Hussein.

If there is any such thing as "the court of world opinion," it has heard our argument and ruled against us. It goes without saying that many of these nations have no use for each other. They form no coalition and hold nothing in common except their desire to survive. Is it possible to declare their almost unanimous opposition irrelevant -- to disown Thomas Jefferson's belief in "A decent respect to the opinions of mankind"? Would anyone this side of Joseph Stalin presume to do so?

This is the loaded question Americans are asking themselves, and millions of them answered it by standing in the streets, in some of the worst February weather on record, to protest a war in which no shot had yet been fired. Yesterday there were several dozen protesters in front of the courthouse in the village of Hillsborough, where I live -- a mix of high school students and gray-haired citizens who have walked this path before, when Vietnam divided this country as it has not been divided since, until now.

Call me a sentimental patriot, but I noticed several faces of a shrewd, honest American type that Norman Rockwell would have relished.

Icons, to me -- faces that remind me of times in England, France, Germany and the Soviet Union when this country was criticized and I tried to explain to skeptical Europeans that there is still a great heart in America, an abiding generosity and openness of spirit, above all a sense of fair play, an indigenous distaste for bullies and liars.

One face reminded me of Philip Berrigan, who died last year in the midst of all this belligerence and terror.
His life of pacifist sacrifice ended, like so many other lives, to the beat of war drums. Father Berrigan was a devout Christian and a great patriot; "for God and country" is the first war cry a child reader encounters. What does the child make of the fact that Berrigan's church abandoned him and his government imprisoned him repeatedly? And it's no child's conundrum to consider that Berrigan's life of principle and unswerving moral commitment was a path to solitary confinement, while George Bush's life of self-indulgence, expediency and careless opportunism was a path to the White House.

I looked at the faces in front of the courthouse and thought of my afternoon with Berrigan in his jail cell in Edenton. The president looked at millions of the same faces and declared them of no consequence, or of no more consequence than the disapproval of the anxious human race beyond our borders. And he added, unctuously, that he was fighting for our right to protest.

Protesters know it's imperative to march now, while The Great Gun, loaded and primed, still rests in its holster. Experience tells us that once American blood is shed, it makes no difference if the mission is shameful or preposterous -- the ranks of the war party will be swollen by tens of millions of armchair patriots incapable of the distinction between "supporting our troops" and supporting political hoodlums who purchase credibility with soldiers' blood.

The Return of the Frozen Cold Warriors

War fever is a disease like gambling, an infection that seems incomprehensible if you happen to be immune. Legions of citizens, and not all of them moronic, go into a brain-numbing trance when the eagle screams and the trumpet sounds. People who actually fought in a war are the least susceptible. Some of us inherit immunity; our parents teach us that it's no hero who marches whichever way the arrow may be pointing, no patriot who casts his lot with any gang of desperadoes who momentarily steer the ship of state. And "desperadoes" is not a strong word, in this winter of anguish, for the war trash whose smug and hideous certainty is inviting Armageddon and tearing this country apart.

The Vietnam debacle reflected the national neurosis of the day, the communist lurking behind every tree. It was a bipartisan folly, tarnishing two political parties which were in those days much closer in their aims and beliefs. It was a bitter learning experience for a country too sure of its power. Democrat or Republican, we suffered, we quarreled, we learned together. But what George Bush has assembled for his war on Iraq is a rogue's gallery of all the discredited adventurers and right-wing ideologues who have resolutely failed to learn.

Does Middle America in its endemic amnesia know who they are, the architects of the new foreign policy that appoints the United States judge, jury and executioner of nations? Does it recognize the names Perle, Abrams, Reich, Rumsfeld, Poindexter, et al, as the same names we heard during the Iran-Contra scandal, the names of men who skirted high treason and long prison sentences and seemed to have ended their careers in disgrace? Of all Iran-contra's major players, it seems that only the convicted bag man, Ollie North, has failed to find work in the new Bush administration -- and the last time I saw Ollie he was filling in for Geraldo Rivera on the administration's media subsidiary, Fox News.

This resurrection is not something I could have predicted. Like many others, I was reassured by people who knew George W. Bush way back when, who offered the class argument that at heart he was an Ivy League moderate, an affable political prostitute like his father, in no way a true believer in the spooky cult of extremists and fundamentalists the Republican Party is becoming. When you considered that his alleged election was something between a fluke and a coup, you expected some humility, some caution, some spirit of compromise.

What he gave us instead is the Revenge of the Rabid Right, the Return of the Frozen Cold Warriors, the Jihad of the Petroleum-Deprived. Using the 9-11 massacre as a license to roll, George Bush is like the triumphant colonel in a banana republic coup, perched on a tank, sniffing cordite, feverish to elevate all his friends and destroy all his enemies before the next wave of revolution replaces him. By reputation the blandest and least inspired of politicians, he has recruited an army of misbegotten zealots and launched what some wry historian will call the Tenth Crusade.

Though I believe that oil and Texas testosterone are the key ingredients in the march to Baghdad, it's the religious rhetoric that frightens me most, that seems most likely to set this planet on fire. In North Carolina, the Guilford County Republican Party linked its website to a Christian hate site that calls Islam "a false religion. . .nothing more than a barbaric occult (sic) invented by savages for savages." Among more influential Christian idiots, evangelist Franklin Graham -- whose move to Charlotte has been welcomed and praised by that city's leaders -- called Islam "evil and wicked," and five people were killed in a riot in Bombay after Jerry Falwell called Muhammad "a terrorist." A book endorsed by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention vilifies Muhammad as "a demon-possessed pedophile."

The crude language of holy war, in the mouths of men who can fill churches and stadiums, may be our most disgusting, dangerous, retrograde religious disturbance since the Salem witch trials. A fundamentalist leader recently greeted the president as "our brother in Christ." Imagine how that would torment the Founders, those Enlightenment sages who believed that an unbreachable firewall between church and state was one of the cornerstones of democracy.

An equally alarming regiment of the president's war party is made up of bellicose pro-Israel extremists, prominent now in the State and Defense departments and in journalism's op-ed arena. Many seem far more committed to the best interests of Israel, as they see them, than to the best interests of the United States. Appalled when the screeching bloodhawk Charles Krauthammer challenged him, "Are you in the trenches with us or not?," British scholar Timothy Garton Ash, writing in the The New York Review of Books, used the word "Likudists" to characterize the columnist and his ferocious cohorts. Ash knew that someone would call him anti-Semitic anyway, but "Likudist" delicately separates the Krauthammers and Wolfowitzes from sane American Jews who oppose the war and Israeli Jews who oppose Ariel Sharon.

No one absorbing all this rhetoric with sober detachment can honestly maintain that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States -- or a greater threat than any hostile (or friendly) state with one determined citizen who can hijack a jetliner or build a bomb. It makes only slightly less sense to bomb Britain, where Al-Quaeda cells are acknowledged, than to bomb Iraq where none have been found. There is no logical connection between Saddam and 9-11. The emergence of a nuclear and defiant North Korea turns the Iraqi imperative into a stumbling farce. This war is, as many have observed, a flagrant case of bait and switch, where American rage at an invisible enemy has been diverted to an enemy who cannot hide. My own opinion is that the only Saddam who would try to destroy Israel -- a suicidal act assuring his own death and the devastation of Iraq -- is a desperate, cornered Saddam of last resorts, the Saddam George Bush seems driven to create.

Irresponsible Pack of Yahoos

Considering the national paranoia, and the obsessive way this war has been sold to Americans, it encourages me that polls find only 54 percent who support it, and only 34 percent if the United Nations fails to approve. Should Bush launch this thing -- and who can stop him if he insists? -- he's on the path that has seduced every arrogant warlord since Attila, a path where America will find no true friends, no real allies and no admirers, only sycophants scheming for handouts and concessions. Islamic terrorists, secretly applauded by nearly half the world, will come at us relentlessly. If your daughter loses her legs next year in the Munich airport, it will be Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, not Saddam Hussein, that you have to thank.

We will have squandered 50 years of moral capital in the blink of an eye. What becomes of the United States, so notoriously self-righteous, when it muddles on without respect, without credibility, with no diplomatic assets except fear and firepower? Iraq is the lethal precedent that leads to a lonely future, a long bleak siege for the Fortress of Democracy. So much has been lost already.

We are deeply divided, along fault lines that are not always clear to me. Where I see a petulant Uncle Sam sinking up to his tailcoat in the raw sewage of hypocrisy -- bellowing, clutching his little flag in one hand and his little cross in the other -- my neighbor may see the righteous wrath of a great nation wounded. Where I see the most cynical of domestic politics driving a suicidal foreign policy, editors who ought to know better claim to see strong leaders and American idealism in action. It makes me sick at heart to see essentially decent newspapers, like Charlotte's Observer or Raleigh's News and Observer, slowly caving in to war fever, running ever more columns, cartoons and editorials that cast Saddam as the Antichrist.

More than 80,000 Iraqi civilians died as a result of our limited "surgical" strikes during the Gulf War. This time the Pentagon plans to hit Baghdad with 800 cruise missiles in the first 48 hours. If you saw Dresden after the firebombing, Hiroshima after the fireball, perhaps you can imagine the effect. Otherwise you cannot. I believe that anyone who supports such an attack -- on a country that has not attacked the United States (or anyone, recently) -- is in some sense clinically insane. Anyone who orders the attack is close enough to an Antichrist to suit my limited secular specifications.

If we are not now at the mercy of the least rational, least humane, least responsible pack of yahoos who ever seized control of the American war machine, then I have learned exactly nothing in 35 years as a professional observer. A friend of mine, a veteran centrist congressman, admits to the most "personal antipathy" he has ever felt toward an occupant of the White House.

Where are we wrong here, what have we missed? Even if you look away from the war, this administration is like a black hole for all progressive programs, ideals and aspirations. Environmentalists are already using Mandela's word, "holocaust," to describe the administration's reckless assault on America's wilderness and natural resources. Civil libertarians are moved to equal hyperbole, and to tears, by a fundamentalist attorney general who is indifferent to due process and overrules federal prosecutors to promote capital punishment. Economists predict financial catastrophe in a $50-$100 billion war flanked by deep tax cuts for the rich and a new indifference to deficits, violating the most sacred Republican tradition. International treaties are shredded, social services are slashed, the arts are defunded -- and all the public hears is "Saddam, Saddam, Saddam."

Is this anyone's cherished vision of America? Did those explosions in New York bring an end to 200 years of flawed but contagious idealism? I have to assume that most Republicans aren't grim predators, or monomaniacs with one fixed political idea like protecting handguns, executing abortionists or defeating Charles Darwin. I ask them, not innocently but not rhetorically either -- I'd sincerely love to know -- is this what you had in mind when you voted for this man? Would you do it again?

Rejected for various sins by the Left, Right and center, I've never been a member of any political party. I never defend the Democrats. The only reason to vote for Democrats is the Republicans -- and lately, that's the best reason in the world. When I saw a sign outside Titusville, Florida, that read "Thank the Lord for George and Jeb Bush," followed by another that read "Jeb in 2008," I couldn't help calculating whether I was too old to emigrate, whether Norway or Portugal might be somewhere in my future.

The impulse was new to me. It hurts when your country shames you, hurts even more when your government disgusts you. Yet we are, thank God, divided, and I hold out hope for the 54 percent who support the president and his crazy war. Maybe they're a soft majority, packed with bewildered, embarrassed citizens who cling to their party right or wrong. Remember that being a Republican is not the same as being a Korean or a Lapp. You can grow out of it. You can change, without surgery even.

I remember another war, and the year 1972, when my brother (just home from the 101st Airborne in Vietnam), my father (the county Republican chairman) and I all cast our votes against the war, for George McGovern. It was the first time in 100 years, since the first ones arrived from the old country, that any Crowther had voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. We were never sorry, and we never looked back.
Hillsborough essayist Hal Crowther is a contributing writer to CL, a winner of the H.L. Mencken journalism award for columnists, and a regular contributor to Oxford American magazine. His most recent book is "Cathedrals of Kudzu: A Personal Landscape of the South."


Americans Have Lost Their Country

by Paul Craig Roberts

The url for this article is:

The Bush-Cheney regime is America’s first neoconservative regime. In a few short years, the regime has destroyed the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, and the remains of America’s moral reputation along with the infrastructures of two Muslim countries and countless thousands of Islamic civilians. Plans have been prepared, and forces moved into place, for an attack on a third Islamic country, Iran, and perhaps Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well.

This extraordinary aggressiveness toward the US Constitution, international law, and the Islamic world is the work, not of a vast movement, but of a handful of ideologues – principally Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Lewis Libby, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, Philip Zelikow, and Attorney General Gonzales. These are the main operatives who have controlled policy. They have been supported by their media shills at the Weekly Standard, National Review, Fox News, New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page and by "scholars" in assorted think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute.

The entirety of their success in miring the United States in what could become permanent conflict in the Middle East is based on the power of propaganda and the big lie.

Initially, the 9/11 attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden, but after an American puppet was installed in Afghanistan, the blame for 9/11 was shifted to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was said to have weapons of mass destruction that would be used against America. The regime sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to tell the lie to the UN that the Bush-Cheney regime had conclusive proof of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Having conned the UN, Congress, and the American people, the regime invaded Iraq under totally false pretenses and with totally false expectations. The regime’s occupation of Iraq has failed in a military sense, but the neoconservatives are turning their failure into a strategic advantage. At the beginning of this year President Bush began blaming Iran for America’s embarrassing defeat by a few thousand lightly armed insurgents in Iraq.

Bush accuses Iran of arming the Iraqi insurgents, a charge that experts regard as improbable. The Iraqi insurgents are Sunni. They inflict casualties on our troops, but spend most of their energy killing Iraqi Shi’ites, who are closely allied with Iran, which is Shi’ite. Bush’s accusation requires us to believe that Iran is arming the enemies of its allies.

On the basis of this absurd accusation – a pure invention – Bush has ordered a heavy concentration of aircraft carrier attack forces off Iran’s coast, and he has moved US attack planes to Turkish bases and other US bases in countries contingent to Iran. In testimony before Congress on February 1 of this year, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said that he expected the regime to orchestrate a "head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large." He said a plausible scenario was "a terrorist act blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran." He said that the neoconservative propaganda machine was already articulating a "mythical historical narrative" for widening their war against Islam.

Why is the US spending one trillion dollars on wars, the reasons for which are patently false. What is going on?

There are several parts to the answer. Like their forebears among the Jacobins of the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks of the communist revolution, and the National Socialists of Hitler’s revolution, neoconservatives believe that they have a monopoly on virtue and the right to impose hegemony on the rest of the world. Neoconservative conquests began in the Middle East because oil and Israel, with which neocons are closely allied, are both in the Middle East. The American oil giant, UNOCAL, had plans for an oil and gas pipeline through Afghanistan, but the Taliban were not sufficiently cooperative. The US invasion of Afghanistan was used to install Hamid Karzai, who had been on UNOCAL’s payroll, as puppet prime minister. US neoconservative Zalmay Khalilzad, who also had been on UNOCAL’s payroll, was installed as US ambassador to Afghanistan.

Two years later Khalilzad was appointed US ambassador to Iraq. American oil companies have been given control over the exploitation of Iraq’s oil resources.

The Israeli relationship is perhaps even more important. In 1996 Richard Perle and the usual collection of neocons proposed that all of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East be overthrown. "Israel’s enemies" consist of the Muslim countries not in the hands of US puppets or allies. For decades Israel has been stealing Palestine from the Palestinians such that today there is not enough of Palestine left to comprise an independent country. The US and Israeli governments blame Iran, Iraq, and Syria for aiding and abetting Palestinian resistance.

The Bush-Cheney regime came to power with the plans drawn to attack the remaining independent countries in the Middle East and with neoconservatives in office to implement the plans. However, an excuse was required. Neoconservatives had called for "a new Pearl Harbor," and 9/11 provided the propaganda event needed in order to stampede the public and Congress into war. Neoconservative Philip Zelikow was put in charge of the 9/11 Commission Report to make certain no uncomfortable facts emerged.

The neoconservatives have had enormous help from the corporate media, from Christian evangelicals, particularly from the "Rapture Evangelicals," from flag-waving superpatriots, and from the military- industrial complex whose profits have prospered. But the fact remains that the dozen men named in the second paragraph above were able to overthrow the US Constitution and launch military aggression under the guise of a preventive/preemptive "war against terrorism."

When the American people caught on that the "war on terror" was a cloak for wars of aggression, they put Democrats in control of Congress in order to apply a brake to the regime’s warmongering. However, the Democrats have proven to be impotent to stop the neoconservative drive to wider war and, perhaps, world conflagration. We are witnessing the triumph of a dozen evil men over American democracy and a free press.

March 1, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts (Send him email @: wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is author or coauthor of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholar journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He is also coauthor with Karen Araujo of Chile: Dos Visiones – La Era Allende-Pinochet (Santiago: Universidad Andres Bello, 2000).

Copyright © 2007 Creators Syndicate

The Twilight's Last Gleaming

The Washington Monument from the Boulevard at Potomac Park in the autumn of 1912.


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America on its Knees Before Tyranny

By Richard Mynick

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03/02/07 "ICH" -- -- "The Star-Spangled Banner" painted the United States in 1814 as "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." These words, though still mumbled by apathetic consumers at sporting events, amount to a cruel satire of the American people in 2007.

The 4th sentence of the Declaration of Independence reads "...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (ie, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." It would be hard to find a more apt description of the US government in 2007, or a more appropriate remedy for this oppressive regime, increasingly loathed and feared by the citizenry.

We have a Constitution which defines a separation of powers. It also defines procedures for impeaching officials who violate its bedrock principles -- in particular, its Bill of Rights, its separation of powers, and its foundational notion that power derives from the consent of the governed. We make elected officials swear an oath to "protect and defend" this Constitution. Why bother with all this, if, when the day of tyranny finally arrives, the Constitution's own provisions are not used to defend the document's principles against the would-be tyrants who have so egregiously violated them?

In November, US voters told Washington that the public does not support the war; sees with increasing clarity that it is immoral and was launched on false pretexts; and wants it terminated. In response, Vice-Emperor Cheney snarled in a TV interview with an obsequious Bush toady that regardless of what the public or Congress might say about it, the White House intends not only to continue the war, but to escalate it.

Let's examine this extraordinary position. Here is a top official of a "democracy" -- in a war marketed as an effort to "spread democracy" -- stating publicly & with imperial scorn that he and his co-conspirators have the right to order the US war machine to bombard and occupy any nation they wish to target, even if their war is launched under demonstrably false pretexts. They claim the right to compel the public to furnish lives and bodies to be killed and maimed in the war, and to bear the moral and financial burdens of the war, in an action which not incidentally lets administration allies in the "defense" and oil industries profit handsomely from the ensuing mayhem. Needless to say, from Cheney's viewpoint, it's also of no moment that the war violates the Nuremberg Principles and UN Charter forbidding aggressive war, and that the conduct of the war violates international accords to which the US is a signatory.

If that position does not constitute tyranny and abuse of power, what would? The "long train of abuses and usurpations" cited against King George in the Declaration of Independence was no worse an abuse of power than this. And nothing Britain ever did to its American colonies came anywhere near the monstrous outrages perpetrated by the US on modern-day Iraq.

The war in Iraq is not merely "the most serious foreign policy blunder in American history," as even members of the political establishment have conceded. It represents, rather, a crisis derived from the decaying framework of the US political system, posing the most fundamental question about the relationship between the rulers and ruled in this country. Though the Bush regime led the way, the war is the joint product of both parties and the corporate media -- that is, of the entire political establishment -- with each part playing its own supporting role.

It's not a question of "Well, if only Gore had won in 2000, we wouldn't be in this mess." The mess springs from the very structure of US society -- the unequal distribution of power among its social classes, its economic and political relations with the rest of the world, its ruling ideology. As errors go, there's an immense qualitative difference between a system malfunctioning because its framework is rotting, & the more limited type of error due to a component glitch within an otherwise healthy framework. The war in Iraq is the first type of malfunction: systemic.

The official forms of discourse in US society have degenerated to the point that they no longer permit acknowledgement -- or even mention -- of the main issues confronting us. The problems run too deep. The issues which must be discussed, because they're so important, cannot be discussed, because they're too threatening to the powers controlling the system.

The crises facing our society are like those an individual must confront, when events force upon him a choice of either internally acknowledging a dark & terrible truth about himself, or continuing in denial. The truth seems too terrible to bear -- so the denial continues, & the pressure of the crisis intensifies.

What would a genuine discussion of the issues look like?

If we were to attempt a genuine discussion of the Bush regime, one might formulate the main issues as these:

• Is the regime legitimate? After all, it took office by what millions recognize was a stolen election enabled by a corrupt Supreme Court and the president's brother's political machine in Florida.

• Is the regime guilty of massive war crimes? After all, they invaded a country that posed no threat to the US, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and have permanently destroyed Iraqi society in their rush to plunder its oil. (This, while not permitting the slightest acknowledgement that oil has anything to do with it.)

• Is the regime guilty of high crimes against the Constitution? They have eavesdropped on millions of citizens. They torture detainees, many of whom are probably guilty of little more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They have repealed such basic democratic rights as habeas corpus, smeared political opponents, pandered to rightwing theocrats, stacked the judiciary & federal agencies with political cronies, and quietly sneaked into legislation passages making easier the declaration of martial law.

• Is the regime a de facto dictatorship? After all, not only do they insist that the president can label anyone an "enemy combatant" and then disappear them; not only do they openly assert their belief in the "unitary executive;" they have also created an artificial state of permanent war, then claimed that a "nation at war" must grant its executive unlimited powers. They have openly claimed the right to wage war on anyone, even on false pretexts, using our bodies & tax dollars to feed a war machine owned by their cronies -- and added with sneering condescension that we have no say in any of this. Anyone who objects is a traitor! All this, in the name of "protecting Americans, freedom and democracy!"

The mainstream media are unwilling to even recognize the existence of such questions. Their comfort zones and expertise are better suited to "reporting" on the astronaut/love-triangle/diaper story, or the intriguing battles raging over Anna Nicole's corpse. There's a story in today's news that Iraq's cabinet has approved a draft of a new "oil law," which would largely turn control of Iraq's oil over to Western oil companies. But we know by now that Anna Nicole's corpse will get far more press in the days ahead, and that no media "analyst" will perceive any noteworthy connection between the new oil law and the Iraq War, originally launched because of imaginary WMD's. (That little boo-boo is regularly ascribed by the media to "flawed intelligence," an interesting phrase deserving further examination, if, against rising odds, we survive the next several months without a world-altering conflagration.)

What does it mean to "Support the Troops?"

In the giddy prosperity following WWII, it became commonplace in American culture to sneer contemptuously about the German soldiers who defended their wartime actions by claiming they were "just following orders." Underlying these sneers was the principle set forth at Nuremberg -- that a soldier has a moral responsibility to refuse to obey orders which their conscience tells them violate a higher ethical code.

In today's United States, however, courageous and principled soldiers like Lt. Ehren Watada, who try to do exactly what Americans sneered at German soldiers for not doing, are jailed, court-martialed, and summarily dismissed by the press as "insubordinate."

"Supporting the Troops" should mean supporting soldiers like Watada, and removing the troops from situations where they must kill or be killed in an unjust war. It should mean prosecuting the venal figures in Washington who have sent the troops on this criminal mission, and lied to the world about the reasons for it. Yet these same venal politicians, who won't even adequately fund medical facilities for maimed soldiers, shamelessly use the phrase "supporting the troops" as an argument for forcing them to continue fighting a war for oil and defense company profits.

The Treacherous Role of the Democrats

The Democrats gained control of Congress only by virtue of the fact that they are not Republicans, under conditions where the electorate instructed them to oppose Bush's deranged warmongering. Though "victorious," they immediately surrendered to the Republicans, taking "off the table" the only two measures which could possibly stop the US war drive: impeachment and cutting off funding for the war. They then wasted two months fussing ineffectually with non-binding resolutions of feeble disapproval (of the "surge," not the war itself), bleating pitifully to their Republican colleagues for "bipartisanship." Almost comically, the toothless Senate resolution didn't even make it to the floor for a vote. It should be clear from this performance that the Democrats, like the media, are terminally corrupt, and are in effect collaborating with the Bush regime against the voters who put them in office.

We have before us the spectacle of the Bush administration committing crimes which, if attempted by any foreign power, would rightly be met by torrential denunciation from Congress and the US media. But when the Bush administration commits these crimes, the media is basically supportive, while the Democrats make cynical pretenses of opposition. The Democrats' "criticism" usually amounts to complaining that Bush's crimes were clumsily executed or not entirely successful; and that had they been at the helm they could have pulled off the capers with more finesse.

Corruption is present to some degree in all governments, but the critical test of whether a government is beyond all salvation is whether it has the capacity to acknowledge great crimes committed by the leadership, and to rectify them. In today's Washington, however, the Democrats function as a buffer between the Bush regime and the increasingly angry population. On the one hand, the Democrats posture dishonestly as administration "critics"; on the other hand, they ensure that no serious effort is made to rein the criminals in -- not to mention bringing them to justice.

Rectifying the corruption should include restoration of the staggering wealth that in effect has been stolen from the American people, when Bush and Cheney ladled it out to their friends at Enron, Bechtel, Halliburton, the oil companies, and the other defense industries. The $400 million CEO severance packages, the billions in non-bid government contracts to defense companies and mercenaries, Cheney's own Halliburton stock options -- all this and more should be confiscated, and returned to the rightful possessors of that wealth. It should be clear that the Democrats would scarcely be able to comprehend what is being spoken of, here, let alone act as honorable advocates of its implementation.

Today's America is no democracy -- it's a degenerating tyranny, disfigured by its military-industrial-governmental cancer. Our people are increasingly ashamed and terrified of their government, and rightly so, because we have no control over it, and it's become a deceitful monstrous danger to us and to the health of the planet. We're not "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." To the contrary: We, the people, are on our knees, cringing and whimpering in dismay and confusion, prostrate before the forces that have betrayed us.

Richard Mynick is a Berkeley-based writer focusing on the intersection of media and politics. His essays have appeared on Online Journal, and he can be reached at

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American history is cradled in Ancient history

As I've spent more time reviewing history, in my mind this country of OURS just keeps repeating the same mistakes that are written about in history past.

I posted some analogies about our country and Germany and Rome and I know some questions of comparing "apples and oranges" were weakly served up in a dismissive manner so I thought i'd elaborate on the issue.

They came, they saw, they conquered, and now the Americans dominate the world like no nation before. But is the US really the Roman empire of the 21st century? And if so, is it on the rise - or heading for a fall?

To start with, why has the administration dismissed the option of containing and deterring Iraq, as we had the Soviet Union for 45 years? Because even if it worked, containment and deterrence would not allow the expansion of American power. Besides, they are beneath us as an empire. Rome did not stoop to containment; it conquered. And so should we.

Among the architects of this would-be American Empire are a group of brilliant and powerful people who now hold key positions in the Bush administration: They envision the creation and enforcement of what they call a worldwide "Pax Americana," (derived directly from Rome’s Pax Romana: World peace. The Pax Romana - the Roman peace- lasted more than 200 years, the longest period free from major conflict the western world has ever known. Rome became the universal symbol of a dream that has haunted the human imagination since her fall: one world, at peace, united under the rule of law. After 20 centuries, it haunts us still.) or American peace. But so far, the American people have not appreciated the true extent of that ambition.

Part of it's laid out in the National Security Strategy, a document in which each administration outlines its approach to defending the country. The Bush administration plan, released Sept. 20, marks a significant departure from previous approaches, a change that it attributes largely to the attacks of Sept. 11.

To address the terrorism threat, the president's report lays out a newly aggressive military and foreign policy, embracing pre-emptive attack against perceived enemies. It speaks in blunt terms of what it calls "American internationalism," of ignoring international opinion if that suits U.S. interests. "The best defense is a good offense," the document asserts.

It dismisses deterrence as a Cold War relic and instead talks of "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities."
In essence, it lays out a plan for permanent U.S. military and economic domination of every region on the globe, unfettered by international treaty or concern. And to make that plan a reality, it envisions a stark expansion of our global military presence.

"The United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia," the document warns, "as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. troops."

The report's repeated references to terrorism are misleading, however, because the approach of the new National Security Strategy was clearly not inspired by the events of Sept. 11. They can be found in much the same language in a report issued in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century, a group of conservative interventionists outraged by the thought that the United States might be forfeiting its chance at a global empire.

"At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals," the report said. stated two years ago. "The challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this 'American peace.' "

The word of the hour is empire. As the United States marches to war, no other label quite seems to capture the scope of American power or the scale of its ambition. "Sole superpower" is accurate enough, but seems oddly modest. "Hyperpower" may appeal to the French; "hegemon" is favored by academics. But empire is the big one, the gorilla of geopolitical designations - and suddenly America is bearing its name.

Of course, enemies of the US have shaken their fist at its "imperialism" for decades: they are doing it again now, as Washington wages a global "war against terror" and braces itself for a campaign aimed at "regime change" in a foreign, sovereign state. What is more surprising, and much newer, is that the notion of an American empire has suddenly become a live debate inside the US. And not just among Europhile liberals either, but across the range -from left to right.

Today a liberal dissenter such as Gore Vidal, who called his most recent collection of essays on the US The Last Empire, finds an ally in the likes of conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer. Earlier this year Krauthammer told the New York Times, "People are coming out of the closet on the word 'empire'." He argued that Americans should admit the truth and face up to their responsibilities as the undisputed masters of the world. And it wasn't any old empire he had in mind. "The fact is, no country has been as dominant culturally, economically, technologically and militarily in the history of the world since the Roman empire."

Accelerated by the post-9/11 debate on America's role in the world, the idea of the United States as a 21st-century Rome is gaining a foothold in the country's consciousness. The New York Review of Books illustrated a recent piece on US might with a drawing of George Bush togged up as a Roman centurion, complete with shield and spears. Earlier this month Boston's WBUR radio station titled a special on US imperial power with the Latin tag Pax Americana. Tom Wolfe has written that the America of today is "now the mightiest power on earth, as omnipotent as... Rome under Julius Caesar".

But is the comparison apt? Are the Americans the new Romans?

It is a widespread notion, that our modern American society closely resembles that of the mighty ancient Roman Empire in many respects - in just about all facets of life. In fact, the similarities are so vast that there would not be enough space to include them all on this page.

For example, the architectural style that is so prevalently found throughout our nation's capital closely resembles that of the many buildings and temples that existed throughout the Roman empire's capital city of Rome. With it's many splendid colonnades and grandiose statues, for even the statue that graces the top of the White House is that of an ancient Greco-Roman deity. Ancient Rome's national emblem was the single-headed eagle pointing west. America's national emblem is the single-headed eagle pointing west. Rome was the melting-pot of the world. America is the melting-pot of the world. Rome was a democracy based upon a two-party system (the Optimates and the Populares). The USA is a democracy based upon a two-party system (Democrats and Republicans). Rome had a divided balance of power (Roman Tribune and his Senate). America has a divided balance of power (President and Congress). Rome was based on specific laws (Rome's 12 tables). America is based on specific laws (the Constitution). Rome protected the rights of its citizens. America protects the rights of its citizens? (Bill of Rights). In Rome all men were equal (International Law of Rome). The many nations of which our country's military has a significant presence in is very similar to that of the Roman's military stronghold that was found spread throughout the many countries contained within the confines of the once existing empire. The Roman army was the most powerful and strongest military force to be reckoned with, such as the case with our military force today. At its height, the Roman Empire was centered on the basins of the eastern and western Mediterranean Sea, although it had extended its power to include most of continental Europe up to the Rhine and Danube rivers and stretched from England in the west to Turkey in the east, to Egypt in the south.

The US military has divided the globe into a power grid, leaving no part of our planet without a military base. the Pacific Command, stationed in Hawaii, controls 52% of the earth's surface-43 countries, 60% of the total world population. From Hawaii the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are coordinated from the South Pacific to the North pole. US troops practice in the jungle of Thailand asymmetrical warfare against Terrorists. At 38 degrees of latitude in Korea, the last watches of the Cold War are stationed; at present under the acute harassment of North Korean nuclear weapons. In both cases questions of multilateral and unilateral power are interpreted different, at least different from Europe. As noted above, in many ways, our nation's government is fashioned after the Roman's system of government with it's senatorial congress and numerous state governors. Additionally, some of the most profound medical and technological advances had it's beginnings in Rome, some of which are still in practice to this day. Likewise, America is far more medically advanced than most other countries found throughout the world in our current modern era. The Roman Empire was comprised of a multitude of ethnic groups and nationalities along with it's many diverse cultures and traditions. There is no other nation today whose existence contains such a multitude of various people groups as that of America. In regards to religion, although the Roman emporers demanded that they themselves be worshipped by their own citizenry, there were still many religions and cults, both polytheistic and monotheistic, that existed within the boundaries of the empire. The religions, denominations, sects, and cults of today are far too numerous to count within our own nation. These are only but a few of the many examples of the similarities between the Roman Empire of old and the American Empire of today.

In making a documentary film on the subject over the past few months, I put that question to a group of people uniquely qualified to know. Not experts on US defence strategy or American foreign policy, but Britain's leading historians of the ancient world. They know Rome intimately - and, without exception, they are struck by the similarities between the empire of now and the imperium of then.

The most obvious is overwhelming military strength. Rome was the superpower of its day, boasting an army with the best training, biggest budgets and finest equipment the world had ever seen. No one else came close. The United States is just as dominant - its defence budget will soon be bigger than the military spending of the next nine countries put together, allowing the US to deploy its forces almost anywhere on the planet at lightning speed. Throw in the country's global technological lead, and the US emerges as a power without rival.

There is a big difference, of course. Apart from the odd Puerto Rico or Guam, the US does not have formal colonies, the way the Romans (or British, for that matter) always did. There are no American consuls or viceroys directly ruling faraway lands.

But that difference between ancient Rome and modern Washington may be less significant than it looks. After all, America has done plenty of conquering and colonising: it's just that we don't see it that way. For some historians, the founding of America and its 19th-century push westward were no less an exercise in empire-building than Rome's drive to take charge of the Mediterranean. While Julius Caesar took on the Gauls - bragging that he had slaughtered a million of them - the American pioneers battled the Cherokee, the Iroquois and the Sioux. "From the time the first settlers arrived in Virginia from England and started moving westward, this was an imperial nation, a conquering nation," according to Paul Kennedy, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers."

More to the point, the US has military bases, or base rights, in some 40 countries across the world - giving it the same global muscle it would enjoy if it ruled those countries directly. (When the US took on the Taliban last autumn, it was able to move warships from naval bases in Britain, Japan, Germany, southern Spain and Italy: the fleets were already there.) According to Chalmers Johnson, author of "Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire", these US military bases, numbering into the hundreds around the world, are today's version of the imperial colonies of old. Washington may refer to them as "forward deployment", says Johnson, but colonies are what they are. On this definition, there is almost no place outside America's reach. Pentagon figures show that there is a US military presence, large or small, in 132 of the 190 member states of the United Nations.

At the height of its economic, political and military power, the Roman Empire was also typified by a deep moral decay. The technology and security of the Empire provided both opulence and decadence on a scale not seen since the days of Babylon or Gomorra. Great portions of that society had become so indolent and pampered that their unchallenged minds turned from exploration and conquest of the unknown, to idle amusements and carnival-like entertainments. The ruling powers understood that an idle populace could easily breed dissent if not kept distracted and entertained. And so it provided “Bread and Circus’”. One of the most disturbing examples of this quest for distraction was the carnal games made popular in the Roman Coliseum. In wildly popular bouts, a pack of wolves would be set against an angry bear, or wild boars would be goaded into a frenzy and then set at each other until one or both were gored to death. Eventually, humans were added to the mix. The gladiator combat that resulted pit man against man in a bloodsport appealing to our basest instincts. Armed combatants would duel it out, sometimes against each other, sometimes against wild beasts driven mad by hunger and abuse. Prisoners and felons would be sent into the arena lightly armed (if at all) and pitted against wolves, lions, or trained gladiators. All to cheers of feral delight from the on-looking crowds. In the event that one was injured but not killed, a plea for mercy could be given to the Caesar. He would sit high on his grand podium, and with a thumbs up or thumbs down, decide quite literally who lived or died. Often, for dramatic flair, Caesar would poll the crowd, and by the volume of the cries for or against, decide the victim's fate. Human life was reduced to the level of a commodity, a resource, an expendable item sacrificed on the altar of entertainment.

The modern trend of "reality shows" bears a disturbing resemblance to the games of the Coliseum. Show after show has appeared on television designed to pit one person against another in a battle for ultimate supremacy. Shows like "Survivor," "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelor," "Paradise Hotel," and even "American Idol" have contestants battling for their social survival against not only the environment, but against each other. We watch in voyeuristic fascination as conniving, back-stabbing, manipulative behavior is rewarded. At the end of each week's installment, one team member is "voted off" because they couldn't make it, or weren't adept enough to build tenuous political alliances which would inevitably be shattered and renegotiated the next week anyway. In several of the shows, sexuality comes heavily into play, and the most appealing, the most buxom, or the most promiscuous are promoted, while the less desirable are sent packing. We add the flavor of the Coliseum again as "Viewer Voting" is brought into play, and America decides who stays or goes, who "lives" or "dies." The crowd cheers or jeers and one American Idol falls while another rises to the next level. It is like the ultimate interactive video game where lives and careers hang in the balance, and YOU make the call. Or so we would be led to believe.

The reality of these "reality" shows is that they are all carefully managed and manipulated to provide the greatest entertainment value. We think we have a vote, but ultimately, Caesar decides. We are carefully manipulated into bonding with some contestants so that we feel for them, or developing such animosity towards others that we cannot wait for them to get voted off. It's all great theater and high drama. And it's all about survival of the fittest. It's us against them; lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead and stay on top. It's anything goes as long as you win.

If we are to use our entertainment as a barometer of our cultural health, then what does this modern fascination with Coliseum Lite say about us? We used to cheer for the underdog. Now we sit in our video bleachers and give a resounding thumbs down because he or she didn't make the grade, didn't have what it takes to satisfy our lust for power, sex, or money. Instead of sacrificing ourselves for others, we use them as resources, as expendable items sacrificed on the altar of our own self-indulgence.

So America may be more Roman than we realize. But there the similarities only begin. For the United States' entire approach to empire looks quintessentially Roman. It's as if the Romans bequeathed a blueprint for how imperial business should be done - and today's Americans are following it religiously.
Lesson one in the Roman handbook for imperial success would be a realization that it is not enough to have great military strength: the rest of the world must know that strength - and fear it too. The Romans used the propaganda technique of their time - gladiatorial games in the Colosseum - to show the world how hard they were, just as they used them as a tool to placate the citizen masses. Today 24-hour news coverage of US military operations - including video footage of smart bombs scoring direct hits - or Hollywood shoot-'em-ups at the multiplex serve the same function. Both tell the world: this empire is too tough to beat.

The US has learned a second lesson from Rome, realizing the centrality of technology. For the Romans, it was those famously straight roads, enabling the empire to move troops or supplies at awesome speeds - rates that would not be surpassed for well over a thousand years. It was a perfect example of how one imperial strength tends to feed another: an innovation in engineering, originally designed for military use, went on to boost Rome commercially. Today those highways find their counterpart in the information superhighway: the internet also began as a military tool, devised by the US defense department, and now stands at the heart of American commerce. In the process, it is making English the Latin of its day - a language spoken across the globe. The US is proving what the Romans already knew: that once an empire is a world leader in one sphere, it soon dominates in every other.

But it is not just specific tips that the US seems to have picked up from its ancient forebears. Rather, it is the fundamental approach to empire that echoes so loudly. Rome understood that, if it is to last, a world power needs to practice both hard imperialism, the business of winning wars and invading lands, and soft imperialism, the cultural and political tricks that work not to win power but to keep it.

So Rome's greatest conquests came not at the end of a spear, but through its power to seduce conquered peoples. As Tacitus observed in Britain, the natives seemed to like togas, baths and central heating - never realising that these were the symbols of their "enslavement". Today the US offers the people of the world a similarly coherent cultural package, a cluster of goodies that remain reassuringly uniform wherever you are. It's not togas or gladiatorial games today, but Starbucks, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Disney, all paid for in the contemporary equivalent of Roman coinage, the global hard currency of the 21st century: the dollar.

When the process works, you don't even have to resort to direct force; it is possible to rule by remote control, using friendly client states. This is a favourite technique for the contemporary US - no need for colonies when you have the Shah in Iran or Pinochet in Chile to do the job for you - but the Romans got there first. They ruled by proxy whenever they could. We, of all people, should know: one of the most loyal of client kings ruled right here, in the southern England of the first century AD.

His name was Togidubnus and you can still visit the grand palace that was his at Fishbourne in Sussex. The mosaic floors, in remarkable condition, are reminders of the cool palatial quarters where guests would have gathered for preprandial drinks or a perhaps an audience with the king. Historians now believe that Togidubnus was a high-born Briton educated in Rome, brought back to Fishbourne and installed as a pro-Roman puppet. Just as Washington's elite private schools are full of the "pro-western" Arab kings, South American presidents or African leaders of the future, so Rome took in the heirs of the conquered nations' top families, preparing them for lives as rulers in Rome's interest.

And Togidubnus did not let his masters down. When Boudicca led her uprising against the Roman occupation in AD60, she made great advances in Colchester, St Albans and London - but not Sussex. Historians now believe that was because Togidubnus kept the native Britons under him in line. Just as Hosni Mubarak and Pervez Musharraf have kept the lid on anti-American feeling in Egypt and Pakistan, Togidubnus did the same job for Rome nearly two millennia ago.

Not that it always worked. Rebellions against the empire were a permanent fixture, with barbarians constantly pressing at the borders. Some accounts suggest that the rebels were not always fundamentally anti-Roman; they merely wanted to share in the privileges and affluence of Roman life. If that has a familiar ring, consider this: several of the enemies who rose up against Rome are thought to have been men previously nurtured by the empire to serve as pliant allies. Need one mention former US protege Saddam Hussein or one-time CIA trainee Osama bin Laden?

Rome even had its own 9/11 moment. In the 80s BC, Hellenistic king Mithridates called on his followers to kill all Roman citizens in their midst, naming a specific day for the slaughter. They heeded the call - and killed 80,000 Romans in local communities across Greece. "The Romans were incredibly shocked by this," says ancient historian Jeremy Paterson of Newcastle University. "It's a little bit like the statements in so many of the American newspapers since September 11: 'Why are we hated so much?' "

Internally, too, today's United States would strike many Romans as familiar terrain. America's mythologising of its past - its casting of founding fathers Washington and Jefferson as heroic titans, its folk-tale rendering of the Boston Tea Party and the war of independence - is very Roman. That empire, too, felt the need to create a mythic past, starred with heroes. For them it was Aeneas and the founding of Rome, but the urge was the same: to show that the great nation was no accident, but the fruit of manifest destiny.

And America shares Rome's conviction that it is on a mission sanctioned from on high. Augustus declared himself the son of a god, raising a statue to his adoptive father Julius Caesar on a podium alongside Mars and Venus. The US dollar bill bears the words "In God we trust" and US politicians always like to end their speeches with "God bless America."

Even that most modern American trait, its ethnic diversity, would make the Romans feel comfortable. Their society was remarkably diverse, taking in people from all over the world - and even promising new immigrants the chance to rise to the very top (so long as they were from the right families). While America is yet to have a non-white president, Rome boasted an emperor from north Africa, Septimius Severus. According to classicist Emma Dench, Rome had its own version of America's "hyphenated" identities. Like the Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans of today, Rome's citizens were allowed a "cognomen" - an extra name to convey their Greek-Roman or British-Roman heritage: Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus. America’s WAT (War Against Terror) was a subject of discussion at the Foundation for Economic Education conference held in Las Vegas.

"We have to pursue this thing," said a panelist, or words to that effect. Speaking for what may well be a majority view, he suggested that "the U.S. should launch pre-emptive strikes at Iraq...Syria...and even China!"

The logic was impeccable. These countries may want to do us harm. We have the means to stop them. What’s standing in our way? Not much.
"Beginning in 1899," explains Gary North, "the United States has steadily replaced Europe in the expensive, risky business of empire. Our carrier fleet patrols the world’s seas. Now we have become the primary target of hatred and revenge. People don’t like to be pushed around by foreigners, whether in Greece in the era of the Athenian League, or today."

By 431 BC, Athens had become a empire, with subject states throughout the Aegean. In that year, on some pretext I can’t recall, the first Peloponnesian War began – between Athens and its allies... and Sparta.

Pericles decided that the best offense was a good defense. He brought the Athenians within the city’s walls – hoping that the enemy would exhaust in futile attacks.

But bubonic plague broke out in the besieged city and killed a quarter of the population – including Pericles. Thence, a nephew of Pericles, Alcibiades, stirred the Athenians to an offensive campaign. A great armada was assembled – to attack Syracuse, a city in Sicily allied with Athens’ foes.

The campaign was a complete disaster. The armada was destroyed and the army sold into slavery. Sensing a shift in the wind, other Greek city-states broke with Athens and went over to Sparta. In 405, the remaining ships in the Athenian fleet were captured at the battle of Aegospotami. Not long after, Athens’ walls were breached and the city became a vassal state to Sparta.

We recall this history of the Peloponnesian Wars because Athens was probably the first empire in the western world. Since America seems lured to empire, what happened to Athens might be of interest.

In early April, the International Herald Tribune reported that it is now respectable to describe the U.S. as an empire.

"Today," said the IHT, "America is no more superpower or hegemon, but a full blown empire in the Roman and British sense."

"No country has been as dominant culturally, economically technological and militarily in the history of the world since the Roman Empire." adds columnist Charles Krauthammer

But Paul Kennedy goes further, pointing out that the imbalance is even greater than in the Roman era. "The Roman Empire stretched further afield, " he points out, "but there was a another great empire in Persia and a larger one in China."

Today China is no competition. It is just another country on America’s hit list.

Being a citizen of a Great Empire is not all bad. Most people incline their chins a degree skyward at the mere thought of it. And minding other peoples’ business can be distracting and evidenced by the editorial pages of the world’s newspapers.

But since American liberty is being sacrificed to the security needs of maintaining an empire, we can’t help but wonder – is it worth it?
For an answer, we turn to Marc Faber who addressed the subject in a recent issue of his excellent, “Boom, Gloom and Doom Report”.
Faber gives us a passage from Robert Kaplan’s book: Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos:

"Our future leaders could do worse than be praised for their tenacity, their penetrating intellects and their ability to bring prosperity to distant part of the world under America’s soft imperial influence. The more successful our foreign policy, the more leverage American will have in the world. Thus, the more likely that future historians will look back on the 21st century United States as an empire as well as a republic, however different from that of Roman and every other empire throughout history."

Even after 227 years, dear reader, America’s stock continues to rise. That it has gotten dangerously high has been the subject of the last few of our Daily Reckonings.

The modest republic of 1776 has become the great power of 2002 – with pretentions to empire than need no longer be denied. That its citizens will not be freer is understood. But will they not be richer under an empire than they would have been under a humble republic? Will they be safer? Will they be happier?

If so, pity the poor Swiss. In their mountain fastnesses, they have only had themselves to boss around...and only their own pastures, lakes and peaks to amuse their eyes...and only their own industries to provide employment and sustenance. And their poor armed forces! Imagine the boredom...the tedious waiting for someone to attack. What glory is there in defense? Oh, for a foreign adventure...!

But would the Swiss really be better off if they, too, had an empire to run?

All of the available evidence – from history – suggests an answer: no. If the past is any guide, early military successes are inevitably followed by humiliating defeats. Financial progress is always trailed by national bankruptcy and the destruction of the currency. And the good sense of a decent people is soon replaced by a malign megalomania which brings the whole bunch to complete ruin.

But who cares? It is not for us to know the future...or to prescribe it. Instead, we get out our field glasses and prepare to watch the spectacle.
A great empire is to the world of geo-politics what a great bubble is to the world of economics. It is attractive at the outset...but a catastrophe eventually. We know of no exceptions.

After the battle of Pydna in 168, Rome became the leading empire of the western world. Here, we turn back to Marc Faber for his description of the Roman Empire.

"Until the rule of Augustus (who was installed as the first ruler of the Roman Empire in 27 BC), the Romans only used pure gold and silver coins. In order to finance his vast infrastructure expenditures, Augustus ordered that government-owned mines in Spain and France should be exploited 24 hours a day, a measure which increased the money supply significantly and also led to rising prices. (It is estimated that between 27 BC and 6 BC, prices in Rome doubled.) In the second half of his reign (6 BC to AD 14), Augustus reduced coinage drastically, as he recognized that the expanded money supply had led to the rise in prices.

"Upon his death in AD 14, his stepson Tiberius, whom Augustus had married off to his colorful daughter Julia (who pursued a very successful career of nymphomania), was installed as emperor. Under Tiberius, the rate of new coinage was far inferior to that during Augustus's reign, which inevitably led to a real scarcity of money in the empire, but, at the same time, to a vast surplus in the coffers of the royal treasury (fiscus). Thus, when Tiberius was assassinated in AD 37, he left his successor, the insane Caligula, 700 million denarii in the royal treasury - about 30 times the sum Augustus had left.

"Caligula, whose spending had been lavish and
necessitated the expropriation of the properties of a number of wealthy families he falsely accused of plotting against him, was then succeeded by the equally mad Claudius, and upon his death by Nero. By then, the accumulated fiscal surpluses of Rome had been spent and the large trade deficits Rome maintained with its colonies led Nero to debase Rome's currency. In AD 64, he proclaimed that henceforth the aureus would be 10% lighter in weight. So, whereas in the past, 41 aurei had been minted from one pound of gold, the ratio now become 45 aurei to a pound of gold.

"Nero then tried to force the re-minting of the old coinage, debasing in the process the aureus by 10% and the denarius by 25%, but this was only partially successful because the well-to-do either hid their wealth or emigrated to remote provinces where they hid from the Roman tax collectors. "However, Nero had set a precedent. Between his being deposed in AD 68 and the sacking of Rome in the second half of the 5th century by the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Vandals, a succession of emperors continued the practice of increasing the supply of money in the empire by debasing the denarius, which in the end only had a 0.02% silver content!"

Fighting terrorism in the Roman era was expensive – as it is today. Rome became dependent on imported capital and imported goods – just as America is today. But Rome must have had its own Alano Greenspanus – for each new emergency was met with more cash...just as it is today.
Were the Romans better off for it?

There are some large differences between the two empires, of course - starting with self-image. Romans revelled in their status as masters of the known world, but few Americans would be as ready to brag of their own imperialism. Indeed, most would deny it. But that may come down to the US's founding myth. For America was established as a rebellion against empire, in the name of freedom and self-government. Raised to see themselves as a rebel nation and plucky underdog, they can't quite accept their current role as master.

One last factor scares Americans from making a parallel between themselves and Rome: that empire declined and fell.
To all intents and purposes, the Roman empire established by Augustus Caesar, what people generally think of when they talk of "the glory that was Rome" had come to an end by the 280's. It was over for the great Roman Empire.

The historians say this happens to all empires; they are dynamic entities that follow a common path, from beginning to middle to end.

"What America will need to consider in the next 10 or 15 years," says Cambridge classicist Christopher Kelly, "is what is the optimum size for a nonterritorial empire, how interventionist will it be outside its borders, what degree of control will it wish to exercise, how directly, how much through local elites? These were all questions which pressed upon the Roman empire."

Anti-Americans like to believe that an operation in Iraq might be proof that the US is succumbing to the temptation that ate away at Rome: overstretch. But it's just as possible that the US is merely moving into what was the second phase of Rome's imperial history, when it grew frustrated with indirect rule through allies and decided to do the job itself. Which is it? Is the US at the end of its imperial journey, or on the brink of its most ambitious voyage?

Only the historians of the future can tell us that.

Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:23 am;
Note: This article first appeared as a post written by myself (Michael Rivero) at Free Republic in late 2000. I was surprised to learn that it was copied re-posted at dozens of sites around the world. So, it seems only fitting that the article (with some updating) should re-appear here on our own forum; Re:


By Michael Rivero

It's the oldest trick in the book, dating back to Roman times; creating the enemies you need.

In 70 BC, an ambitious minor politician and extremely wealthy man, Marcus Licineus Crassus, wanted to rule Rome. Just to give you an idea of what sort of man Crassus really was, he is credited with invention of the fire brigade. But in Crassus' version, his fire-fighting slaves would race to the scene of a burning building whereupon Crassus would offer to buy it on the spot for a tiny fraction of it's worth. If the owner sold, Crassus' slaves would put out the fire. If the owner refused to sell, Crassus allowed the building to burn to the ground. By means of this device, Crassus eventually came to be the largest single private land holder in Rome, and used some of his wealth to help back Julius Caesar against Cicero.

In 70 BC Rome was still a Republic, which placed very strict limits on what Rulers could do, and more importantly NOT do. But Crassus had no intentions of enduring such limits to his personal power, and contrived a plan.

Crassus seized upon the slave revolt led by Spartacus in order to strike terror into the hearts of Rome, whose garrison Spartacus had already defeated in battle. But Spartacus had no intention of marching on Rome itself, a move he knew to be suicidal. Spartacus and his band wanted nothing to do with the Roman empire and had planned from the start merely to loot enough money from their former owners in the Italian countryside to hire a mercenary fleet in which to sail to freedom.

Sailing away was the last thing Crassus wanted Spartacus to do. He needed a convenient enemy with which to terrorize Rome itself for his personal political gain. So Crassus bribed the mercenary fleet to sail without Spartacus, then positioned two Roman legions in such a way that Spartacus had no choice but to march on Rome.

Terrified of the impending arrival of the much-feared army of gladiators, Rome declared Crassus Praetor. Crassus then crushed Spartacus' army and even though Pompey took the credit, Crassus was elected Consul of Rome the following year.

With this maneuver, the Romans surrendered their Republican form of government. Soon would follow the first Triumvirate, consisting of Crassus, Pompeii, and Julius Caesar, followed by the reign of the god-like Emperors of Rome.

The Romans were hoaxed into surrendering their Republic, and accepting the rule of Emperors.

Julius Caesar's political opponent, Cicero, for all his literary accomplishments, played the same games in his campaign against Julius Caesar, claiming that Rome was falling victim to an internal "vast right wing" conspiracy in which any expressed desire for legislative limits on government was treated as suspicious behavior. Cicero, in order to demonstrate to the Romans just how unsafe Rome has become hired thugs to cause as much disturbance as possible, and campaigned on a promise to end the internal strife if elected and granted extraordinary powers.

What Cicero only dreamed of, Adolph Hitler succeeded in doing. Elected Chancellor of Germany, Hitler, like Crassus, had no intention of living with the strict limits to his power imposed by German law. Unlike Cicero, Hitler's thugs were easy to recognize; they all wore the same brown shirts. But their actions were no different than those of their Roman predecessors. They staged beatings, set fires, caused as much trouble as they could, while Hitler made speeches promising that he could end the crime wave of subversives and terrorism if he was granted extraordinary powers.
Then the Reichstag burned down; a staged terrorist attack.

The Germans were hoaxed into surrendering their Republic, and accepting the total rule of Der Fuhrer.

The state-sponsored schools will never tell you this, but governments routinely rely on hoaxes to sell their agendas to an otherwise reluctant public. The Romans accepted the Emperors and the Germans accepted Hitler not because they wanted to, but because the carefully crafted illusions of threat appeared to leave no other choice.

Our government too uses hoaxes to create the illusion that We The People have no choice but the direction the government wishes us to go in.

In 1898, Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal were arguing for American intervention in Cuba. Hearst is reported to have dispatched a photographer to Cuba to photograph the coming war with Spain. When the photographer asked just what war that might be, Hearst is reported to have replied, "You take the photographs, and I will provide the war". Hearst was true to his word, as his newspaper published stories of great atrocities being committed against the Cuban people, most of which turned out to be complete fabrications.

On the night of February 15, 1898, the USS Maine, lying in Havana harbor in a show of US resolve to protect her interests, exploded violently. Captain Sigsbee, the commander of the Maine, urged that no assumptions of enemy attack be made until there was a full investigation of the cause of the explosion. For this, Captain Sigsbee was excoriated in the press for "refusing to see the obvious". The Atlantic Monthly declared flat out that to suppose the explosion to be anything other than a deliberate act by Spain was "completely at defiance of the laws of probability".
Under the slogan "
Remember the Maine", Americans went to war with Spain, eventually winning the Philippines (and annexing Hawaii [Re: ]along the way).

In 1975, an investigation led by Admiral Hyman Rickover examined the data recovered from a 1911 examination of the wreck and concluded that there had been no evidence of an external explosion. The most likely cause of the sinking was a coal dust explosion in a coal bunker imprudently located next to the ship's magazines. Captain Sigsbee's caution had been well founded.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt needed a war. He needed the fever of a major war to mask the symptoms of a still deathly ill economy struggling back from the Great Depression (and mutating towards Socialism at the same time). Roosevelt wanted a war with Germany to stop Hitler, but despite several provocations in the Atlantic, the American people, still struggling with that troublesome economy, were opposed to any wars. Roosevelt violated neutrality with lend lease, and even ordered the sinking of several German ships in the Atlantic, but Hitler refused to be provoked.

Roosevelt needed an enemy, and if America would not willingly attack that enemy, then one would have to be maneuvered into attacking America, much as Marcus Licinius Crassus has maneuvered Spartacus into attacking Rome.

The way open to war was created when Japan signed the tripartite agreement with Italy and Germany, with all parties pledging mutual defense to each other. Whereas Hitler would never declare war on the United States no matter the provocation, the means to force Japan to do so were readily at hand.

The first step was to place oil and steel embargoes on Japan, using Japan's wars on the Asian mainland as a reason. This forced Japan to consider seizing the oil and mineral rich regions in Indonesia. With the European powers militarily exhausted by the war in Europe, the United States was the only power in the Pacific able to stop Japan from invading the Dutch East Indies, and by moving the Pacific fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Roosevelt made a pre-emptive strike on that fleet the mandatory first step in any Japanese plan to extend it's empire into the "southern resource area".

Roosevelt boxed in Japan just as completely as Crassus had boxed in Spartacus. Japan needed oil. They had to invade Indonesia to get it, and to do that they first had to remove the threat of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. There never really was any other course open to them.

To enrage the American people as much as possible, Roosevelt needed the first overt attack by Japan to be as bloody as possible, appearing as a sneak attack much as the Japanese had done to the Russians. From that moment up until the attack on Pearl Harbor itself, Roosevelt and his associates made sure that the commanders in Hawaii, General Short and Admiral Kimmel, were kept in the dark as much as possible about the location of the Japanese fleet and it's intentions, then later scapegoated for the attack. (Congress recently exonerated both Short and Kimmel, posthumously restoring them to their former ranks).

But as the Army board had concluded at the time, and subsequent de-classified documents confirmed, Washington DC knew the attack was coming, knew exactly where the Japanese fleet was, and knew where it was headed (Re: )

Note: Dusko Popov was actually a Serb who worked as a double agent for both Germany and Britain. Popov's true sympathies, however, were with the Allies. Popov, had in early 1940 been approached by the ABWEHR, the German high command's espionage service, and asked to become a spy. He immediately reported the overture to British counterintelligence, MI-6. Following intensive training by both the Germans and the British...Popov became one of Britain's most successful double agents...In the summer of 1941, the ABWEHR arranged for Popov to go to the United States. Supplied with the ABWEHR's latest paraphernalia, including the 'MICRODOT' – a process whereby a page of text was photographically reduced to the size of a period or comma, then inserted into an innocuous communication - Popov was given two assignments. He was to set up a large-scale espionage ring; and he was to carry out a VERY IMPORTANT MISSION FOR THE JAPANESE. The latter, Popov had been told, was 'of the HIGHEST PRIORITY.'

Before leaving for the United States, Popov reported to MI-6. His British handlers were especially interested in the Japanese questionnaire, which was one of the microdot documents he'd been given. Popov was also a notorious playboy, who was code-named "
Tricycle" because of his proclivity for bedding two women simultaneously. It is reputed that Popov was Ian Fleming's model for James Bond (Dusko Popov, “Spy/Counterspy: The Autobiography of Dusko Popov”, [New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1974]).

"J. C. MASTERMAN, chief of the BRITISH XX (Double Cross) COMMITTEE, received a copy of the Questionnaire on August 16, 1941. Carefully examining it, Masterman noted that one-third of the questions dealt with HAWAII and, particularly, PEARL HARBOR. He also observed that whereas all the other questions were general or statistical, those regarding Pearl Harbor were SPECIFIC. For example, the questionnaire asked for 'Details about naval ammunition and mine depot on ISLE OF KUSHUA [Pearl Harbor]. If possible, sketch...Where is the station for mine search formations? How far has the dredger work progressed at the entrance and in the east and southeast lock?

Depths of water?...Exact details and sketch about the situation of the state wharf, of the pier installations, workshops, petrol installations, situation of dry dock No. 1 and of the new dry dock which is being built.' The questionnaire also asked for sketches showing the exact locations of installations at 'Wickam' (HICKAM), WHEELER, LUKE, and 'Kaneche' (KANEOHE) airfields. Masterman concluded, 'It is therefore surely a fair deduction that the questionnaire indicated very clearly that in the event of the United States being at war, PEARL HARBOR WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST POINT TO BE ATTACKED, and that plans for this attack had reached an ADVANCED state by August 1941.'

"Popov and the British also had other information which not only supported this conclusion, but indicated HOW the attack might be carried out.

Another double agent, a friend of Popov's accompanied by the German air attache in Tokyo, had recently escorted a group of JAPANESE NAVAL OFFICIALS to Taranto, Italy. Their primary interest, Popov had been told, was in determining exactly how, in one sneak attack, using torpedo planes launched from an aircraft carrier, the British had nearly obliterated the Italian fleet.Onhis arrival in the United States, Popov was met by PERCY FOXWORTH of the FBI's NewYork office, to whom he explained the secret of the microdot and turned over the Japanese questionnaire and other materials. Popov then waited for FBI permission to setup his bogus espionage network...The meeting was brief. The FBI didn't NEED the help of foreign spies, the director told him: 'I can catch spies without your or anyone else's help'...There was no mention of the Japanese questionnaire or of the microdot..."

Popov made this information known to his British handlers, and the British had him provide this information to the FBI when he came to America in August 1941 (Toland, "Infamy", pp. 258-60; Mintz, pp. 97-9.

It has been argued that the FBI did not trust Popov's information and the microdots, and did not fully transmit it to the White House. One explanation is that the prudish J. Edgar Hoover gave little credibility to Popov's information because of his distaste for his playboy lifestyle (John F. Bratzel and Leslie B. Rout, Jr., "Pearl Harbor, Microdots, and J. Edgar Hoover," American Historical Review 87 [Dec. 1982]: pp. 1342-1351). However, documents the FBI released in 1983 show that it assigned considerable importance to Popov's information and that this information was passed on to high ranking officers in Army and Naval intelligence. In Frank Paul Mintz's analysis of the FBI material on Popov, he found that much of the information had been blackened out, so it would be impossible to know that the important parts were not transmitted to the military intelligence and the White House (Telephone interview with Frank P. Mintz on July 31, 2001. Mintz reviewed the Popov documents at the FBI building). As Mintz concludes:

"It passes credibility to assume that the microdot questionnaire remained effectively dead to the world in 1941. English intelligence knew about it; the FBI knew; and so did the intelligence services of U.S. armed forces. Most likely both Churchill and Roosevelt became familiar with the full contents of Popov's microdots during the last quarter of the year." (Mintz, p. 100. In a telephone conversation with the author on July 29, 2001, Mintz said that most of the FBI documents dealing with Popov that are available to the public have large segments blacked out.)

See also: Curt Gentry, “J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets”, pp 269-273.

Summers, Anthony. “Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover”, New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 1993. 528 pages
End note.

On November 29th, Secretary of State Hull showed United Press reporter Joe Leib a message with the time and place of the attack, and the New York Times in it's special 12/8/41 Pearl Harbor edition, on page 13, reported that the time and place of the attack had been known in advance!
The much repeated claim that the Japanese fleet maintained radio silence on it's way to Hawaii was a lie. Among other intercepts still held in the Archives of the NSA is the UNCODED message sent by the Japanese tanker Shirya stating, "proceeding to a position 30.00 N, 154.20 E. Expect to arrive at that point on 3 December." (near HI)

President Lyndon Johnson wanted a war in Vietnam. He wanted it to help his friends who owned defense companies to do a little business. He needed it to get the Pentagon and CIA to quit trying to invade Cuba. And most of all, he needed a provocation to convince the American people that there was really "no other choice".

On August 5, 1964, newspapers across America reported "renewed attacks" against American destroyers operating in Vietnamese waters, specifically the Gulf of Tonkin. The official story was that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an "unprovoked attack" on the USS Maddox while it was on "routine patrol".

The truth is that USS Maddox was involved in aggressive intelligence gathering in coordination with actual attacks by South Vietnam and the Laotian Air Force against targets in North Vietnam. The truth is also that there was no attack by torpedo boats against the USS Maddox. Captain John J. Herrick, the task force commander in the Gulf, cabled Washington DC that the report was the result of an "over-eager" sonar man who had picked up the sounds of his own ship's screws and panicked. But even with this knowledge that the report was false, Lyndon Johnson went on national TV that night to announce the commencement of air strikes against North Vietnam, "retaliation" for an attack that had never occurred.

President George Bush wanted a war in Iraq. Like Crassus, George Bush is motivated by money. Specifically oil money. But with the OPEC alliance failing to keep limits on oil production in the Mideast, the market was being glutted with oil pumped from underneath Iraq, which sat over roughly 1/3 of the oil reserves of the entire region.

George wanted a war to stop that flow of oil, to keep prices (and profits) from falling any further than they already had. But like Roosevelt, he needed the "other side" to make the first move.

Iraq had long been trying to acquire greater access to the Persian Gulf, and felt limited confined a narrow strip of land along Kuwait's northern border, which placed Iraqi interests in close proximity with hostile Iran. George Bush, who had been covertly arming Iraq during its war with Iran, sent word via April Glaspie (Re: ) that the United States would not intervene if Saddam Hussein grabbed a larger part of Kuwait. Saddam fell for the bait and invaded.

Of course, Americans were not about to send their sons and daughters to risk their lives for petroleum products. So George Bush arranged a hoax, using a public relations firm which has grown rich on taxpayer money by being most industrious and creative liars! The PR firm concocted a monumental fraud in which the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States, went on TV pretending to be a nurse, and related a horror story in which Iraqi troops looted the incubators from a Kuwaiti hospital, leaving the premature babies on the cold floor to die. The media, part of the swindle from the start, never bothered asking why the "nurse" didn't just pick the babies up and wrap them in blankets or something.

Enraged by the incubator story, Americans supported operation Desert Storm, which never removed Saddam Hussein from power but which did take Kuwait's oil off of the market for almost 2 years and limited Iraq's oil exports to this very day. That our sons and daughters came home with serious and lingering medical illnesses was apparently not too great a price to pay for increased oil profits.

Following the victory in Iraq, yet another war appeared to be in the offering in the mineral rich regions of Bosnia. Yet again, a hoax was used to create support for military action.

The photo (Re: ) of Fikret Alic staring through a barbed wire fence, was used to "prove" the existence of modern day "Concentration Camps". As the headline of "Belsen 92" indicates, all possible associations with the Nazi horrors were made to sell the necessity of sending yet more American troops into someone else's nation.

But when German Journalists went to Trnopolje, the site of the supposed Concentration Camp to film a documentary, they discovered that the photo was a fake! The camp at Trnopolje was not a concentration camp but a refugee center. Nor was it surrounded by barbed wire. Careful examination of the original photo revealed that the photographer had shot the photo through a broken section of fence surrounding a tool shed. It was the photographer who was on the inside, shooting out at the refugees.

Once again, Americans had been hoaxed into support of actions they might otherwise not have agreed with.

While several American Presidents have willingly started wars for personal purposes, perhaps no President has ever carried it to the extreme that Bill Clinton has.

Coincident with the expected public statement of Monica Lewinsky following her testimony, Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack on Sudan and Afghanistan, claiming to have had irrefutable proof that bogeyman extraordinaire (and former Afghani ally) Osama Bin Ladin was creating terrorist chemical weapons there.

Examination of the photos of the debris (Re: ) revealed none of the expected structures one would find in a laboratory that handled lethal weapons-grade materials. Assurances from the CIA that they had a positive soil test for biological weapons fell on their face when it was revealed that there had been no open soil anywhere near the pre-bombed facility. Sudan requested that international observers come test the remains of the factory for any signs of the nerve gas Clinton had insisted was there. None was found. The Sudanese plant was a harmless aspirin factory, and the owner has sued for damages.

Later examination of the site hit in Afghanistan revealed it to be a mosque.
Meanwhile, back in Kosovo, stories about genocide and atrocities were flooding the media (in time to distract from the Sudanese embarrassments), just as lurid and sensational and as it turns out often just as fictional as most of William Randolph Hearst's stories of atrocities against the Cubans.

Again, the government and the media were hoaxing Americans. The above photo was shown on all the American networks, claiming to be one of Slobodan Milosovic's Migs, shot down while attacking civilians. Closer examination (click on the photo) shows it to be stenciled in English!
Like Germany under Chancellor Hitler, there have been events in our nation which strike fear into the hearts of the citizens, such as the New York World Trade Tower bombing, the OK City Federal Building, and the Olympic Park bomb (nicely timed to divert the media from witnesses to the TWA 800 shoot down). The media has been very quick to blame such events on "radicals", "subversives", "vast right wing conspiracies", and other "enemies in our midst", no different than the lies used by Cicero and Hitler.

But on closer examination, such "domestic terrorist" events do not appear to be what they are made out to be. The FBI had an informant inside the World Trade Tower bombers, Emad Salam, who offered to sabotage the bomb. The FBI told him "no".
(Re: ) The so-called "hot bed" of white separatism at Elohim City, occasional home to Tim McVeigh in the weeks prior to the OK City bombing, was founded and is being run by an FBI informant!

EDITORS NOTE:  Please also see:


Before McVeigh was released from the Army, McVeigh was invited to join the top notch program of Special Forces, in 1991. The Training Complex was done at ...


John Doe #1 has been identified as Timothy McVeigh and is in custody. ... McVeigh, a dead ringer for the John Doe No. 1 sketch, had been captured, ...

Article continues:

And nobody has ever really explained what this second Ryder truck was doing in a secret camp half way from Elohim City to Oklahoma City two weeks before the bombing.

So, here we are today. Like the Romans of Crassus' and Cicero's time, or the Germans under a newly elected Hitler, we are being warned that a dangerous enemy threatens us, implacable, invisible, omnipresent, and invulnerable as long as our government is hamstrung by that silly old Bill of Rights. Already there have appeared articles debating whether or not "extraordinary measures" (i.e. torture) are not fully justified under certain circumstances such as those we are purported to face.

As was the case in Rome and Germany, the government continues to plead with the public for an expansion of its power and authority, to "deal with the crisis".

However, as Casio watch timers are paraded before the cameras, to the stentorian tones of the talking heads' constant dire warnings, it is legitimate to question just how real the crises is, and how much is the result of political machinations by our own leaders.

Are the terrorists really a threat, or just hired actors with bombs and Casio watches, paid for by Cicero and given brown shirts to wear by Hitler?

Is terrorism inside the United States really from outside, or is it a stage managed production, designed to cause Americans to believe they have no choice but to surrender the Republic and accept the totalitarian rule of a new emperor, or a new Fuhrer?

Once lost, the Romans never got their Republic back. Once lost, the Germans never got their Republic back.
In both cases, the nation had to totally collapse before freedom was restored to the people.

Remember that when Crassus tells you that Spartacus approaches.
Remember that when thugs in the streets act in a manner clearly designed to provoke the public fear.
Remember that when the Reichstag burns down.

Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Sun Apr 09, 2006
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:51 am    

Post subject: When Democracy Failed - The Warnings of History  - 2005

by Thom Hartmann

The url for this article is:

This weekend - February 27th - is the 72nd anniversary, but the corporate media most likely won't cover it. The generation that experienced this history firsthand is now largely dead, and only a few of us dare hear their ghosts.

It started when the government, in the midst of an economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist. Some, like Sefton Delmer - a London Daily Express reporter on the scene - say they certainly did not, while others, like William Shirer, suggest they did.)

But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted.

He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world.

His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.

Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.

"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.

Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read the bill before voting on it.

Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and holding them without access to lawyers or courts. In the first year only a few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the leader in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches. (In the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking, learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He became a very competent orator.)

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. He wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The Homeland," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was "the" homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people," he suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our lives better, it's of little concern to us.

Playing on this new implicitly racial nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the French over his increasing militarism, he argued that any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He thus withdrew his country from the League Of Nations in October, 1933, and then negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.

His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to ensure the people that he was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in Christianity. He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation, what he called a "New Christianity." Every man in his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" - God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.

Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist and communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and "liberals." He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single leader.

He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role in the government equal to the other major departments.

His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal." Those voices questioning the legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to phone in tips about suspicious neighbors. This program was so successful that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians and news reporters who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate allies.

To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't enough. He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking within the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas. He encouraged large corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry. He built powerful alliances with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth millions to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state. Soon more would follow. Industry flourished.

He also reached out to the churches, declaring that the nation had clear Christian roots, that any nation that didn't openly support religion was morally bankrupt, and that his administration would openly and proudly provide both moral and financial support to initiatives based on faith to provide social services.

In this, he was reaching back to his own embrace of Christianity, which he noted in an April 12, 1922 speech:

"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers ... was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

"In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders...

"As a Christian ... I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice...

When he later survived an assassination attempt, he said, "Now I am completely content. The fact that I left the Burgerbraukeller earlier than usual is a corroboration of Providence's intention to let me reach my goal."

Many government functions started with prayer. Every school day started with prayer and every child heard the wonders of Christianity and - especially - the Ten Commandments in school. The leader even ended many of his speeches with a prayer, as he did in a February 20, 1938 speech before Parliament:

"In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that, as in the past, so in the years to come He would give His blessing to our work and our action, to our judgment and our resolution, that He will safeguard us from all false pride and from all cowardly servility, that He may grant us to find the straight path which His Providence has ordained for the German people, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right, never to falter, never to yield before any violence, before any danger."

But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of dissent again arose within and without the government. Students had started an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society), and leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric. He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly illegitimate rise to power, his corruption of religious leaders, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process or access to attorneys or family.

With his number two man - a master at manipulating the media - he began a campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war was necessary. Another nation was harboring many of the suspicious Middle Eastern people, and even though its connection with the terrorist who had set afire the nation's most important building was tenuous at best, it held resources their nation badly needed if they were to have room to live and maintain their prosperity.

He called a press conference and publicly delivered an ultimatum to the leader of the other nation, provoking an international uproar. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self-defense, and nations across Europe - at first - denounced him for it, pointing out that it was a doctrine only claimed in the past by nations seeking worldwide empire, like Caesar's Rome or Alexander's Greece.

It took a few months, and intense international debate and lobbying with European nations, but, after he personally met with the leader of the United Kingdom, finally a deal was struck. After the military action began, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the nervous British people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine would bring "peace for our time." Thus Hitler annexed Austria in a lightning move, riding a wave of popular support as leaders so often do in times of war. The Austrian government was unseated and replaced by a new leadership friendly to Germany, and German corporations began to take over Austrian resources.

In a speech responding to critics of the invasion, Hitler said, "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say; even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."

To deal with those who dissented from his policies, at the advice of his politically savvy advisors, he and his handmaidens in the press began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself. National unity was essential, they said, to ensure that the terrorists or their sponsors didn't think they'd succeeded in splitting the nation or weakening its will.

Rather than the government being run by multiple parties in a pluralistic, democratic fashion, one single party sought total control. Emulating a technique also used by Stalin, but as ancient as Rome, the Party used the power of its influence on the government to take over all government functions, hand out government favors, and reward Party contributors with government positions and contracts.

In times of war, they said, there could be only "one people, one nation, and one commander-in-chief" ("Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"), and so his advocates in the media began a nationwide campaign charging that critics of his policies were attacking the nation itself. You were either with us, or you were with the terrorists.

It was a simplistic perspective, but that was what would work, he was told by his Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels: "
The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."

Those questioning him were labeled "anti-German" or "not good Germans," and it was suggested they were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was one of his most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit wage-earning people (from whom most of the army came) against the "intellectuals and liberals" who were critical of his policies.

Another technique was to "manufacture news," through the use of paid shills posing as reporters, seducing real reporters with promises of access to the leader in exchange for favorable coverage, and thinly veiled threats to those who exposed his lies. As his Propaganda Minister said, "It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion."

Nonetheless, once the "small war" annexation of Austria was successfully and quickly completed, and peace returned, voices of opposition were again raised in the Homeland. The almost-daily release of news bulletins about the dangers of terrorist communist cells wasn't enough to rouse the populace and totally suppress dissent. A full-out war was necessary to divert public attention from the growing rumbles within the country about disappearing dissidents; violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders; and the epidemic of crony capitalism that was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.

A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.

In the months after that, he claimed that Poland had weapons of mass destruction (poison gas) and was supporting terrorists against Germany. Those who doubted that Poland represented a threat were shouted down or branded as ignorant. Elections were rigged, run by party hacks. Only loyal Party members were given passes for admission to public events with the leader, so there would never be a single newsreel of a heckler, and no doubt in the minds of the people that the leader enjoyed vast support.

And his support did grow, as Propaganda Minister Goebbels'
dictum bore fruit:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Within a few months Poland, too, was invaded in a "defensive, pre-emptive" action.
The nation was now fully at war, and all internal dissent was suppressed in the name of national security; it was the end of Germany's first experiment with democracy.

As we conclude this review of history,
there are a few milestones worth remembering.

February 27, 2005, is the 72nd anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed,
Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation.
Hailed around the world, he was later Time Magazine's "Man Of The Year." (*See Below)

Most Americans remember his office for the "security of the homeland", known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: The SS.

We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "
lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.

Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the German democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations and his policy of using religion and war as tools to keep power: "
fas-cism (fâsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.

Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, bust up unions, and create an illusion of prosperity through government debt and continual and ever-expanding war spending.

America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests.

To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours...

....."Time Man Of The Year 1938"............."Time Man Of The Year 2004".......

Thom Hartmann ( ) lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, is the Project Censored Award-winning, best-selling author of over a dozen books, and is the host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk radio program. This article, in slightly altered form, was first published in 2003 by and is now also a chapter in Thom's book What Would Jefferson Do?, published in 2004 by Random House/Harmony.

The following is an overview companion piece to the above article...

The Rise Of The Fourth Reich

Everyone likes to say, "Hitler did this", and, "Hitler did that". But the truth is Hitler did very little. He was a world class tyrant, but the evil actually done by the Third Reich, from the death camps to WW2 was all done by German citizens who were afraid to question if what they were told by their government was the truth or not, and who because they did not want to admit to themselves that they were afraid to question the government, refused to see the truth behind the Reichstag Fire, refused to see the invasion by Poland was a staged fake, and followed Hitler into national disaster.

The German people of the late 1930s imagined themselves to be brave. They saw themselves as the heroic Germans depicted by the Wagnerian Operas, the descendants of the fierce Germanic warriors who had hunted wild boar with nothing but spears and who had defeated three of Rome's mightiest legions in the Tuetenberg Forest.

But in truth, by the 1930s, the German people had become civilized and tamed, culturally obsessed with fine details in both science and society. Their self-image of bravery was both salve and slavery. Germans were required to behave as if they were brave, even when they were not.

It's easy to look back and realize what a jerk Hitler was. But at the time, Hitler looked pretty good to the German people, with the help of the media. He was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year in 1938. The German people assumed they were safe from a tyrant. They lived in a Republic, after all, with strict laws regarding what the government could and more importantly could not do. Their leader was a devoutly religious man, and had even sung with the boy's choir of a monastery in his youth.

The reality was that the German people, as individuals, had lost their courage. The German government preferred it that way as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one. But the German people didn't wish to lose their self-image of courage. So, when confronted with a situation demanding individual courage, in the form of a government gone wrong, the German people simply pretended that the situation did not exist. And in that simple self-deception lay the ruin of an entire nation and the coming of the second World War.

When the Reichstag burned down, most Germans simply refused to believe suggestions that the fire had been staged by Hitler himself. They were afraid to. But so trapped were the Germans by their belief in their own bravery that they willed themselves to be blind to the evidence before their eyes, so that they could nod in agreement with Der Fuhrer while still imagining themselves to have courage, even as they avoided the one situation which most required real courage; to stand up to Hitler's lies and deceptions.

When Hitler requested temporary extraordinary powers, powers specifically banned under German law, but powers Hitler claimed he needed to have to deal with the "terrorists", the German people, having already sold their souls to their self-delusions, agreed. The temporary powers were conferred, and once conferred lasted until Germany itself was destroyed.

When Hitler staged a phony invasion from Poland, the vast majority of the German people, their own self-image dependant on continuing blindness to Hitler's deceptions, did not question why Poland would have done something so stupid, and found themselves in a war.

But Hitler knew he ruled a nation of cowards, and knew he had to spend the money to make the new war something cowards could fight and win. He decorated his troops with regalia to make them proud of themselves, further trapping them in their self-image. Hitler copied the parade regalia of ancient Rome, to remind the Germans of the defeat of the legions at the Tuetenberg Forest. Talismans were added from orthodox religions and the occult to fill the soldiers with delusions of mystical strengths and an afterlife if they fell in battle. Finally, knowing that it takes courage to kill the enemy face to face, Hitler spent vast sums of money on his wonder weapons, airplanes, submarines, ultra-long range artillery, the world's first cruise missile and the world's first guided missile, weapons that could be used to kill at a distance, so that those doing the killing need not have to face the reality of what they were doing.

The German people were lured into WW2 not because they were brave, but because they were cowards who wanted to be seen as brave, and found that shooting long range weapons at people they could not see took less courage than standing up to Hitler. Sent into battle by that false image of courage, the Germans were dependent on their wonder-weapons. When the wonder-weapons stopped working, the Germans lost the war.

I remember as a child listening to the stories of WW2 from my grandfather and my uncles who had served in Europe. I wondered how the German people could have been so stupid as to have ever elected Hitler dog catcher, let alone leader of the nation. Such is the clarity of historical hindsight. And with that clarity, I see the exact same mechanism that Hitler used at work here in this nation.

The American people imagine themselves to be brave. They see themselves as the heroic Americans depicted by Western Movies, the descendants of the fierce patriot warriors who had tamed the frontier and defeated the might of the British Empire.

But in truth, by the dawn of the third millennium, the American people have become civilized and tamed, culturally obsessed with fine details in both science and society. Their self-image of bravery is both salve and slavery. Americans are required to behave as if they are brave, even when they are not.

The American people assume they are safe. They live in a Republic, after all, with strict laws regarding what the government can and more importantly cannot do. Their leader is a devoutly religious man.

The reality is that the American people, as individuals, have lost their courage. The government prefers it that way as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one. But Americans don't wish to lose their self-image of courage. So, when confronted with a situation demanding courage, in the form of a government gone wrong, the American people simply pretend that the situation does not exist.

When the World Trade Towers collapsed, most Americans simply refused to believe suggestions that the attacks had been staged by parties working for the US Government itself. Americans were afraid to, even as news reports surfaced proving that the US Government had announced plans for the invasion of Afghanistan early in the year, plans into which the attacks on the World Trade Towers which angered the American people into support of the already-planned war fit entirely too conveniently. But so trapped are Americans by their belief in their own bravery that they will themselves to be blind to the evidence before their eyes, so that they can nod in agreement with the government while still imagining themselves to have courage, even as they avoid the one situation which most requires real courage; to stand up to the government's lies and deceptions. The vast majority of the American people, their own self-image dependant on continuing blindness to the government's deceptions, never question why Afghanistan would have done something so stupid as to attack the United States, and as a result, Americans find themselves in a war.

Now the US Government has requested temporary extraordinary powers, powers specifically banned under Constitutional law, but powers the government is claiming they need to have to deal with the "terrorists". The American people, having already sold their souls to their self-delusions, are agreeing. The temporary powers recently conferred will be no more temporary in America than they were in Germany.

The US Government knows they rule a nation of cowards. The government has had to spend the money to make the new war something cowards can fight. The government has decorated the troops with regalia to make them proud of themselves, further trapping them in their self-image. Talismans are added from orthodox religions and the occult to fill the soldiers with delusions of mystical strengths and an afterlife if they fall in battle.

Finally, knowing that it takes courage to kill the enemy face to face, the United States government has spent vast sums of money on wonder weapons, airplanes, submarines, ultra-long range artillery, cruise missiles, and guided missiles, weapons that kill at a distance, so that those doing the killing need not have to face the reality of what they are doing.

As I mentioned above,
Hitler was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year in 1938. Stalin was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year for 1939 and 1942. Both of these men, and many others also celibrated by the media, were unimaginable monsters. The lesson from these facts is that it isn't easy to spot a genocidal tyrant when you live with one, especially one whom the press supports and promotes.

Tyrants become obvious only when looking back, after what they have done becomes known. The German people did not stand up to Hitler because their media betrayed them, just as the American media is betraying the American people by willingly, voluntarily, even proudly, abandoning its traditional role as watchdog against government abuse.

It is the very nature of power that it attracts the sort of people who should not have it. The United States, as the world's last superpower, is a prize that attracts men and women willing to do absolutely anything to win that power, and hence are also willing to do absolutely anything with that power once they have it. If one thinks about it long enough, one will realize that all tyrants, past and most especially present, MUST use deception on their population to initiate a war.

No citizen of a modern industrialized nation will send their children off to die in a war to grab another nation's resources and assets, yet resources and assets are what all wars are fought over. The nation that wishes to initiate a war of conquest must create the illusion of an attack or a threat to start a war, and must always give their population of cowards an excuse never to question that carefully crafted illusion.

It is naive, not to mention racist to assume that tyrants appear only in other nations and that somehow America is immune simply because we're Americans. America has escaped the clutches of a dictatorship thus far only through the efforts of those citizens who, unlike the Germans of the 1930s, have the moral courage to stand up and point out where the government is lying to the people.

Unless more Americans are willing to have that kind of individual courage, then future generations may well look back on the American people with the same harshness of judgement with which we look back on the 1930s Germans.


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Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Thu Jan 12, 2006

Forum Founder
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult  

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."
~ Benjamin Harrison
Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult
Concerns Raised by the Vatican

April 22, 2003

The url for this article is:

George W. Bush proclaims himself a born-again Christian. However, Bush and fellow self-anointed neo-Christians like House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, John Ashcroft, and sports arena Book of Revelations carnival hawker Franklin Graham appear to wallow in a "Christian" blood lust cult when it comes to practicing the teachings of the founder of Christianity. This cultist form of Christianity, with its emphasis on death rather than life, is also worrying the leaders of mainstream Christian religions, particularly the Pope.

One only has to check out Bush's record as Governor of Texas to see his own preference for death over life. During his tenure as Governor, Bush presided over a record setting 152 executions, including the 1998 execution of fellow born-again Christian Karla Faye Tucker, a convicted murderer who later led a prison ministry. Forty of Bush's executions were carried out in 2000, the year the Bush presidential campaign was spotlighting their candidate's strong law enforcement record. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen reported in October 2000 that one of the execution chamber's "tie-down team" members, Fred Allen, had to prepare so many people for lethal injections during 2000, he quit his job in disgust.

Bush mocked Tucker's appeal for clemency. In an interview with Talk magazine, Bush imitated Tucker's appeal for him to spare her life - pursing his lips, squinting his eyes, and in a squeaky voice saying, "Please don't kill me." That went too far for former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer, himself an evangelical Christian. "I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," said Bauer.

A former Texas Department of Public Safety officer, a devout Roman Catholic, told this reporter that evidence to the contrary, Bush was more than happy to ignore DNA data and documented cases of prosecutorial misconduct to send innocent people to the Huntsville, Texas lethal injection chamber. He said the number of executed mentally retarded, African Americans, and those who committed capital crimes as minors was proof that Bush was insensitive and a "phony Christian." When faced with similar problems in Illinois, Governor George Ryan, a Republican, commuted the death sentences of his state's death row inmates and released others after discovering they were wrongfully convicted. Yet the Republican Party is pillorying Ryan and John Ashcroft's Justice Department continues to investigate the former Governor for political malfeasance as if Bush and Ashcroft are without sin in such matters. Hypocrisy certainly rules in the Republican Party.

Bush's blood lust has been extended across the globe. He has given the CIA authority to assassinate those deemed a threat to U.S. national interests. Bush has virtually suspended Executive Orders 11905 (Gerald Ford), 12306 (Jimmy Carter), and 12333 (Ronald Reagan) which prohibit the assassination of foreign leaders. Bush's determination to kill Saddam Hussein, his family, and his top leaders with precision-guided missiles and tactical nuclear weapon-like Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bombs is yet another indication of Bush's disregard for his Republican and Democratic predecessors. It now appears that in his zeal to kill Hussein, innocent civilian patrons of a Baghdad restaurant were killed by one of Bush's precision Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). Like it or not, Saddam Hussein was recognized by over 100 nations as the leader of Iraq -- a member state of the United Nations. Hussein, like North Korea' Kim Jong Il, Syria's Bashir Assad, and Iran's Mohammed Khatami, are covered by Executive Order 12333, which the Bush mouthpieces claim is still in effect. Bush's "Christian" blood cult sees no other option than death for those who become his enemies. This doctrine is found no place in Christian theology.

Bush has not once prayed for the innocent civilians who died as a result of the U.S. attack on Iraq. He constantly "embeds" himself with the military at Goebbels-like speech fests and makes constant references to God when he refers to America's "victory" in Iraq, as if God endorses his sordid killing spree. He makes no mention of the children, women, and old men killed by America's "precision-guided" missiles and bombs and trigger-happy U.S. troops. In fact, Bush revels in indiscriminate blood letting. Since he never experienced such killing in Southeast Asia, when he was AWOL from his Texas Air National Guard unit, Bush just does not seem to understand the horror of a parent watching one's children having their heads and limbs blown off in a sudden blast of shrapnel or children witnessing their parents burning to death with their own body fat nurturing the flames.

Bush and his advisers, previously warned that Iraq's ancient artifacts and collection of historical documents and books were in danger of being looted or destroyed, instead, sat back while the Baghdad and Mosul museums and Baghdad Library were ransacked and destroyed. Cult leaders have historically attempted to destroy history in order to invent their own. The Soviets tried to obliterate Russia's Orthodox traditions, turning a number of churches into warehouses and animal barns. Cambodia's Pol Pot tried to wipe out Buddhism's famed Angkor Wat shrine in an attempt to stamp out his country's Buddhist history. In March 2001, while they were negotiating with the Bush administration on a natural gas pipeline, Afghanistan's Taliban blew up two massive 1600-year old Buddhas in Bamiyan. The Bush administration, itself run by fanatic religious cultists, barely made a fuss about the loss of the relics. It would not be the first time the cultists within the Bush administration ignored the pillaging of history's treasures.

The ransacking of Iraq's historical treasures is explainable when one considers what the blood cult Christians really think about Islam. Franklin Graham, the heir to the empire built up by his anti-Semitic father, Billy Graham, has decided being anti-Muslim is far more financially rewarding than being anti-Jewish. Billy Graham, history notes from the Nixon tapes, complained about the Jewish stranglehold on the media and Jews being responsible for pornography.

Franklin Graham continues to enjoy his father's unfettered and questionable access to the White House. But in the case of Bush, the younger Graham has a fanatic adherent. Graham has called Islam a "very evil and wicked" religion. He then announces he wants to go to Iraq. Graham obviously sees an opportunity to convert Muslims and unrepentant Eastern Christians, who owe their allegiance to Roman and Greek prelates, to his perverted form of blood cult Christianity. Graham says he is ready to send his Samaritan's Purse missionaries into Iraq to provide assistance. Muslims and mainstream Christians are wary that Graham wants to exchange food, water, and medicine for the baptism of Iraqis into his intolerant brand of Christianity. In the last Gulf War, Graham could not get away with his chicanery. The Desert Storm Commander, General Norman Schwarzkopf, stopped dead in the tracks Graham's plan to send 30,000 Arabic language Bibles to U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. Today's Pentagon shows no such compunction to put a rein on Graham. It invited him to give a Good Friday sermon at the Pentagon to the consternation of the Defense Department's Muslim employees. To make matters worse, under Bush's "Faith Based Initiative," Graham's Samaritan's Purse stands to receive U.S. government funds for its proselytizing efforts in Iraq, something that should be an affront to every American taxpayer.

Bush's self-proclaimed adherence to Christianity (during one of the presidential debates he said Jesus Christ was his favorite "philosopher") and his constant reference to a new international structure bypassing the United Nations system and long-standing international treaties are worrying the top leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. Well-informed sources close to the Vatican report that Pope John Paul II is growing increasingly concerned about Bush's ultimate intentions. The Pope has had experience with Bush's death fetish. Bush ignored the Pope's plea to spare the life of Karla Faye Tucker. To show that he was similarly ignorant of the world's mainstream religions, Bush also rejected an appeal to spare Tucker from the World Council of Churches - an organization that represents over 350 of the world's Protestant and Orthodox Churches. It did not matter that Bush's own Methodist Church and his parents' Episcopal Church are members of the World Council.

Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs, and his constant references to "evil doers," in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations - the anti-Christ. People close to the Pope claim that amid these concerns, the Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations. John Paul II has always believed the world was on the precipice of the final confrontation between Good and Evil as foretold in the New Testament. Before he became Pope, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla said, "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel." The Pope, who grew up facing the evils of Hitler and Stalin, knows evil when he sees it. Although we can all endlessly argue over the Pope's effectiveness in curtailing abuses within his Church, his accomplishments external to Catholicism are impressive.

According to journalists close to the Vatican, the Pope and his closest advisers are also concerned that the ultimate acts of evil - the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - were known in advance by senior Bush administration officials. By permitting the attacks to take their course, there is a perception within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that a coup d'etat was implemented, one that gave Bush and his leadership near-dictatorial powers to carry out their agenda.

The Pope worked tirelessly to convince leaders of nations on the UN Security Council to oppose Bush's war resolution on Iraq. Vatican sources claim they had not seen the Pope more animated and determined since he fell ill to Parkinson's Disease. In the end, the Pope did convince the leaders of Mexico, Chile, Cameroon, and Guinea to oppose the U.S. resolution. If one were to believe in the Book of Revelations, as the Pope fervently does, he can seek solace in scoring a symbolic victory against the Bush administration. Whether Bush represents a dangerous right-wing ideologue who couples his political fanaticism with a neo-Christian blood cult (as I believe) or he is either the anti-Christ or heralds one, the Pope should know he has fought the good battle and has gained the respect and admiration of many non-Catholics around the world.


Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Re: 'Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden', Publisher: Nation Books; (July 10, 2002), Paperback: 208 pages, ISBN: 1560254149

Madsen can be reached at:
The Gospel According to Bush
Good Christian George?


The url for this article:

Considering the abundance of empirical evidence that George Bush and his regime are pathological liars, how does one come to grips with their popularity with the multitudes? Aside from the obvious example of the compliant corporate media as a propaganda machine at the beck and call of neo-conservatives, what is it about Bush that makes him popular to so many? Why would any thinking person believe a word that passes through this vile man's lips? In order to illustrate a point, let us consider a single pretext: Bush's that he is a devout Christian. Many people accept Bush's assertion at face value despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary. Ask yourself: What kind of man was Jesus Christ? First and foremost he was a peace maker. Is George Bush a peace maker? No. Bush has the blood of thousands of innocent people on his hands. Bush couldn't wait for the weapons of mass destruction to rain down on the innocent roofs of the Iraqi people.

It seemed as if Bush would burst out of his skin if the world didn't allow him to have his slaughter. Jesus shunned wealth and possessions; he wisely knew that these things corrupt men's souls. Does Bush shun wealth and possessions?

Hardly. He covets wealth, especially oil; none more so than Iraqi oil. His policies have placed huge burdens upon the working poor in America and abroad, while simultaneously giving more wealth to the rich. Jesus Christ spoke profound truth in the form of parables. Does Bush speak truth? (Hell, he barely speaks broken English).

Bush speaks with candor only occasionally at best. He lied repeatedly about the threat posed by Iraq. He has repeatedly lied to the world about US imperialism and plans for world domination. In fact, he has lied about just about everything. Remember the mushroom clouds over Cincinnati that Saddam Hussein was about to unleash? Bush has publicly stated time and again that there is a demonstrable link between the events of 9/11, Al Qaeda, and Saddam Hussein; so has Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell. Yet not a single shred of tangible evidence has ever been brought forth in support of this statement---presumably because none exists. Even Bush's own intelligence community has stated this, including, oddly enough, Secretary of State Colin Powell. Jesus Christ was a socialist (before there was such a term) whose life was given to the needs of community; especially the outcast, the poor and oppressed. He was a tireless advocate for social justice. What has Bush done for the working class people?

The answer: absolutely nothing. He steals from the working people by inflating the military budget (building more weapons of mass destruction), thus denying critical social services to the neediest Americans, including the health care that every American is entitled to. Simultaneously, Bush continues to give ever more welfare (tax cuts) to his rich associates and corporate cronies, such as Kenny Boy Lay of Enron. Bush, like all neo-conservatives, staunchly opposes raising America's pathetic minimum wage to an actual living wage. Of course, this is detrimental to the family structure and has a perverse effect on the entire social fabric. Bush is a purveyor of class warfare; the avowed enemy of organized labor. He is one of the ruling classes endowed with special privileges that ninety-nine percent of us don't have. His policies always have a common denominator: they disproportionately benefit the rich and harm the poor. By now it should be apparent to all but the clinically deceased that a clear pattern is evident. Is there anything at all and in the least degree Christ-like about George W. Bush (suppressed laughter)? Are you kidding me? Bush is the anti-Christ; the polar opposite of all the virtuous qualities possessed by and, more importantly, lived by Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, the only similarity that I can discern between the two men is that they were/are both mammals. That's about as far as it goes. To call Bush a Christian is to make a mockery of all those good people who have truly devoted their lives to real Christian moderation, self-sacrifice and service to the poor and politically disenfranchised. Now, Jimmy Carter is a Christian, as evidenced by his unstinting service to community and earth, especially the needy. Not to mention the moral authority he derives from his respect for the truth. Carter isn't perfect either, but he's putting forth an honest effort. Bush is no more than a third rate pretender at best.

Nevertheless, and much to my bemusement, people continue to call Bush a Christian. In the beginning of a relationship with another person it is well and proper to accept them at their word. But when it becomes evident that the other person isn't who he or she claims to be, you no longer believe them; you no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. By fabricating lies and distortions surrounding the invasion of Iraq, Bush has deliberately chosen to give up his credibility_his moral authority_in the process showing contempt for his audience, for the truth and for the life of Christ. It is both foolish and dim-witted to take Bush and his regime of war criminals at their collective word. There is abundant evidence of deceit by the entire Bush regime. Yet too many people still think of Bush as a compassionate man of the lord_an idea no doubt fostered by the conservative owned mass media. But why do otherwise seemingly intelligent and reasonably perceptive people continue to believe such verbose nonsense? Why aren't Bush and his ilk held accountable for their words and their deeds like the rest of us?

One possible explanation is that the average American simply lacks the basic skills of critical thinking that seems inherent in other people of the world. Americans exist under a constant barrage of corporate double speak and distortions (marketing) that exists nowhere else on earth or in history in such overwhelming profusion. Thus, our sense of reality has been distorted beyond recognition. After all, isn't Disney World as good as a genuine wilderness adventure? While there may be considerable truth to this exposition, there are other factors at play that hold equal sway. The blind acceptance of Bush's definition of himself as a devout Christian must also be attributed to the mass willful ignorance of much of the American public. Nothing else explains this bizarre phenomenon so satisfactorily or succinctly. Just as we deny our own baleful national history and supplant it with myth, lies and distortions, people want to believe in good Christian George. It makes us feel good about ourselves, despite all the horrible ghosts hidden away in the dark closets of our national psyche.

But if one extends the same logic to other people that are applied to Bush by the neo-conservatives, a man could claim with equal alacrity as Bush claims to be Christian, to be Zeus himself; or perhaps Moses or Spinoza; or Mr. Potato Head. Why not claim to be lord of the Universe, if Bush hasn't already staked out that title for himself? Indeed, that man or woman would be taken as seriously as if he were Zeus or lord of the universe, no matter how obvious that he is really only who he is_Bozo the clown, perhaps. Talk about the emperor having no clothes; he has no mind and no soul either! But let's continue pretending that he is the second coming of Christ, a devout and holy man of deep religious conviction. How much more convoluted can things get than they are now? America, I hardly recognize thee. In a land where capitalism and marketing is king why should anyone be surprised at the travesty now ballooning before us? Brace yourselves; there is more tragic comedy to come in the years ahead. But try not to laugh out loud. You don't want to spoil the grandiose illusion for the believers. The kids still believe in Santa Claus and the adults believe that Bush is Christ incarnate. And I am Lord of the Universe---purveyor of all wisdom. You must not ever forget that (send me all your money)!

While I have never been a supporter of Bill Clinton (I am a member of the Green party), remember how every thing Clinton said or did came under intense scrutiny by the corporate media--- especially the conservatives in Congress? There were and are countless conservative talk show hosts acting like huge bellows pumping hot air onto the flaming wreck of the Clinton presidency. No remark, no split hair, no intended action went unchallenged by the piranhas who smelled Clinton's blood amid the foul excrement afloat in the political septic tank. What greater proof is there of the existence of an ultra conservative right wing media blitz than this? Countless millions of tax payer dollars went down the tubes (septic tank) in an effort to bring to light every detail of Clinton's sordid sex life. Yet Bush can make war on the entire world, invade any sovereign country he feels like, kill thousands of innocent people, spit upon the constitution and shred the bill of rights and in the process turn the entire planet against us. Amazingly, there is nary a word of dissent spoke of it in the corporate media. How peculiar but typically American, in the land of OZ. Aside from other fascist states, this odd behavior occurs nowhere else on earth. The American media is so under the control of those in power that it has utterly abandoned its obligation to the people; it is essentially as fraudulently propagandistic as any state owned newspaper in the world's most oppressive self appointed regimes. What is most amazing about this weird behavior is that Bush is getting away with it; and calling himself a Christian in the process!

If the Bush regime were held up to the same standard of investigation as the Clinton administration was, the entire bunch of thugs, Bozos and thieves wouldn't last another day in office. They would scatter like mosquitoes at a frog convention.

As Americans, each of us bears some responsibility for this weird charade; this dog and pony show that sailed into Washington on yachts full of PAC money. The world is watching with bemused laughter our incredible national imbecility. So Wave your flags self-righteous citizens; March to patriotic music; feel strong and proud that we routed those fierce disarmed Iraqis. Ever since our defeat in Viet Nam, like the typical school yard bully, America picks its fights very carefully. We fight only the weak and disarmed so that we can feel strong and mighty. But remember, the emperor has no clothes. The rest of the world sees us as we really are. Moreover, deep down inside we know what we are too.

Charles Sullivan is a veteran wild forest activist, writer and cabinetmaker who resides on twenty acres of land in the rural countryside of West Virginia.

He can be reached at:

P.S. ~ Hey George,

Did you forget a few Bible verses over the years?
I know the bible is a big book and you've been busy for awhile but here are a few verses from the Bible, just out of the Book of Matthew you may want to refresh your Christian mind with:

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." ~ MATTHEW 5:9

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" ~ MATTHEW 5:38-39

Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you." ~ MATTHEW 5:42

You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" ~ MATTHEW 5:43-44

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." ~ MATTHEW 6:24

Judge not, that you be not judged." ~ MATTHEW 7:1

So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." ~ MATTHEW 7:12


Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Thu Apr 26, 2007
Forum Founder
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:26 am    Post subject: Presidential Quotes  

For your consideration, quotes from U.S. Presidents, past and present (though I, like many others, still contest that Bu$h ain't my prez):

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
~ Abraham Lincoln, 21 Nov 1864 (five months before his assasination)

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else." ~ Teddy Roosevelt, 7 May 1918

"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
 ~ Ronald Reagan, 2 Mar 1977

"The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the Americans' freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight."
~ John F. Kennedy, 12 Nov 1963 (10 days before his assassination)

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world." ~ Benjamin Harrison

"To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed."
~ Teddy Roosevelt, 3 Dec 1907

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed." ~ William McKinley, 4 Mar 1897

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." ~ Harry S. Truman

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, in a final sense, [is] a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." ~ Dwight Eisenhower, 16 Apr 1953

"You know I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office." ~ George W. Bush, 1989

"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it." ~ Woodrow Wilson
Forum Founder
Forum Founder
Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire  

Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire


by Niall Ferguson

How will history judge America 1,000 years from now? So much of modern history is biased because we're writing it. To get a different perspective on something, sometimes you need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. For example, the Roman Empire was massive.

For hundreds of years it WAS the civilized world. If you lived during that period, your history was fed to you by people of that time period, so you couldn't really grasp the enormity of the empire's influence.

Looking back now, however, we're able to see it for what it was. We're able to see how it crumbled around the edges, and slowly collapsed from overextension. We see how corruption slowly splintered the expansionist machine, cutting off garrison towns one by one while barbarian hordes filled the cracks, swelling and pushing their way into the heart of Rome. The collapse of an empire so mighty could not have been predicted at that time. It was simply unfathomable. Just as America's empire, built likewise upon cultural, economic, and military supremacy, appears unbreakable now. But not only is it breakable, it's already starting to crumble around the edges.

To reflect back upon the fall of the American Empire, we must project ourselves ahead a thousand years. From out here it is easy to see how the gluttonous consumption of natural resources ultimately led to America's demise. America NEEDED energy to protect itself, to make its citizens happy, and to exert its influence on world politics. To feed its culture. To feed its economy. To feed its military. Yet America didn't possess the natural resources it needed to thrive. It was forced to rely upon the natural resources of other countries, half way around the world. It is here, on the fringe, where the edges of the empire are beginning to burn.

A millennium from now, history books may very well look upon America's foreign policy as a form of economic slavery; and terrorism not as the work of a mischievous few who lacked an appreciation for freedom, but rather a misunderstood rebellion. A desperate attempt on the part of impoverished third-worlders to break free of the economic ties that bind them. Meanwhile, the fat and lazy people of the west kept asking, "why do they hate us?" as their governments chose to drop bombs instead of flawed foreign policies. Why DO they hate us?

Terrorism is an uprising - a rebellion that has been slowly brewing in a pressure cooker for decades as billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into the coffers of a few greedy, oppressive regimes.

Oppressive governments without the economic means to retain power crumble over time. The former Soviet Union is an example of this. But many oppressive governments still exist, particularly in the Middle East, because Western countries have subsidized their existence and promoted their success through the purchase of natural resources.

Meanwhile, the citizenry of these nations are denied the same freedoms we take for granted by the wealthy profiteers in rule. It is no wonder they resent us - we have what we have largely at their expense. Without their land and their resources, we cannot sustain the unprecedented quality of life we take for granted. They watch us grow fat on their oil while generations die on the vine, without hope. And we say their leaders are to blame, while ours are lacing their palms with silver.

Americans are not solely to blame for this - they're merely the ringleaders. Take the timely example of Iraq. Iraq's oppressive dictatorship was enabled by Western money, and enforced by a military outfitted by the Chinese, the French, and the Russians in exchange for access to Iraq's natural resources. Saddam Hussein needed a robust military infrastructure to keep a population that size pinned to the ground. Where do you think he got the money to build all of those palaces, and feed what was - prior to the Gulf War - the fourth largest standing army in the world? When his sons were found dead, they weren't carrying millions in Iraqi currency. They were strapped with Ben Franklins. Western money for oil has kept Middle Eastern tyrants and regimes in power and millions of people in poverty for decades. The result is terrorism.

Terrorist mastermind and world's most wanted fugitive Osama Bin Laden's primary aim, and the primary reason why he remains so popular in the Middle East, is the removal of Western influence from the region. That's what they want. The terrorists, the radicals, the extremists. They are oppressed and poor. They come from long lines of oppressed and poor.

Their futures appear oppressed and poor. How can they possibly aspire to lead a better existence while the barbarous monsters holding them down are well fed by Western keepers?

Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

by Niall Ferguson

What can
Cicero teach Americans? Cal McCrystal on an imperial power that would rather consume than conquer
16 May 2004

It may seem a touch premature to report on the collapse of an empire before its fluctuations have ceased. Gibbon conceived the idea of writing his
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1764, 1,300 years after the Vandals sacked Rome (he finished his task in 1787). Professor Ferguson allows himself neither distance nor diffidence in making his pronouncement, which is, broadly speaking, that an imperial America is a jolly good thing, but that, alas, the Americans can't handle it properly and are likely to make a mess.

Unlike Gibbon, Ferguson is not "treading with a lofty step the ruins of the Forum". Indeed, he refers more familiarly and affectionately to the late British Empire (the subject of a previous book) than to the Roman colossus. Yet it is by studying the Roman and American hegemonies that one discerns the most strikingly common failures: infirmities of life and purpose in which the will is weak, opportunity barren and temper uncertain.

HG Wells
wrote that Rome "gave government to the rich ... It was a colossally ignorant and unimaginative empire. It foresaw nothing. It had no strategic foresight because it was blandly ignorant of geography and ethnology." While Ferguson wouldn't be so harsh on Washington DC, there is no shortage of people (Americans included) who would, especially at the present Caesarean juncture.

I imagine the author to be in general sympathy with the right wing of American politics: the neo-conservatives currently running George W Bush and the Iraq adventure. But that does not preclude his embrace of the unAmerican word "liberal". He argues for an "effective liberal empire" in which the United States - "the best candidate for the job" - would not only undertake regime-change in nasty countries but would hang in there for as long as it takes to dictate democracy, enforce freedom and extort emancipation, rather than dash in with the cudgel and dash out again amid calls to "bring our boys home". US annexation of Cuba, Haiti, other parts of the Caribbean and Central America, he feels, might well have been better all round.

Instead, he says,
the Americans installed (where they could) petty tyrants with an appetite for brutality. He quotes the frequently decorated General Smedley D Butler* who was involved in some of these exploits. "I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in," the general wrote in 1935. "I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long."

In other words, the Americans did harm to the places they invaded by not staying long enough to curb the excesses of their local protégés and seeing a permanent all-American style operation in situ
. I wonder if the National City Bank boys and Wall Street racketeers would have been happy with that.

Staying in Iraq until all Iraqis are thoroughly democratised would also be helpful for the whole region, halting "a downward spiral of hate and spite, rage and self-pity, poverty and oppression". Further, reviving oil production "
is a necessary precondition for the success of the American transformation of Iraq".

However, the author appears to contradict himself by conceding that, for effective imperial duties, America is not really the "best candidate" after all, seldom having demonstrated the necessary willpower for the job.

Loss of willpower (
or aboulia, as psychiatrists would have it) was a chief cause of the fall of Rome. The ideal sketched by Cicero in his De Republica, of a constitutional president of a free republic, was realised only in appearance. The special prerogatives conferred upon Octavian restored to him in substance the autocratic authority he had resigned. Consequently, unity could not be sustained. The development of money, the temptations and disruptions of imperial expansion, the entanglement of electoral methods, weakened and swamped a tradition of justice, good faith and loyal citizenship. Rome became demoralised and aboulic. What appeared invincible became transient. Again, some of the above repercussions may carry a recently familiar ring.

The question Americans must ask themselves is just how transient they wish their predominance to be," Ferguson says at the end of a very readable, intelligently argued, if somewhat pessimistic book that examines US imperial origins, military capabilities, anti-imperialist imperialism in the Cold War years, Europe's increasingly anti-American political culture, and Washington's contradictory policies towards the Middle East, particularly Iraq.

He suggests that American objectives towards Iraq were "laudable and attainable"
but unlikely to achieve successful "nation-building". The American people "lack the imperial cast of mind. They would rather consume than conquer ... Consequently, and very regrettably, it is quite conceivable that their empire could unravel as swiftly as the equally "anti-imperial" empire that was the Soviet Union."

* Smedley Darlington Butler, Major General - United States Marine Corps [Retired], was born in West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881, educated at Haverford School, married Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905. He was awarded two congressional medals of honor, for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914, and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1919.

He joined the Marine Corps when the Spanish American War broke out, earned the Brevette Medal during the Boxer Rebellion in China, saw action in Central America, and in France during World War I was promoted to Major General. Smedley Butler served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations. Throughout his life, Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree.

Unhappy with the Marine Corps bureaucracy, he took a leave of absence to act as director of Department of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932 but encountered much opposition from government officials who were in league with the illegal liquor syndicates. In Oct. 1, 1931 General Butler retired. To earn extra income he became a lecturer throughout the 1930's, was a Republican Candidate for Senate in 1932, and was asked to head an alternative government by right-wing industrialists. He died of cancer at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940

Throughout the years various men of military service have spoken up and spoken out against the actions of the American military. Some men speak up about atrocities that have gone covered up, about discrimination, about deceptions that have been used against the American public, and about actions that have been taken that are contrary to what they view as American principles. Major General Smedley Butler is one of the most outspoken military service men who opposed the actions of the military that he served in.

Marine Smedley Darling Butler is one of the most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. He served from 1898 to 1931 and saw action all over the world.

Marine Smedley Darling Butler is one of the most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. He served from 1898 to 1931 and saw action all over the world.

Butler (second from right) in Veracruz, Mexico - 1914

Butler became a prominent political figure and was one of America’s important leaders of the liberal movement of the 1930s. Butler advocated military isolationism and was against American involvement in World War II. His isolationist views are certainly unpopular today, and in fact are not compatible with the current geopolitical situation. His views, however, developed from 33 years of serving as what he called “
a gangster for capitalism.”

Smedley Butler at his 1931 retirement ceremony

Smedley Butler preparing to speak at one of his stops in the 1930s

All told Butler gave over 1,200 speeches in over 700 cities during his speaking tour of the United States.

In 1935 Butler published
War is a Racket, which got high praise at the time, as well as strong criticism. The forward by Lowell Thomas spoke of Butler’s “moral as well as physical courage” and noted that “Even his opponents concede that in his stand on public questions, General Butler has been motivated by the same fiery integrity and loyal patriotism which has distinguished his service in countless Marine campaigns.”

What Butler fought so hard to do was to take the focus off of moral and ideological arguments for war and concentrate on the geopolitical factors that actually motivated war. He tried to raise awareness of what the real motivating factors of war were as well as the consequences of war. He was one of the first Americans to really bring the economic implications of war to the forefront of the public conscience. In War is a Racket Butler “names names” and lays out in wonderfully blunt detail how the American “military machine was used to the benefit of wealthy American industrialists. He noted how proponents of war typically call on God as a supporter of the cause and how they embellish the mission as one of liberation and the spreading of freedom, but that these people tend to shy away from discussing the economic details of military ventures.

Butler didn’t choose sides when it came to expressing his views on war. Butler could certainly be considered a liberal but he spoke out against the liberal FDR administration and also broke ties with anti-fascist groups when they called for war to defend against fascism. In 1935 he commented to a veterans meeting on the subject of the growing interest in the FDR administration to become involved in the conflicts of Europe that, “
The political leaders of this country are for another conflict to cover up their blunders.”

Though most today would agree that his isolationist views would have been harmful had they been followed by the country in regard to American involvement in WWII
his views on imperialism and the economic implications of war are still as relevant today as ever.

In a few selected quotes from
War is a Racket he writes:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives...

In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows...

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it
. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill...

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations...

...a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends...

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear.
Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it...

Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time.
It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed...

Butler goes on to name American companies that saw huge increases in profits during World War I. Below is a listing of pre-war vs. intra-war profits for American companies that are included in Butler’s analysis as well as some additional companies.

Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

U. S. Steel
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Du Pont
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Bethlehem Steel
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Anaconda Copper
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Utah Copper
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

American Smelting
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Republic Iron and Steel
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

International Mercantile
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Atlas Powder
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

American and British Man.
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Canadian Car & Foundry
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Crocker Wheeler
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Hercules Powder
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Niles, Bement Pond
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

Scovill Mfg. Co.
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

General Motors
Average profits in the last pre-war year
Average profits during the four years of war

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam
$52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few...

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home...

Perhaps the following sounds familiar of the current Bu$h administration as well? Just replaceGermans” with “Iraqis.”

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our is His will that the Germans be killed.

And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."...

Butler proposed that the only way to actually prevent war is take the profits out of war. He proposed several ways to achieve this. What is important to note is that it is possible to take the profitability out of war, but it must be done at an international level. Taking the profitability out of war and out of the weapons industry is really the way that is most likely to be able to achieve some level of global peace. Of course there has never been any effort to do this in America, in fact the opposite is true, and right now the Bu$h administration is making war even more profitable, only ensuring its proliferation.

The General concludes by proclaiming:



Smedley Butler on Interventionism
-- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by
Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.:



"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers

There are only two things we should fight for.
One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.

War for any other reason is simply a racket!

"There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts.
I operated on three continents

Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:07 pm;
Forum Founder

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:54 am    Post subject: The Undermining of OUR Country  

Our country is being radically undermined as THIS thread has illustrated.

These further Op/Eds expess this...

A Clear and Present Danger to America


Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Jan 27, 2006, 05:11

The url for this article is:

George W. Bush, the out-of-control despot who thinks the Presidency of the United States is a license to lie at will, wage war on a whim and break the law without recrimination, put on his “I am in charge” face Thursday and, for all practical purposes, told anyone who thinks his powers should be subject to review or oversight to go screw themselves.

Bush told reporters that he will assert his “presidential prerogatives” any damn way he pleases and will do so without apology, without question and without concern for the law, the Constitution or the rights of Americans.

His press conference was a frightening study of a madman on a tear, an insane, power-mad tyrant who believes he is above the law and cannot be questioned. Sadly, it appears no one has the balls to questions his lunacy.

“I'm going to continue do everything within my authority to protect the American people,” Bush told reporters. That’s Bushspeak for “I’m in charge here you dumb pukes and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it.”

“We'll continue our terrorist surveillance program against al Qaeda. Congress must reauthorize the Patriot Act so that our law enforcement and intelligence and homeland security officers have the tools they need to route the terrorists -- terrorists who could be planning and plotting within our borders,” he said. Translation: “I’ll spy on Americans, I’m use the Constitution to wipe my ass and I’ll declare marital law and run this country like the dictator I want so desperately to be.”

On his illegal actions authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, Bush said “If the attempt to write law …is likely to expose the nature of the program, I'll resist it.” What he is saying is “I’m above the law, goddamnit, and I’ll fight every attempt to make me obey the law.

On the Iraq war, Bush declared: “there is an act passed by Congress in 2001 which said that I must have the power to conduct this war using the incidents of war. In other words, we believe there's a constitutional power granted to Presidents, as well as, this case, a statutory power. And I'm intending to use that power -- Congress says, go ahead and conduct the war, we're not going to tell you how to do it.”

I worked on Capitol Hill for a number of years and wrote more than my share of legislation. I know a thing or two about how the government is designed to work and the checks and balances that are supposed to be built into the system. I’ve also read what Congress passed and nothing in that act or the Constitution gives Bush the authority he claims or the power he abuses. He’s not just a liar. He’s a god-damned liar.

The arrogance surfaced often as he faced the press. His eyes darted from side to side, blinking rapidly – a textbook example of a maniac on the loose. His temper threatened to erupt more than once because a couple of reporters actually had the gall to actually question his motives.

After too many years watching this man destroy what once was a great nation, I can only conclude that Bush is insane and his insanity is protected by a brain-dead populace and a power-mad political party that can’t possibly accept the sad fact that they helped put a madman in charge of our government and have kept him there.

I believe with all my soul that George W. Bush and the Republicans who rubber-stamp his actions represent a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the United States and all must be removed from office immediately if this nation is to survive.

And those are words I never, ever, thought I’d write about a President or other elected officials of this country. And I wish, with all my heart that I did not have to write them now.

But those who love this country and put patriotism above politics must act. America, if it wishes to remain America, must remove the cancer that threatens to destroy it.

© Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue

Who the hell is this Thompson guy anyway?...

Doug Thompson

Doug Thompson realized the value of capturing history 46 years ago as a 10-year-old schoolboy in Farmville, Virginia, when the community, caught up in a fight over integration, closed the public schools and opened an all-white private school.

Thompson wrote about his experiences and submitted his story and photos to The Farmville Herald,the local newspaper. He developed other photo stories for the paper and a journalism career was born.

When his family relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountain community of Floyd, the 14-year-old Thompson took his photographs and stories to Pete Hallman, editor of the weekly Floyd Press. Hallman encouraged the young man to continue writing and taking photos, teaching him the ins and outs of the newspaper business.

Thompson went on to join the staff of The Roanoke Times where he covered the police beat, emerging racial turmoil in the city and tackled other tough subjects. His story about a young girl who obtained an abortion (illegal at the time) won the top feature writing award from the Virginia Press Association. Another, about street racers in the city, won a feature writing award while his coverage of the murder of a Southwest Roanoke couple and the abduction and rape of their teenaged daughters brought the top news writing award from the association

After moving on to The Telegraph in Alton, Illinois, Thompson continued to win awards for writing and photography, capturing the Illinois Associated Press Managing Editors top prizes for news, feature and column writing as well as first place awards from the Illinois Press Association.

Thompson took a sabbatical from newspapers in 1981 and moved to Washington to work on Capitol Hill. He served as press secretary for two Congressman and then Chief of Staff for another before joining the House Committee on Science & Technology. From 1987-1992, Thompson served as Vice President for Political Programs for The National Association of Realtors and then joined The Eddie Mahe Company as a senior associate for Communications. During that stint he became involved in campaign finance issue and was a founding member of the Project for Comprehensive Campaign Reform. He also lecturer at the American Campaign Academy and was a sought-after spokesman on campaign finance issues.

But journalism remained Thompson's true love and returned to his roots as a free-lance writer and photographer. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including Esquire, Life, Look, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Paris Match, AFP, the Associated Press and Reuters.

During his stint at the House Committee on Science and Technology, Thompson worked on transfer of what was then DARPANet from the Department of Defense to the National Science Foundation, the beginnings of the Internet. Sensing the coming growth of the Internet, he started a web hosting and design company in 1994 and that same year launched Capitol Hill Blue as the web's first political news site.

Besides Blue, Thompson publishes a number of other web sites, including D.C. Darkside., American Newsreel and Blue Ridge Muse. He also owns Blue Ridge Creative, a photography, video production and digital imaging company in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In 2001, Thompson and his wife launched the Our America project, a 10-year program to document the first decade of the new century through videos, photography and written essays.

The Thompsons left Washington in 2004 and moved to a hilltop retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. He returns to Washington once a year to speak to journalism students at the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism and still has business interests in the National Capital Region but his deays as a Washingtonian are over. Despite his success in new media, Thompson remains a newspaperman at heart and lives by the creed that it is the role of a newspaperman to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Identity Theft of America!

A TvNewsLIES Indictment

Dec - 2005

An identity is questioned only when it is menaced, as when the mighty begin to fall, or when the wretched begin to rise ~ James Baldwin


Look around. If you look really closely, you’ll see that something is very wrong. If you look in every direction and into every possible hiding place, you’ll become aware of the awful truth: The United States of America, the proud nation that existed just a few years ago, is no more.

Only five years ago, the US had a clear identity. Only five years ago the US had a definable nature and a credible reputation. Only five years ago we knew pretty much who we were as Americans. But that time, that safe and comfortable time is no more.

As 2005 comes to an end, there is nothing to be gained by denial. At this moment in our history, our identity as a nation and as a people has disappeared. It did not go willingly, and it did not go peacefully. Instead, our identity as Americans was destroyed by design and by stealth.

In essence, the people of the United States have become the collective victims of one of the most insidious offenses in recent times: the crime of identity theft.

No, we were never a perfect nation, or a saintly one. But we were working at it. We had our shameful moments and we did our share of damage. But we were a nation that cherished its founding principles. We knew, that whatever else went amiss, the nation was guided by the most astounding document in modern history. In the long run, we would right the wrongs and learn from our misdeeds. For in the end, we were a nation of laws, guided through bad times and good by the Constitution of the United States.

No more. This is no longer that country. We have been stripped of the distinction we held such a short while ago as citizens of the United States. The theft of our national identity has been thorough and complete.

To add insult to injury, the most painful aspect of this outrage is that we are only too well acquainted with the thieves. And at this writing, the culprits who wronged us are safely at work in the White House.


This was not an easy robbery to commit. Mugging an entire nation called for experts, - men and women familiar with treachery and betrayal, and capable of a highly organized crime. Several were felons from a bygone administration and others emerged from think tanks such as the Project for a New American Century. Still others were well known government officials from a former time.

And fronting them all was George W. Bush, their carefully selected and conveniently installed President of the United States.
To pull off their heist, members of the identity theft ‘mob’ had to infiltrate every branch and agency of government. More important, all would be lost if they could not totally control the nation’s media. Once that was done, they could sit it out and wait for the right moment to come.

And come it did, when “everything changed,” on the morning of Sept. 11th, 2001.

Almost immediately, their well laid plans went into effect as the theft began. In rapid succession, the Patriot Act, the war against the Taliban, the War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq became the orders of the day. All had been prepared in advance, and all were thrust upon a traumatized nation too frightened and far too uninformed to know what was happening to them.

The criminals involved in the theft were most definitely professionals. They knew their marks well and were adept at frightening Americans into almost grateful submission. Their contrived color alerts and fabricated terror threats were released unrelentingly on an already wounded public. They set their terror traps cleverly and expertly.

And they ensnared a nation.

And then, when they were ready for the kill, they enlisted a battalion of loyal capos: the zealots of religious right. Together they fashioned an even broader fear package to sell to America. The big guns had already pushed the nation’s panic button: fear more attacks, fear terrorists, fear Islam, fear your neighbor, fear protesters, fear critics, fear liberals, fear anyone, so long as you remain afraid.

But now they could branch out into new fears: fear gays, fear stem cell research, fear choice, fear separation of church and state, fear non believers, fear anyone who has not found your God and fear anyone who does not support your politics.
The team was unbeatable. The scam was on. And the American people were about to pay a very high price.


We really have lost so much at the hands of these felons. The loss of our national identity has left us bereft of all that made us so proud to be Americans. Like the faceless Invisible Man, we are now destined to wander through life with no reflection at all. We can only wonder who we really are, and mourn what we have tragically lost.

Let’s face it. In just five short years the George W. Bush administration has changed the very nature of this country. It seems like only yesterday that Americans took such pride in their country and had such faith in its integrity. We really believed in the power of democracy and despite our diversity we shared so many goals and dreams.

Among other things, we truly believed that:

• right made might, and war would always be a last resort

• ours was a government of and by and for the people

• our rights as Americans were protected by the Constitution

• we had the right and the responsibility to question elected officials

• we had every right to peacefully protest the actions of our government

• an attack on our nation would be immediately investigated

• secrecy in government was limited to security issues

• our government would always honor its international agreements

• our President would not lie about the reasons for going to war

• we would never launch a preventive war against a non belligerent nation

• those opposed to a war of choice would never be viewed as traitors

• our leaders sought the respect of the world community

• we were committed to the UN and global cooperation

• our elected officials would not personally profit from wars

• our government would help protect human rights everywhere

• our Constitution guaranteed a system of checks and balances

• there was a clear separation between church and state

• scientific knowledge could not be replaced by religious dogma

• our government was committed to protecting the environment

• our nation would never be placed in enormous debt for generations

• our military would be properly armed when sent to war

• our leaders would never condone the use of torture

• our Constitution protected us from the abuses of government

• due process was an inherent right of anyone suspected of wrongdoing

• our media could not be controlled or intimidated by the government

• our leaders could be held accountable for their actions

• voting machines would leave a paper trail and could not be compromised

• our government would never be permitted to spy on law abiding citizens

• our nation would never strive for military domination of the globe but most of all, we truly believed that

•we would never, ever be ashamed to be Americans

How wrong we were.


Today, the nation we once knew is all but unrecognizable.

Our identity is non existent and lost in the fog of an endless war and a badly weakened Constitution. It is buried under insatiable corporate greed and deluded dreams of empire. It is muddled by the self-righteous protestations of religious fanatics who never understood the meaning of democracy in the first place. And the damage may not be reversible.

In personal situations, as disturbing as it is, identity theft is often overcome. The process may take months or years, but in the end, the confusion has a chance of being sorted out. But that is not the case when the victim of such a theft is a nation.

Whatever the circumstance, the greatest damage in identity theft occurs while the target is still unaware of the crime. And so it was with America. For the past five years, much of the nation has been totally oblivious to its own victimization. Smothered by fear and misguided by propaganda and disinformation, millions of Americans willingly participated in their own abuse.

And at this moment, far too many are still unaware of the crime.

And at this moment, the criminals are still at large. They usurp more power every day that they are permitted to do so. They eviscerate the Constitution at every possible opportunity, and they use this once great nation as a tool for their own malevolent ambitions.

Should they continue unimpeded for the next three years, the nation will be damned for an eternity. George Bush and his accomplices are well on their way to erasing what little is left of the America we once knew.

The fact remains that a loss of identity can leave victims immersed in bewilderment and devoid of direction. Their only hope lies in facing the problem and fighting to regain what is rightfully theirs.

This nation has been plunged into exactly that condition. Those of us who know we’ve been taken are inexcusably hesitant and indecisive as we struggle to find our way out of the darkness. We don’t know which way to turn or what to do.

It seems, then, that our only hope lies in facing the problem head on and admitting that we have been taken, big time. We have to confront the dreadful reality of having lost our identity as Americans.

And then we had better make up our minds to fight like hell to regain the nation that is rightfully ours. The mother of all battles will be fought at the polls less than a year from now. And we have no other alternative but to win.

Anything else is far too painful to imagine.

Forum Founder


Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:28 am    Post subject: Please Take an HOUR to LISTEN To Dr. James Fetzer's...  

...commentary on the latest JFK assassination research news BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, his commentary on the present American Political Scene as presented on Black Op Radio on Thur 16 March 2006.

For anyone unfamiliar with Dr. James H. Fetzer, here is his CV:

James H. Fetzer
Distinguished McKnight University Professor
University of Minnesota Duluth
Department of Philosophy
University of Minnesota
10 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812


James H. Fetzer

As an expression of support for those who are attempting to expose the truth about the events of 9/11 for the benefit of the American people, I am posting the penultimate version ( ) of a chapter I have submitted to David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott for publication in their volume, "9/11 AND THE AMERICAN EMPIRE"
(forthcoming). I stand with Steve Jones ( ), Professor of Physics at Brigham Young, David Ray Griffin

( ),
Professor Emeritus of Theology at Claremont, and other students and scholars of 9/11, who believe that extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. Further discussion may be found at NIST's Evasion ( ).

James H. Fetzer was born in Pasadena, California, on 6 December 1940. At graduation from South Pasadena High School in 1958, he was presented The Carver Award. He was magna cum laude in philosophy at Princeton University in 1962, where his senior thesis for Carl G. Hempel on the logical structure of explanations of human behavior won The Dickinson Prize. After being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, he became an artillery officer and served in the Far East. After a tour supervising recruit training in San Diego, he resigned his commission as a Captain to begin graduate work in the history and philosophy of science at Indiana in 1966. He completed his Ph.D. with a dissertation on probability and explanation for Wesley C. Salmon in 1970.

His initial faculty appointment was at the University of Kentucky, where he received the first Distinguished Teaching Award presented by the Student Government to 1 of 135 assistant professors. Since 1977, he has taught at a wide range of institutions of higher learning, including the Universities of Virginia (twice), Cincinnati, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, New College of the University of South Florida, and now the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota, where he has been since 1987. His honors include a research fellowship from the National Science Foundation and The Medal of the University of Helsinki. In 1996, he became one of the first ten faculty at the University of Minnesota to be appointed a Distinguished McKnight University Professor.
He has published more than 100 articles and reviews and 20 books in the philosophy of science and on the theoretical foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. On this web page, his publications have been divided by area, including special vitae for computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, evolution and cognition, and his applied philosophical research on the death of JFK. His biographical sketch has appeared in many reference works, including the DIRECTORY OF AMERICAN SCHOLARS, WHO'S WHO IN THE MIDWEST, WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, and WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD. It may be found, for example, in the DIRECTORY OF AMERICAN SCHOLARS, 10th edition, WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, 55th edition (2001), and WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD, 18th edition (2001).

This critical piece of commentary is archived on the Black Op Radio website: on SHOW #262; Part Two: "Jim Fetzer discusses Max Holland & Mark Lane", AND CAN BE ACCESSED AND LISTENED TO VIA RealPlayer FROM HERE: =1hr:03mins


Thank You.

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Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:08 am    


Rebuilding needs, here and there

By Arnaud de Borchgrave/ Harlan Ullman
April 3, 2006

By the end of this year, the U.S. will have spent almost half a trillion dollars on Iraq since the 2003 invasion. This could easily double by the time the U.S. successfully nurtures a new Iraqi democracy to viability, including returning basic services such as water, electricity and transport even to pre-war levels. To paraphrase the late great Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois, that is getting to be "real money."

Meanwhile, as we "rebuild" Iraq, what is happening here to our own society and its infrastructure?

From hospitals to bridges, highways, roads and streets, mass transit systems, power grids, drinking water systems and hospitals and health care facilities, America is in a sad state of disrepair. One third of all bridges are deemed "structurally deficient" by the American Society of Civil Engineers. U.S. infrastructure thus gets a falling "D" grade, down from D+ five years ago. Estimated costs to put America's infrastructure back on its feet: $1.6 trillion.

According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 75 percent of America's school buildings are "inadequate" to meet the needs of school children. Some $300 billion are needed to bring school plants and teaching faculties up to scratch. The country's 16,000 wastewater systems face a $12 billion shortfall for infrastructure needs, not counting funding to protect from terrorist attack. Some sewer systems are over 100 years old. As Katrina demonstrated, our domestic infrastructure problems are a lot more urgent than the meritorious attempt to democratize 25 million Iraqis.

For the most part, America's managerial class does not use public transportation and is unaware of the extent of crumbling infrastructure, from public schools to unsafe neighborhoods. Nor, as Congress grapples with immigration reform, has anyone raised the social, economic and legal costs arising from this witch's brew of failing infrastructure, illegal aliens, health care and rampant crime.

In Los Angeles, 95 percent of outstanding homicide warrants are for illegal aliens. The lethal 18th Street Gang has an estimated 20,000 members, over half illegal aliens, according to a ranking member of LAPD, speaking not for attribution. The LA-based MS-13 (Mara Salvatruchka), whose membership was originally limited to street-tough Salvadorans, now numbers 50,000 (10,000 in Los Angeles alone). These gangs thrive where infrastructure decays.

This criminal imprint stretches from coast to coast and is present in every major city. MS-13 arose from the defeated Marxist FMLN in El Salvador and now has links with the Cosa Nostra. FBI counterintelligence agents worry about al Qaeda infiltration through Central America. MS-13 has an estimated 300,000 members in Mexico and Central America. Interestingly, its MO is to redistribute the fruits of its crimes to a network of corner stores owned and operated by Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants that sell at heavily discounted prices and causes them to think they steal from the rich to give to the poor, uncynically pirating the Robin Hood sobriquet.

With 1 out of 4 illegals caught crossing the 1,940-mile border with Mexico, the net illegal influx into the United States is between 3 and 4 million each and every year. So 20 million illegals now in the U.S. is probably a safer bet than the 12 million figure bandied about Congress. All of this adds huge costs to the nation, especially for healthcare. Pregnant women who deliver "anchor" babies shortly after eluding border patrols have an instant U.S. citizen in the family. The 14th Amendment stipulates anyone born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen. Anchor strains on emergency facilities have bankrupted scores of hospitals in the Border States.

The 1985 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), an unfunded federal mandate, requires emergency departments to treat any uninsured emergency free of charge. Anchor babies pull illegal mothers, fathers and siblings into permanent residency -- and public welfare aid.

Scams are common. In one clinic, some 300 people were diagnosed as "mildly mentally retarded." They all had the same translator, psychiatrist, symptoms -- and similar stipends. All of these put further pressure on a health care system whose costs are soaring out of sight.

Iraq has been debated politically, strategically, legally and emotionally. It must also be examined in the harsh light of "how much is enough" and what the nation must forego to pay for Iraq.

As for America's infrastructure, no doubt it would take an event comparable to September 11, 2001, or worse, for us to react. Whether we can afford for that to happen or not can easily become the dominant issue in the 2006 and 2008 elections. But consider first the costs of failing to take action now before the expense of "spending real money" is really unaffordable.
Arnaud de Borchgrave and Harlan Ullman are senior advisers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. de Borchgrave is also editor at large for The Washington Times and United Press International.

Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Wed Apr 05, 2006

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Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: The Dismay of Our Elders Sums Up US  

Published on Thursday, March 30, 2006 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Dismay of Our Elders Sums Up US

The url for this article is:

by Jay Bookman

An eerie sense of calm has settled over the nation's affairs — a dead calm.

It's not merely that the Bush administration has run aground on its own illusions. The real problem runs deeper, much deeper, and at its core, I think, lies the fact that out of fear and laziness we insist on trying to address new problems with old ideologies, rhetoric and mind-sets.

To put it bluntly, we don't know what to do, and so we do nothing.

Run through the list: We have no real idea how to address global warming, the draining of jobs overseas, the influx of illegal immigrants, our growing indebtedness to foreign lenders, our addiction to petroleum, the rise of Islamic terror . . .

Those are very big problems, and if you listen to the debate in Congress and on the airwaves, you can't help but be struck by the smallness of the ideas proposed to address them. We have become timid and overly protective of a status quo that cannot be preserved and in fact must be altered significantly.

The Republicans, for example, continue to mouth a cure-all ideology of tax cuts, deregulation and a worship of all things corporate, an approach too archaic and romanticized to have any relevance in the modern world, as their five years in power have proved.

The GOP's sole claim to bold action — the decision to invade Iraq in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 — instead epitomizes the problem. The issue of Islamic terrorism is complex and difficult, and by reverting immediately to the brute force of another era, we made the problem worse.

Unfortunately, the Democrats don't offer an alternative. They mouth no ideology whatsoever, their imagination, ingenuity and courage apparently having petered out 30 years ago. They can't bring themselves to acknowledge that the modern litany of problems will require us to invent new roles for government, and to rework the relationships between citizens, corporations and country.

But we can't even talk about such things. Our public discourse — which ought to be the source of renewal and energy in a democracy — has been stripped of meaning, with rudeness now mistaken for eloquence and anger substituting for insight.

All that has led to a sense of helplessness atypical of the American character. In an accurate reflection of our national mood, only 29 percent in a recent Gallup Poll said they were satisfied with the country's direction, a number that can't be explained away solely by our predicament in Iraq. The Gallup numbers haven't consistently been above 50 percent since the spring of 2002, long before most Americans were even aware an invasion loomed.

But more compelling to me than numbers are the e-mails, probably dozens of them in total,
that have trickled into my in-box over the past year or so from older Americans all around the country.

I am 79 . . . I am 84 . . . I was born in 1931," they start out. "I fought with the Eighth Army in Korea . . . We lost our oldest son in Vietnam . . . My husband served in the Pacific . . . I taught school for 35 years," they continue, each recounting their personal contributions to this country and establishing their own perspective on its history.

Then comes the statement that breaks your heart. The words vary from author to author, but the sentiment does not:

"This is not the country I wanted to leave my grandchildren . . . Is this what we sacrificed so much for all those years? . . . I really don't understand how it has come to this. . . . We took for granted that in America it would always be better for the next generation, but I can't see that's the case anymore. . . . Where did we go wrong?"

These people are concerned not for themselves, but for what they may soon leave behind. And that concern for the future is all the more remarkable because it is so rare among those of us who are their children and grandchildren.

Unlike our elders, we refuse to tax ourselves to pay for our wars, our roads, our government. We elevate leaders who promise us tax cuts and free services and cheap oil and the strongest military in the world, and we shun any who dare to suggest that sacrifice might be necessary for such things.

Of course, as a nation we have faced worse. The generation that endured the Great Depression only to be hit with World War II had to confront challenges that make our own pale in significance.

But when people of that generation express sincere dismay about where we're headed today, it's gotta make you wonder.
Jay Bookman is deputy editorial page editor. His column appears Thursdays and Mondays.

© Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Last edited by TwilightWatcher on Thu Jun 01, 2006

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Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:58 am    Post subject: Op/Eds worth Considering...  

Published on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 by the Free Press (Columbus, Ohio)

Bush is History's Top Terrorist

by Harvey Wasserman

As the fourth global-warmed hurricane in two months rips through Florida, we are reminded that George W. Bush is history's top terrorist.

We know, of course, that Bush has slaughtered thousands of Iraqis, imprisoned hundreds without trial or charges, and presided over the torture and sexual abuse of many of them. He is the world's leading recruiter for hate-America terrorists the world over.

Bush's preemptive militarism has paved the way for countless crusades for oil and fundamentalism in the decades to come. He overthrew the elected government of Haiti, resulting in hundreds of deaths. He tried to do the same in Venezuela. Other target nations are sure to follow.

Bush is also determined to turn AIDS into a profit center for the drug companies that help fund him. His attacks on sex education, birth control and reproductive choice will kill girls and women for the decades to come, especially if he re-criminalizes abortion in a second term.

As Texas's Governor Bush executed a record 150-plus people. He publically mocked at least one, Karla Faye Tucker, who had asked him to spare her. His escalated war on drugs has helped stuff 2.2 million Americans into the largest gulag in world history. Many suffer regular physical and sexual abuse. Many are also conveniently deprived of their right to vote.

Bush's catastrophic "No Child Left Behind" program is decimating America's once-proud educational system, vastly escalating illiteracy and ignorance. He is barring thousands of students who have traditionally come here from overseas. Their disappearance will further cripple American education, as well as America's historic role in spreading democratic values to young people around the world.

Bush has also decimated the Bill of Rights and basic freedoms embodied in the US Constitution, paving the way for a potential dictatorship should he get a second term.

In short, he has done to America things no foreign terrorist could ever imagine.

But it all pales before Bush's all-out attack on the natural environment, which will ultimately kill hundreds of millions of people.

Bush's eco-terror crusade has two primary roots: corporate greed and fundamental religious extremism.

On the corporate side, Bush's entire environmental policy can be summarized in a simple sentence: Any polluter favored by the Bush regime can pillage and destroy any sector of the American ecology, regardless of the consequences, with full official sanction, including huge taxpayer handouts.

Bush's signature flip flop has been on global warming. The scientific and insurance community is now virtually unanimous that rising carbon dioxide levels are wrecking utter havoc with global weather patterns, including this latest parade of Caribbean hurricanes. The only dissenters are oil company flacks, flat earth think tanks and fundamentalist fanatics.

Bush promised in 2000 that if elected he would endorse the Kyoto Accords to cut CO2 emissions. But then he joined Joseph Stalin in demanding that science fit his bizarre ideology. At the behest of his petro-backers, including Dick Cheney's Halliburton, Bush has scorned a global consensus that includes his primary ally in Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Two of the world's biggest insurance companies, Swiss Re: and Munich Re:, have issued strong warnings about the skyrocketing costs of climate catastrophes. Even British Petroleum has voiced concern, at the same time making massive investments in solar power.

Bush's fossil-nuke energy plan gives huge tax credits for gas guzzling HumVees, but has cynically stalemated long-standing green energy tax easements, crippling the once-booming US wind power industry.

Three years after Bush allowed 9/11, America's 103 atomic power reactors remain vulnerable to attacks from the air. The first plane that flew into the World Trade Center could instead have turned the Indian Point reactors north of New York City into radioactive infernos. Such an apocalyptic attack could still happen, killing millions and costing trillions, dwarfing Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. By doing nothing significant to make US reactors safer, Bush has painted them with a big terror bullseye.

Bush is also reviving nuke weapons production and testing, escalating the likelihood of nuclear war and production disasters.

After 9/11, Bush lied to the people of New York about the toxic fallout from the WTC collapses. His cover-up caused countless avoidable deaths. His assaults on the air, water, food and other regulatory responsibilities daily poison millions worldwide. They feed the on-going plague of cancers, lung and heart disease, childhood afflictions and too much more to catalog here.

Acid rain and ozone destruction add to the horrors of global warming, as do Bush's attacks on America's national parks and public lands.

As history's most environmentally destructive human, Bush's hate-nature crusade has been blessed by fanatic fundamentalists who believe destruction of the planet will hasten the Messiah. James Watt, Ronald Reagan's Interior Secretary, scorned attempts to preserve the Earth by announcing that Jesus was coming soon anyway.

Bush spinmeister Karl Rove bans such blunt talk. But his all-out attacks on environmental protection, fuel efficiency, renewable energy and much more have already guaranteed an avoidable death toll unparalleled in human history. The evil winds of climate chaos now blasting through the Caribbean may soon seem like mild breezes compared to the ultimate eco-curse of George W. Bush.

Attila the Hun. Genghis Khan. The Kaiser. Hitler. Stalin. Saddam. Bin Laden. None have killed more than those dying and destined to die at Bush's anti-green hands. His terror attacks have driven Mother Earth to the very brink.

Four more years and he just might finish her off---and all of us with her.


HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is available at ( ). He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service.

© 1970-2004 The Columbus Free Press


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: )
Eyes Wide Shut

by Norma Sherry

There is a very disturbing trend sweeping our nation. Americans, at least those that are fed up with the lies, with the manipulation of the news, with the horrors all around us, and with the precariously dangerous position this administration has so callously put us in, are furious. Not just frustrated. Not just angry. But a raging distrust that is incomparable to any time that has gone before.
Here we are on the precipice of saying adieu to all that we have known and all that we believed was our birthright: freedom and dignity. We found ourselves in a war despite the best efforts of those of us that valiantly argued that it was an unjust war. Our millions of voices fell on deaf ears and on the cold, merciless hearts of those who obviously intended to have their way. Helpless, we read our papers and watched our televisions as the embedded and in-bed-reporters towed the company line.

We cried as the "compassionate conservatives" hoorayed as our bombs exploded on helpless mothers and daughters, sons and fathers, babies and grandparents. They thrilled to the sounds of Shock and Awe while we bowed our heads and wiped away our tears.

Rush Limbaugh, the self-proclaimed king of conservative radio, was downright giddy with delight. Night after night on the seven and 11 o'clock news, they paraded their pretenses for war before the cameras, before the hopeful parents of the young men and young women whose lives were needlessly in danger of never returning home.

Then came that fateful day when George W. Bush dressed in the gear he worked so hard never to wear in real life and pranced like a peacock-all puffery and full of fake machismo. "Mission Accomplished" splayed across the aircraft carrier-and he stood there beaming and proudly proclaiming we had won! It was a despicable joke then and it is a worse joke now.

Search as they might, there were no weapons of mass destruction, not then, not now, not ever-unless they wave that magic wand and, with debauchery and fakery, they materialize that which was not there.

We've lost face and we've lost faith. Our leaders, those elected and those appointed, have betrayed what America supposedly always stood for: defenders of the downtrodden, defenders of the law, defenders of justice. Shamelessly, those in power ruled autonomously with no regard for the arguments of others.

Our citizens who saw the manipulation so clearly from the beginning are full of anger and disgust. Even now, after we destroyed a sovereign nation on a lie, George Bush stands before his loyal followers and says, "He was a bad man. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein." And, "after all, he had the capabilities to create weapons of mass destruction."

The travesty, the sad, ridiculous horror, is that there still remains a segment of our population that applauds this man and his actions.

The rest of us grow more fearful, more frightened every day. We watch, seemingly helpless, as our Bill of Rights becomes a senseless, useless piece of paper, as our Constitution becomes null and void. We raise our voices, we take pen in hand and scribe as eloquently as possible our fears, and still the band plays on, Hail to the Chief. The trepidations of intellectuals and historians and everyday men and women grow steadily more with each new day, with each new proclamation of arrogance by the men and women who are single-handedly taking us down a path of no return.

History has a way of repeating itself, we have always been told. Those who study the past and articulate the past see the signs of impending doom. Critics point to the depictions of Bush with a Hitler mustache and a brown shirt as a creation by over-the-top liberals. The truth, however, is far more frightening. That word, the word "we," as freedom-loving Americans, have always shuddered when we heard it, feels and is fast becoming all too real: Fascism. Fascism is defined as a system of government with stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. It is also characterized by a centralized government ruled by a dictator.

Does it sound eerily too close to home? If we consider that we have more Americans out of work and under-employed, with little or no hope of finding a livable wage-earning job than in any time in previous history, one might wonder. If we consider this is due to a government-controlled condition enacted into law that gives corporations free rein to dissolve as many jobs as they want, and giving those jobs to third-world workers willing to work for pennies, one has to consider that there is more going on than meets the eye, doesn't one have a right to wonder? Shouldn't we be wondering if what we are experiencing has something to do with socioeconomic controls?

When the president denounced anyone who wasn't behind him as "unpatriotic," it gives cause for one to wonder, does it not?

When laws are enacted that are so far-reaching, so powerful that there is no longer due process, or freedom not to be spied on by our government, or freedom to have client/attorney privilege or habeas corpus or due diligence or privacy, then clearly one has to question what is happening to our freedoms here at home, doesn't one? Sounds a lot like "suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship," wouldn't you say?

And when our president stands on the White House steps, or behind his desk, or in front of a wall of waving-in-the-wind flags to proclaim that "Any nation that isn't with us" is our enemy, it looks an awful lot like a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

Regarding the ruling of a nation by a dictator, who doesn't recall George Bush's comment that it would be "far easier if he were a dictator," which of course was explained away as "just an expression." But what an expression it was.

So here we are, frightened in a way we have never been before, disgusted, and disillusioned. So, what should we do about this ferocious anger eating a crater in our hearts? We need to put our fear for own safety on the shelf, for there is no time to sit by the wayside and pray that the tide will turn, that soon, any day now the truth of this administration will be clear to even those who do not see, who do not read, and do not care.

Our only hope is for each and every one of us to become soldiers for the greater good, to stand up and make our voices heard, to fight the fight in any way we know how. Clearly, if this president has his way, in four more years the America of our youth will be unrecognizable. You know it, I know it, and so does every freedom-loving citizen of the world. For if we do nothing, if all we do is lament what we have lost and what is yet to come, then in the words of George W. Bush himself, "The evil-doers will have won."


©Norma Sherry 2004. Norma Sherry is co-founder of, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility, particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, "The Norma Sherry Show" on WQXT-TV, Florida. Email Norma at:


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: )

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Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: The American Culture of Film & Television  

As part of my sociology studies of the United States, I examine American television and film culture with regards to history and current events.
This Maureen Farrell piece from is a good example of this type of analogizing…

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the Manchurian Candidate

by Maureen Farrell

I am writing this from Frederick, Maryland. I've just been filming, for Channel 4, a press conference in which the son of a CIA officer who died in suspicious circumstances presented his evidence that vice-president Dick Cheney and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld were, in 1975, when part of the Gerald Ford administration, involved in a cover-up of the events surrounding his father's death. The press conference was due to have been two weeks ago, but when the son, Eric Olson, called the New York Times to invite them, they said, "Whoa! Do you really want to release such complex information to a bunch of journalists who'll probably screw it up? Let us do it properly instead."

I must try this ruse sometime. It worked on Olson. He postponed the press conference. The New York Times finally called him and said, "We missed Watergate because we thought it was just a small, unimportant break-in." What they seemed to mean was they believed his evidence but they couldn't decide if it was a huge, government-toppling White House cover-up of a murder, or a small, unimportant White House cover-up of a murder, the kind of stuff that doesn't mean much...

-- Jon Ronson, The Guardian, August 17, 2002 Re:,3605,774950,00.html

In the summer of 2003 (back when President Bush was renouncing the use of torture [New Yorker]
Re: ) author Douglas Valentine reminded us why blind trust in any government official or agency has historically been a bad idea. "
The war on terror, and its ‘homeland security’ counterpart are flip sides of the same coin," he wrote. "They are the same ideology applied to foreign and domestic policy. But like CIA agent Alden Pyle in "The Quiet American" (*See review below), their evil intention is wrapped in a complex matrix of transparent lies." [ Re: ]

Drawing uncomfortable conclusions about the Bush administration’s secret agenda, Valentine also pointed to Miramax's Vietnam-era love story ("The Quiet American")
which had been put on hold following Sept. 11 due to its "anti-American" content -- a content that wasn’t so much anti-American as anti-CIA. "Horrendous acts were, for propaganda purposes, often made to look as if they had been committed by the enemy," Valentine wrote, of the CIA’s brutal underhanded activities that both the Quiet American and history underscore.

More than 40 years ago, another film spawned similar qualms. United Artists was nervous about releasing The Manchurian Candidate because, as screen writer George Axelrod put it, "
They didn't want to make it because they thought that it was un-American."

A wildly imaginative political thriller which sprang from Richard Condon’s
1959 best-selling novel, “The Manchurian Candidate” is the story of a brainwashed military veteran who unwittingly becomes a programmed assassin to further the political ambitions of his cold and manipulative mother. "Ironically," the Washington Post revealed, "it was a phone call from President Kennedy -- made at [Frank] Sinatra's request -- that persuaded Arthur Krim, then head of United Artists and also the national finance chairman of the Democratic Party, to change his mind and start production.

(An additional irony, which may be more curious than telling but is entirely in keeping with the tone of the film, is that it was [director John] Frankenheimer who drove Robert Kennedy to the hotel in California the night he was assassinated.)" [Washington Post Re: ]

First released in 1962, using the Cold War as a backdrop
(and then taken out of release for decades following JFK’s 1963 assassination), the film has been remade under the direction of Jonathan Demme and hit theaters on July 30, 2004. Now set during the first Gulf War era, the new version stars Denzel Washington as Capt./Maj. Bennett Marco (Sinatra’s role in the original) and Liev Schreiber as SSgt. Raymond Shaw (this time as a Gulf War veteran instead of the Korean war hero original cast member Laurence Harvey played). Meryl Streep, cast as Mrs. Iselinin (the role that Angela Lansbury made unforgettable), has disclosed that to prepare for her role as Raymond's evil dragon mother, she watched a string of political talk shows. "Anything with Peggy Noonan [or] Karen Hughes," Streep told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s hard to get more hyperbolic than that."

When you peek beneath the Manchurian Candidate’s fascinating plotline, however, you learn that it is not "just a movie," but is based upon actual cases of government-sponsored brainwashing, torture, Nazi collaboration, bizarre interrogation tactics, biological warfare and cover-ups. And though such an assessment sounds like paranoid lunacy, a quick study of CIA operations like MK-ULTRA (mind control), Operation ARTICHOKE (extreme interrogation) and Operation Paperclip (the Nazis’ role in exporting both), along with their connection to the murder of Dr. Frank Olson, reveals otherwise.

In 1950, the U.S. government established the first program to develop human mind control techniques. Known under a variety of codenames (most notably MK-ULTRA) throughout its 23 year history, this program was designed to exert such control, according to declassified documents, that an individual would do another's bidding, "against his will and even against such fundamental laws of nature such as self-preservation." 25 years later, the Rockefeller Commission uncovered CIA plans for "programmed assassins" and said that MK-ULTRA led to American citizens being drugged, kidnapped and tortured on American soil. [ Re: ]

In 1975, as this information was exposed, the government paid $750,000 restitution to Army biochemist Dr. Frank Olson's family, after admitting the CIA slipped Dr. Olson LSD days before his 1953 fall from a New York City building. When the Ford administration finally came clean, they promised they'd revealed everything. Yet key officials, including White House aides Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, pushed to continue to conceal information. "The family has learned that the Ford administration was keeping information from the family," the Baltimore Sun reported in 2002. "Among those who advocated keeping quiet were Dick Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the vice president and defense secretary, the Olsons learned from memos and other papers received last year from the Gerald R. Ford Library." [ Re: ]

Operation ARTICHOKE, a CIA program that preceded MK-ULTRA, involved the development of "special and extreme methods of interrogation," according to declassified documents given to the family by the late CIA Director William Colby. The chief architects of the program were also "very concerned with the problem of disposing of ‘blown agents’ and with finding a way to produce amnesia in operatives who had seen too much and could no longer be relied upon." By the time Dr. Olson’s family uncovered the truth about Olson’s death, the role Operation ARTICHOKE played became clear. "In these documents the overall context for Frank Olson’s death is related not to the infamous MK-ULTRA program for mind and behavior control, as is generally assumed," the family reported. "The Colby documents locate Olson’s death in the context of a CIA operation called ARTICHOKE." []

Both MK-ULTRA and ARTICHOKE grew out of "Operation Paperclip," in which Nazi scientists were smuggled into the U.S. to provide the government with information on everything from rocket science to germ warfare to torture and interrogation techniques. This "assimilation of Nazis into the U.S. government," the National Catholic Reporter explained, also spawned the now common practice of labeling people of conscience "enemies of the state." [ Re: ]

A German documentary on Operation ARTICHOKE put it succinctly: "The search for the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Dr. Frank Olson begins in 1945, with the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany." []

In his book, ‘The Search for the Manchurian Candidate’, author John Marks devoted an entire chapter to Dr. Frank Olson, describing how Olson felt the CIA was "out to get him." [ Re: ] And so, from Nov. 28, 1953 (the night Olson plummeted from a 13th floor window at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania) to 1975 (when the family was paid restitution for Dr. Olson’s guinea pig role in the CIA’s mind control/LSD experiments) to 1994 (when Olson’s body was exhumed), the family was haunted by questions. Finally, in 2002, when forensic and other evidence came to light, the Olson murder was solved. "I feel satisfied," Olson’s eldest son Eric told the Baltimore Sun. "We're where we want to be - we know what happened."

Reminiscent of the untiring battle the Sept. 11 widows have been waging to try to unearth the truth about 9/11 inconsistencies and the stand Nick Berg’s family has taken to draw attention to the Bush administration's lies regarding Nick’s detention by U.S. authorities, Frank Olson’s family was courageous and tireless. Eric Olson, who earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard, became mesmerized by subjects such as brainwashing, survivor psychology and Nazi experiments on humans, which he rightly sensed, had something to do with his father’s demise.

In 2002, all of the pieces fell into place. Dr. Frank Olson, it was discovered, ran the Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, which, in addition to dealing with anthrax and mind control research, was involved in "assassinations materials research," "biological warfare experiments in populated areas" and "terminal interrogations." Dr. Olson did not commit suicide due to a nervous breakdown, as the family was originally told, nor did he commit suicide because of a reaction to LSD, as they were told in 1975. Dr. Olson, who was posthumously outed as a CIA agent, was simply a man who knew too much. During an August 2002 press conference, the family spelled it out:

1. "The death of Frank Olson on November 28, 1953 was a murder, not a suicide.

2. This is not an LSD drug-experiment story, as it was represented in 1975. This is a biological warfare story. Frank Olson did not die because he was an experimental guinea pig who experienced a "bad trip." He died because of concern that he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program called "ARTICHOKE" in the early 1950’s, and concerning the use of biological weapons by the United States in the Korean War.

3. The truth concerning the death of Frank Olson was concealed from the Olson family as well as from the public in 1953. In 1975 a cover story regarding Frank Olson’s death was disseminated. At the same time a renewed cover-up of the truth concerning this story was being carried out at the highest levels of government, including the White House. The new cover-up involved the participation of persons serving in the current Administration."

"These documents show the lengths to which the government was trying to cover up the truth,'' Eric Olson said, regarding memos that uncovered Cheney and Rumsfeld’s role in perpetuating the deceit. "For 22 years there was a cover-up. And then, under the guise of revealing everything, there was a new cover-up.'' [Mercury News Re: ]

The London Sunday Express blared the headline: "Scientist Was Killed to Stop Him Revealing Death Secrets; So Did Cheney and Rumsfeld Cover Up a CIA Assassination?" [] while the Guardian picked up where other U.S. publications did not. "This story is clearly less fun, and a lot more scary, than a CIA-LSD suicide, and it hasn't received nearly as much coverage," Jon Ronson wrote. "Few of the journalists who attended yesterday's press conference are following up the evidence Olson presented. Instead they've written about Olson's "healing process" and his "closure".

Frank Olson’s legacy, for anyone willing to study it, goes beyond the Manchurian Candidate and implicates the U.S. government in crimes that surpass mind manipulation and run of the mill assassination. In fact, Olson’s case is reportedly included in the assassination curriculum of the Israeli Mossad as "a successful instance of disguising a murder as a suicide."

But even still, the Olson saga reveals the underlying truth behind the fiction. In 2000, before conclusive evidence regarding Olson’s murder was uncovered, G.Q. explained the Frank Olson/CIA/ Manchurian Candidate connection this way:

"By 1950 Frank Olson had begun expressing moral misgivings about his work [at Fort Detrick] to his wife and a few of his colleagues. Presumably, he was aware of the division’s experiment in late 1950 to assess the efficacy of certain bacterial strains on human beings. The group released live bacteria over San Francisco. Several people complaining of flulike symptoms rushed to Bay Area hospitals, and later a number of delayed deaths were attributed to the test. . .

Experiments in mind control became a special fascination in espionage circles in the early 1950s, when the term brainwashing was coined. Rumors had spread that North Korea and the Soviet Union were developing mind-control techniques that could reprogram a person so he would betray state secrets and carry out political assassinations-a story told in the movie "The Manchurian Candidate." In fact, the North Koreans did perform medical, psychological and drug experiments on 900 American prisoners of war, according to documents declassified in 1996. After the tests, the prisoners were reportedly executed.

Given such a grave backdrop, the CIA sought new methods of interrogation. In 149 separate mind-control experiments, researchers used hypnosis, electroshock treatments and drugs, including marijuana, morphine, Benzedrine and mescaline. Test subjects were usually people who could not easily object-prisoners, mental patients and members of minority groups-but the agency also performed many experiments on other people without their knowledge or consent." [ ]

A trip to the Frank Olson Legacy Project Web site unearths a world of pertinent information. There is an article from the New Yorker entitled "Where the Manchurian Candidate Came From" and another from the New York Times, asking, "What did the CIA do to Eric Olson’s Father?" There is information on "terminal interrogations" and "collaboration with former Nazi scientists" as well as a 1950s-era CIA assassination manual regarding "the contrived accident'' as "the most effective technique" of secret assassination. []

In fact, the Web site provides one-stop shopping for anyone who wants to know the kinds of things the government doesn’t want you to know. But be forewarned, after reading through the research, you won’t view the torture at Abu Ghraib, or Donald Rumseld’s reported role in approving unorthodox interrogation methods in quite the same way. [New Yorker Re: ] And, relevant or not, news that Nick Berg once worked on a tower in Abu Ghraib will, at the very least, raise an eyebrow. [Guardian Re:,1280,-4083599,00.html ]
Moreover, you’ll begin to see that some questions are not, as some would have you believe, the result of an overactive imagination. As the German documentary Code Name ARTICHOKE explained in August 2002: "Eric [Olson] finds himself wondering about a lot of things. Was the anthrax terrorist one of our own? Is that the reason he hasn’t been caught? Because he knows something no one else should find out about? A secret his father knew, too?"

Certainly, after studying Olson’s case it’s clear: What was once the province of kooky conspiracy buffs has been proven to be grounded in fact. And, in addition to questions regarding the Oct. 2001 anthrax attacks, others surface: Why did George W. Bush and members of the White House staff begin taking the antibiotic Cipro on Sept. 11, weeks before the anthrax attacks?

 [Washington Post Re: ]; How significant were Dr. David Kelly’s concerns that he'd be "found dead in the woods"?

[BBC ]; Did Dr. Don Wiley’s death have anything to do with other scientists who have died under mysterious circumstances? [Globe and Mail

Re: ]; And why, as the Christian Science Monitor reports, is there a "deliberate effort to kill scientists," intellectuals and human rights activists in occupied Iraq? [Christian Science Monitor]

These questions aside, once you absorb the hidden history behind the Manchurian Candidate and compare that with today’s headlines, you can’t help but feel that this is one of the weirdest moments in modern history. And, to make matters weirder, Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 911" (which also hit a bump along the distribution road) promises to draw attention to everything from Iraq-related lies to Bush and bin Laden-related oddities. [BBC Re: ]

We’ve been through dark times, before, of course, and "Apocalypse Now" remains the seminal cinematic record of the Vietnam era. But though that movie was based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, it too has a CIA-related twist. "
Some say Tony Poe (Anthony Poshepny) was the model for the Col. Kurtz character of the film Apocalypse Now," former UPI reporter Richard S. Ehrlich wrote in Poe’s 2003 obituary, before revealing the horrors, the horrors of Poe’s CIA career. (According to the obituary, Poe tossed human heads from airplanes, offered ransom for human ears, and encouraged fighters to stick decapitated heads on spikes. "Poshepny grew angry at Washington's attempts to control his activities," Ehrlich wrote. "So he sent a bag filled with human ears to the US embassy [in Laos] to prove his guerrillas were killing communists"). For his troubles, Tony Poshepny won the Central Intelligence Agency's highest award -- a CIA Star -- from directors Allen Dulles, in 1959, and William Colby, in 1975. [Bangkok Post Re: ]

All this subtext and secret history, of course, is what adds to the overall movie-viewing experience. Moreover, whether talking about the Quiet American or the Manchurian Candidate, understanding America’s seedy underside is the first step in trying to fix it.
But uncomfortable truth is not for everyone -- and "love of country" means different things to different people. And so, for those who favor love that is both rigid and blind [BuzzFlash Re: ], Frank Oz’s remake of The Stepford Wives hit theaters a month later.
*Review: "The Quiet American"...

BuzzFlash Recommendation

If you recall, this film was set to be released by Miramax in the fall of 2001. But after 9/11, Miramax decided that it would be "unpatriotic" to allow Americans to see "The Quiet American." Why? Because this exquisitely made film, based on the novel by Graham Greene, reveals the futility of American intervention in grassroots uprisings against occupying forces.

No, it doesn't take place in Iraq. It is a film that lushly portrays the doomed love affair between a fading British journalist and a Vietnamese "dance hall" girl, during the earliest days of American intervention in Southeast Asia.

Because it ultimately reveals the treachery and corruption that lurked just beneath American assertions that they were trying to "save" the Vietnamese, Miramax thought that the film was too "anti-American" to release in the wake of 9/11. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It was only due to a resolute personal campaign waged by the film's star, Michael Caine, that the film finally was shown in movie theaters.

When we recently saw the film on DVD, we were struck by its elegant cinematography, exotic setting, masterful acting and superb script. Led by Caine's brilliant performance, the film is gripping and haunting as its mystery unfolds.

Why are we offering "The Quiet American" on BuzzFlash?
Because it is first class movie making set against the background of America's first steps into the Vietnam War -- first steps that metaphorically reveal the futility of the Bu$h Cartel's undertaking in Iraq. The details may differ, but the fundamental hubris, dishonesty and naivete that marked our entrance into Vietnam presaged the folly of the Bu$h/Cheney occupation of Iraq.

This is not a didactic film, however. It is superb cinematic storytelling.

Australian director Phillip Noyce, best known for major Hollywood action thrillers ("Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger"), has returned to the tone of his earlier, more human-scale works like "Heatwave" and "Newsfront." "The Quiet American" is a graceful, contemplative film that gradually and artfully draws us into a world where the personal and the political get fatally intertwined.

Shot in Saigon by Hong Kong-based Australian cinematographer Chris Doyle, Noyce's remake certainly looks beautiful, although Mankiewicz had the undoubted advantage of filming there before the Vietnamese phoenix ("phuong") had fallen into the furnace, or risen from the rubble. Any Australian of Noyce's age has friends who died in Vietnam (
because, unlike Britain, Australia allowed itself to be browbeaten by LBJ into sending troops), so there is no doubting his commitment to the material, and to preserving Greene's baleful vision. He has made a good-looking, intelligent stab at the novel, mildly undermined by a tendency to seek contemporary relevance, including a redundant montage of Fowler's supposed dispatches between 1952, when the novel ends, and 1965, when the U.S. Marines arrived. No doubt the American right will have a field day disinterring then re-burying Greene and his powerful demolition of American adventurism, but if The Quiet American stirs fresh debate about the unintended consequences of intervention abroad, it will have served its purpose admirably.

Film reviewer Jeffrey Wells wrote about it in 2001: Phillip Noyce's ("Patriot Games", "Clear & Present Danger") "The Quiet American",
a metaphorical, politically charged drama about a romantic triangle in early 1950s Vietnam, is easily one of the best films I've seen this year, and unquestionably one of the finest adaptations of a Graham Greene novel ever brought to the screen — right up there with "The Third Man" and "Our Man in Havana."

But Miramax Films honcho Harvey Weinstein was hedging about releasing it in '02, perhaps, according to Noyce, over concerns that the film's purported anti-American tone might strike an adverse chord with audiences still smarting from the shock waves of September 11.

That's the situation in a nutshell, according to Noyce, and that's regrettable.
Actually, it's kinda lame.

I discussed "The Quiet American" for an hour or so with a colleague on Wednesday evening after seeing it at Miramax headquarters, and September 11 reverberations never even occurred to us. When Noyce told me about the September 11 factor Thursday morning, it was like ... what? This is not a strident political drum-beater, although politics are certainly part of it. And yet a staunchly apolitical viewer could watch it and say it's about sex, jealousy, and sugar daddies by way of The Scent of Green Papaya.

It's about Vietnam, yes, and the destruction that Americans like Brendan Fraser's Alden Pyle,
guided by dogged anti-Communism and a belief that ends justify ruthless means, visited upon it. But the core story is about an older manMichael Caine's Thomas Fowler, a London Times reporter based in Saigon — who's in love with a young Vietnamese girl (Hai Yen Do) and is trying to keep Pyle, his romantic rival, from taking her from him, which Fowler believes would be "the beginning of death."

What does this have to do with the national nightmare that rocked our psyches over three years ago, except for the fact that American policy has inspired hate in third-world countries? Is there anyone out there who still has his or her head in the sand about this?

"The Quiet American's" obvious political metaphors —
Fraser is arrogant America, Caine is old-world colonialism, Hai Yen Do is Vietnam itself — work hand-in-hand with the romantic current, and never, in my view, overwhelm the import, which is a mix of many things. The film is about texture as much as "meaning." There are residues of sadness, regret, Asian sensuousity — you can feel the Vietnamese aromas and tropical humidity in every scene. The painterly photography by Chris Doyle ("In the Mood for Love") is to die for. Christopher Hampton's screenplay (fortified by voice-over narration written by producer Anthony Minghella) is concise and, at times, near-poetic.

This movie is not a commercial slam-dunk — it's a haunting, adult, carefully measured piece — but the caliber of the work that went into it deserves a commercial run and a run at Oscar nominations (certainly for Doyle and especially for Caine, whose performance as the aging, love-struck Fowler is not only one of his best ever, but pays off in much richer and more flavorful ways than his Oscar-winning turn in The Cider House Rules).

A Miramax spokesperson denied that September 11 echoes were a factor in determining the release plans in 2002. "
Our plan is to release [The Quiet American] in the U.K. in November, and have it play various festivals this fall, before determining an optimal release schedule for the U.S," he said. "We haven't made the determination yet."

"The Quiet American"
begins with a beautiful picturesque view of Saigon at night. In the background we see small flashes of light that grow bigger and bigger by the minute until we realize that there is battle raging in the distance. It is 1952 and the French are losing the war for Indo-China. A body is found in the river. Michael Caine is called in to identify the young man, a "quiet American" according to him. The film then goes into flashback mode as we see how both the American, named Alden Pyle, and Michael Caine's character, Thomas Fowler, come to this point.

Thomas Fowler is a cynical aging journalist stationed in Saigon living with a young Vietnamese lover. He meets Alden Pyle in a outdoor restaurant at the Continental Paradise Hotel where Fowler regularly eats breakfast. Pyle introduces himself as a medical doctor working with the American Economic Ministry assisting the Vietnamese with combating eye disease. He has an aw shucks attitude about him, and he is reading a book called
Dangers to Democracy. He is a fan of Fowler's writing, and manages to gush about his book and anti-Communism.

Later on Pyle meets Fowler's lover and falls in love with her. Fowler is married and his wife will not give him a divorce to marry Phuong, his lover. Phuong's sister, ever the blatant gold digger in this film, begins to see Pyle as a richer, and more likely to marry, alternative to Fowler.

A love triangle develops between the three, and ironically, not just between Fowler and Pyle fighting over Phuong, but also between Phuong and either one of them. You see Fowler and Pyle become friends in the film. Even at the most painful moments between these two men there is some bond of kinship between them.
Double crosses, triple crosses and truths are revealed throughout this film. I want to avoid my usual litany of spoilers at this point because this film doesn't fall into the category of I might as well just tell you the whole movies and save you ten bucks.

All along, Fowler and Pyle’s pissing match over Phuong rightfully overshadows the engaging political/military subplot until the war works its way into the heart of Saigon with explosive fashion. That’s when the mystery begins to unravel at a fevered pace, and American draws us in completely. Quiet is a strong drama. You’ll want to sing its praises loudly.

The screenplay, by Christopher Hampton and Robert Schenkkan, downplays the heavy allegorical aspects of Graham Greene's source novel in favor of the romantic triangle. The Quiet American is primarily a tragic love story set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the turbulent conflict that would devastate much of the small Asian country. We see the roots of the Vietnam War, and have no trouble understanding that the United States' rabid win-at-all-costs struggle against the Devil of Communism led to bad alliances and shortsighted determinations.

It also works wonders with the two leads. I've been unimpressed with Caine's recent work, but his performance here is an absolute mindblower, invoking the same sort of daring that made him a star in the first place. He tinges Fowler's well-worn survivor with tattered shreds of morality, suggesting a man who's seen the worst and hasn't quite been extinguished by it. Fraser is effective as well, pulling a calculated turn on his "sweet lug" persona that catches us off-guard. Both men work very well together, and maintain good chemistry with Yen, who exudes mystery without succumbing to the Flower of the Orient cliché with which her character flirts.

The acting, by the male leads, is superlative. Michael Caine, who is being mentioned as a possible Oscar nominee, brings a sad, world-weariness to his portrayal of Thomas. The aging newspaper writer wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his days going through the comfortable routine of his daily life spent in the company of the one woman he truly loves. "If I lost her," he comments, "it would be the beginning of death." Meanwhile, Fraser trades in on his reputation for playing affable, somewhat innocent characters, to trick us into thinking that Alden is more straightforward than he actually is.

This is as fine a drama and war film as I have seen in a long while. Michael Caine gives one of his best performances, and Brendan Fraser is well juxtaposed as the naive American to the cynical, yet worldly Brit. For Brendan Fraser's character, Alden Pyle, represents America during the early days of the Cold War. Naive, bumbling and not quite understanding the cultures in which he has come into contact with. He spouts slogans and sees the world through the prism of what sounds like a third grade history book. We're ok because we're not "colonialists." In his quest for "saving" the Vietnamese he comes to undertake great evil for the "bigger picture." His quest to naively save Phuong from a life with Fowler who will never marry her, yet causes a great deal of pain to both, mirrors the American experience in Vietnam. Cain gives us every agonizing detail of Fowler's life, and his own uncertainty as to whether or not he has done the right thing in the end.

Brendan Fraser gives one of his better performances as
Pyle. Although, I would not go giving him any gold statues for his endeavor here. It is Michael Cain who drives this film. However, Fraser plays well off of Cain's Fowler, and, when it comes to it, even in the end his naivety never lets up.

The one thing that really struck me with Noyce's directing, though, was the subtely with which the story unfolds. We know when we first lay our eyes on Pyle
that something is just not right with this guy. And we can begin to figure out who and what he really is as the film goes on, but he is slowly revealed to us in little details. Noyce never shoves it in our face, or blatantly tip his hand too early. We start out really liking this guy, but in the end are happy to see him get whacked. His brand of ne'er do well comes from a sense of self righteousness rather than maliciousness. In many ways, this makes him even more dangerous.

The actress who plays Phuong is absolutely gorgeous, and she plays the character as a bit dependent and child-like. Her greatest fear is to end up like the other Vietnamese girls who have French boyfriends who promise to take them home to France but then disappear at the airport. Yet, underneath it all we never doubt that her love is genuine.

The film itself graphically depicts scenes of genocide and war. It doesn't pull its punches from the atrocities of bombings. Interestingly enough, early in the film, Fowler finds the sounds of grenades going off as no big deal. As he deals with the pain arising from his love triangle with Pyle does he come to empathize with the people around him. This is very nicely contrasted with Pyle when, during a bombing in the city, Fowler is running around trying to help people, while Pyle just tries to wipe the blood off of his trouser leg oblivious to the events except when to make sure they're photographed for the Congressional Appropriations Committee back home.

The Quiet American strikes hardest, however, when it reminds you how pertinent its dynamics remain. Fifty years after the fact, the world's political situation seems little different, and Noyce brings out the allegory with remarkable skill. Though a superfluous closing sequence gilds the lily, the point is sharp and inescapable. Pyle's rhetoric, half a century old, still appears every day on CNN: Good vs. evil; right vs. wrong; the United States determined to show the rest of the world the way. And The Quiet American, like its protagonist, is softly outraged by the hubris of it all.

I really recommend this film to anyone interested in drama and war films. The French period in Vietnam is one that hasn't been fully explored in American cinema, and it is a good companion piece to the other films in this genre.
It also works well as a love story, a mystery and a spy film

Note: Another excellent John Frankenheimer film to check out is "Seven Days in May".

Adapted by Rod Serling from the best-selling novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles Waldo Bailey II, Seven Days in May was allegedly inspired by the far-right ramblings of one General Edwin Walker.

Although dialogue-heavy for a thriller, it remains an effective slice of cold war paranoia, with echoes of the Cuban missile standoff that may have been absorbed from Frankenheimer's friend, Robert F. Kennedy.

Writer Rod Serling, who lived for this sort of thing, presents just about every angle of every conceivable argument with articulate fervor, creating characters with complex, contradictory notions about loyalty, duty and honor.

Director John Frankenheimer is no stranger to movies about espionage and conspiracies. He had just finished the successful "Manchurian Candidate" when in 1964 he decided to film Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey's best-selling novel, "Seven Days in May." He assembled an all-star cast--Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Martin Balsam--got the best screenwriter he could find--Rod Serling--and hired Jerry Goldsmith to do the music. The result is the best conspiracy-theory movie ever made.

Frankenheimer crafts wonderful, iconographic shots that set the mood with a single image. Check out the beautifully complicated shot in Chapter 12, where Casey (Kirk Douglas) ducks down to hide behind a car, while we see reflected in the car’s square window a bright rectangular doorway with a dark figure coming through it. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is something to savor, tense and haunting, without ever swamping the dialogue, the ambient track or the mood.

It is quite interesting going back and watching a film such as "Seven Days In May." As the director states on the commentary track, this is a movie that could not be made today for several reasons. In this age of lightning fast media, such a military coup would be near impossible to mount, much less carry out.

This aside, it is remarkable how well "Seven Days in May" holds up today. The film crackles with energy and tension. Frankenheimer's style of direction is perfect for this film, from the deep focus, wide-angle shots to the low camera angles that heighten impact, the film is a testament to the abilities of this great filmmaker.

For as effective as Frankenheimer's work behind the camera is, it is Serling's terse, taunt dialogue that lets the film soar. Characters sound like real people, not mouthpieces, and everyone's motivations and reasons for action are explored. There are no cardboard cutouts here. For those of you out there who only associate Serling with "The Twilight Zone," & "Night Gallery" well, you are advised to watch this film and see what a master can really do. Taken out of context and put into today's cynical, faster than lightning media, many of the speeches will seem dated, but to me they ring with a core belief in the American system of government and true sense of honor and dignity.

"Seven Days In May" also benefits from strong work from its "A" list cast. As the informer, Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey,
Kirk Douglas (“There Was a Crooked Man”, “Spartacus”, “Paths of Glory”), shows why he was one of the most sought after leading men of his day. This is one of his best performances. Even when doing things he finds morally distasteful, Douglas has his character maintain his focus and his cool. Never thinking himself the hero, his character does what he needs to, all for love of country and flag. It is solid, sturdy work from an actor in his prime.

At the opposite end is
Burt Lancaster (“Airport”, “Field Of Dreams”, “Atlantic City”, “Elmer Gantry”) as America's would be savior, General Scott. Giving a well-textured performance that never lapses into stereotype, Lancaster convinces us that he believes all his rhetoric. It is his own solid belief in everything he says and his force of conviction, not to mention the actor's own magnetism, which makes us accept the idea of so many people blindly marching with him into a ring of treason. Lancaster is long one of my favorite actors and the work here only contributes to my belief in his talent.

In the middle and as the person who moved all these players into position is
Frederic March (“Inherit The Wind”, “The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit”, “The Best Years Of Our Lives”) as President Jordan Lyman. With having the benefit of almost 40 years of history since this film was made, Lyman constantly reminded me of President Jimmy Carter. Lyman is a man of deep convictions and of high moral fiber, a man unafraid of putting what he perceives as the best thing for his country over the best thing for politics. More than willing to accept the wrath of public opinion, this old lion is unwilling to see the government he holds so dear taken by force, and the constitution he so loves trashed in the name of difference of opinion. In one of the last great performances of a long and distinguished career, March is wonderful. Serling saves his most floral and elegant prose for Lyman and March pulls it off with all the power and dignity one could imagine. Always human and flawed but still with that core belief of what is right and what is wrong, March keeps his character real and never lapses into melodrama. He provides the film with its moral compass and does not fail to see it home.

"Seven Days in May" also has a couple of the best character actors of the day in support.
Martin Balsam (“All the President's Men”, “Little Big Man”, “Psycho”) and Edmond O'Brien (“The Wild Bunch”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, “Fantastic Voyage”) are great as Lyman's two top advisors. Again taking what could be clichéd roles and making them real, both actors help the film tremendously.

We tend to forget just how good Lancaster and Douglas were as actors, sometimes only remembering their more superficial and flamboyant roles. Here, working together, they are in perfect harmony--Lancaster unflinching, cold as steel; Douglas stalwart yet vulnerable. Frankenheimer develops edge-of-the-seat tension as the movie progresses.

The "Seven Days" of the title refers to the time Jiggs and the President have to foil Scott's plan. The hours and days are marked off in virtually every scene, just as Fred Zinnemann kept such assiduous track of time in "High Noon." For "Seven Days in May" I advise you to get your popcorn ready and do your business in the bathroom before the lights go out, because once underway you won't want to pause the film for a second. Incidentally, it is a measure of how far our politicians have come that in this film, made almost forty years ago, the nation's leader has qualms about using Scott's sexual indiscretions against him. Today, politicians wouldn't hesitate for a moment to use any means at their disposal to destroy an opponent.

It is rare when a film can be thrilling without being action packed or full of gunfire and quippy one-liners. “Seven Days in May” is indeed one of those rare films. It thrills with words, execution and ideas. The movie moves with a swiftness and grace that is a testament to the skill of all involved and it's a film that really deserves the moniker "

"Seven Days in May" is everything a good, taut, riveting conspiracy movie should be. No matter how contrived it may seem in retrospect, during the watching of the film every scene rings true, every character behaves rationally, every detail seems right. With superb acting and a minimum of political posturing, the movie has served as a model for every film of its kind that has come after it. Unfortunately, not many other films have measured up to the prototype. The story was even remade for television in 1994 as "The Enemy Within," failing to match its predecessor's excitement or suspense. Go with the original and see what good filmmaking is all about.



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With Iranian missiles able to hit Tel Aviv and the Israeli nuclear plant and atom bomb ... The U.S. also accuses Iran of seeking nuclear arms to counter the ...



Homeland Security ???? You Are a Suspect You Are a Suspect 11/14 ...

... the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database." ... terror attacks could include nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. ...


Asked if nuclear talks between Iran and the West have come to a dead-line, ... Rene Welch, who had access to the Global Cleanse 2000 database in the late ...

9/11 - The 411 - How the Saudi Government is Using Alien ...

His analogy is a computer database. Computers store information randomly ... and dismantle all their nuclear weapons of war, stop transmissions of all mind ...




I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a Weapon of ... 4-26-2002 - MIND CONTROL DATABASE. 4-18-2002 - KENT STATE MASSACRE- IS ...


He's met with the heads of oil, gas, and nuclear power companies, ... Militia Database. ... THE PUPPETMASTER ...


... 2004 for his role in stealing the U.S. atomic nuclear codes from the National Security Archives. ... See also: Internet Movie Database profile. ...