This speech brought the lie that was the Reagan Revolution to a screeching halt for one brief, shining moment in 1984.
This speech brought the lie that was the Reagan Revolution to a screeching halt for one brief, shining moment in 1984.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson
The latest Supreme Court McCutcheon decision along with the Citizens United decision do more harm to The United States of America than any enemy that we have actually gone to war against.
...This includes Nazi Germany and The Empire of Japan, The Communists of The Cold War, The Koreans, The Vietnamese and The War of Terror.
And yes...I include the attacks of 911. We survived that day.
We will not survive this Supreme Court.
American University Speech
June 10, 1963
President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests -- my old colleague Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school while I am earning mine in the next thirty minutes -- distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American University sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst and first opened by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.
This is a young and growing university, but it has already fulfilled Bishop Hurst's enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city devoted to the making of history and to the conduct of the public's business.
By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the nation deserve the nation's thanks. And I commend all those who are today graduating.
Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time and I'm confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents a high measure of public service and public support.
There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university -- wrote John Masefield in his tribute to English universities -- and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to towers or to campuses. He admired the splendid beauty of a university, because it was, he said, a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see. I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived -- and that is the most important topic on earth: peace.
What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war, not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace -- the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living -- and the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women -- not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.
I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the Allied air forces in the second world war. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.
Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles -- which can only destroy and never create -- is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.
I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war -- and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.
Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament -- and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it.
But I also believe that we must re-examine our own attitudes -- as individuals and as a nation -- for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward -- by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the cold war and towards freedom and peace here at home.
First: Examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable -- that mankind is doomed -- that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.
We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable -- and we believe they can do it again.
I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concepts of universal peace and goodwill of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.
Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace -- based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -- on a series of concrete actions and effective agreement which are in the interests of all concerned.
There is no single, simple key to this peace -- no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -- a way of solving problems.
With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor -- it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.
So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable -- and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly -- by making it seem more manageable and less remote -- we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it and to move irresistibly towards it.
And second: let us re-examine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write.
It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims -- such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war... that there is a very real threat of a preventative war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union... (and that) the political aims, -- and I quote, -- of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries... (and) achieve world domination... by means of aggressive war.
Truly, as it was written long ago: The wicked flee when no man pursueth. Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements -- to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning -- a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find Communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements -- in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.
Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the second world war. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation's territory, including two-thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland -- a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.
Today, should total war ever break out again -- no matter how -- our two countries will be the primary targets. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war -- which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this nation's closest allies -- our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could better be devoted to combat ignorance, poverty, and disease.
We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter-weapons.
In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours -- and even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations and only those treaty obligations which are in their own interest.
So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.
Third: Let us re-examine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering that we are not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points.
We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last eighteen years been different.
We must therefore persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace. And above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy -- or of a collective death-wish for the world.
To secure these ends, America's weapons are non-provocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility.
For we can seek a relaxation of tensions without relaxing our guard. And for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove we are resolute. We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people -- but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.
Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security system -- a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished.
At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity, which invite Communist intervention or which threaten to erupt into war.
Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also tried to set an example for others -- by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest neighbors in Mexico and Canada.
Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear: We are bound to many nations by alliances. These alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example, stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge.
Our interests converge, however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace.
It is our hope -- and the purpose of allied policies -- to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.
This will require a new effort to achieve world law -- a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication.
One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstanding, and misreadings of the other's actions which might occur at a time of crisis.
We have also been talking in Geneva about our first-step measures of arms control, designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and reduce the risk of accidental war.
Our primary long-range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament -- designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's. It has been urgently sought by the past three Administrations. And however dim the prospects are today, we intend to continue this effort -- to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and the possibilities of disarmament are.
The only major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight -- yet where a fresh start is badly needed -- is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty -- so near and yet so far -- would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963 -- the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security -- it would decrease the prospects of war.
Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.
I am taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard:
First: Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history -- but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind.
Second: To make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on this matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty -- but I hope it will help us achieve one. Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament -- but I hope it will help us achieve it.
Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude towards peace and freedom here at home. The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad. We must show in the dedication of our own lives -- as many of you who are graduating today will have an opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home.
But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete.
It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government -- local, state, and national -- to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within our authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, whenever the authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of others and respect the laws of the land.
All this is not unrelated to world peace. When a man's ways please the Lord -- the scriptures tell us -- he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. And is not peace, in the last analysis basically a matter of human rights -- the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation -- the right to breathe air as nature provided it -- the right of future generations to a healthy existence?
While we proceed to safeguard our national interests let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.
No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can -- if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement and it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers -- offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.
The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough -- more than enough -- of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.
We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on -- not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.
Well, the last November of President Kennedy’s life begins with the coup in South Vietnam that ended with the death of President Diem on November 2nd. It was a mess and the Kennedy Administration, once again seemed to have lost control of international events to the CIA and the Military.
What was Kennedy thinking sending Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. to Vietnam as his Ambassador?
What did JFK expect?
This is more proof for the President that Vietnam was a quagmire that the United States needed to extricate itself from. The White Tapes make that quite clear. It’s a pity that historians did not have access to those tapes until recently. It would have saved a lot of time and conjecture.
In Dallas, Lee Harvey Oswald spent a strange, but somewhat uneventful few weeks leading up to November 22nd. The Warren Commission has him still half-heartedly mixing with Anti-Castro Cubans, fighting with his wife, hanging out with Ruth Paine. Being bothered by that pesky FBI Agent James Hosty. Overall, a few reports of him acting strangely, but preparing to assassinate the President?
On November 18th, the Presidential motorcade route was published in the local Dallas paper. Any assassin working in the Texas School Book Depository would have been pleased that the President would be driven right under his window on Friday.
November 21, 1963: The War on Poverty begins…
“Stemming from a decision made in November 1963 to pursue a legislative agenda that economic advisers have looked over and reviewed. I have planned, the War on Poverty which consisted of a series of programs in the areas of health, education, and welfare. Today I asked the economic advisers to prepare "war on poverty" program for congress to review and pass in 1964.” – President Kennedy
The assassins had gathered, checked and rechecked their positions by this point. JFK was in Texas, heading towards Dallas.
Richard Nixon, was doing his damnedest to get out of Dallas before the shots were fired. Others appeared like ghouls in a cemetery. What was Ed Lansdale doing in Dallas? Frank Sturgis, E. Howard Hunt, Charles Harrelson; how many patsies were being set up?
And in Bethesda, Maryland, other ghouls were gathering at the watch tower. Curtis LeMay and his gang set the stage of the JFK autopsy.
My suspects come from a ripe list of the men JFK fired throughout his Presidency. It was an 'operation', not a lone gunman.
-General Lyman Lemnitzer: removed as the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for his insistence on military action in Cuba and nuclear first strikes against the USSR. Responsible for proposing Operation Northwoods to President Kennedy.
He was responsible for the ‘Wanted for Treason’ leaflets in Dallas on 11/22/63.
Lee Harvey Oswald was accussed of shooting at General Walker in April of 1963. Practice with the Mannlicher-Carcano
-Alan Dulles, the Director of the CIA and his 2nd in command, Richard Bissell were fired after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. These guys and their friends were getting very good at overthrowing foreign governments by any means necessary. This group also brought the Mafia into their game.
-The group of Anti-Castro Cubans who were heavily funded by the CIA and promised by all the above mentioned that Cuba would be won back from Castro for them by the American military. (Nuclear missiles be damned).
As for Lee Harvey Oswald. Was he simply a spy in over his head? An America Marine who defected to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, lived, worked and married in Russia and simply moved back to the United States… no questions asked, to find himself in the middle of the schemers and planners of the CIA’s efforts to overthrow Castro and take back Cuba.
Somehow, this guy gets set up as the patsy, taken completely by surprise it seemed on 11/22/63.
I would say Castro was to be blamed, thus all the Lee Harvey Oswalds in Mexico, trying to get to Cuba.
If Castro was to blame for the assassination of the President, there would be no holding back the United States Military from taking the island nation back for Democracy and Casinos.
The Military would be happy and revenged. The CIA would get to fulfill their primary needs of destroying a government for the good of the American Empire.
The Anti-Castro Cubans could calm the fuck down.
The Mafia could feel justified and empowered in its dirty dealings and clean-up operations.
And Nuclear Testing could continue. The Vietnam War could move forward. The War on Poverty could be swept aside for free-market economics to raise the tide for all boats. Maybe even nuclear war with the Soviet Union would be possible.
Alan Dulles and appointed to the Warren Commission along with Gerald Ford to investigate the Assassination of President Kennedy.
In 1975, President Ford appointed General Lemnitzer to the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States (The Rockefeller Commission) to investigate whether the Central Intelligence Agency had committed acts that violated American laws and allegations that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis (also of Watergate fame) were involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
And so it goes… Treason and stolen elections are the norm for Presidential campaigns.
The bad guys won on November 22, 1963 and we as a nation have been paying the price for it ever since. Our media was manipulated and manipulated us. We turned away from the New Deal and Peace.
And now, 50 years later, most of the world is turning their backs on us because we have become that frightening, bloated, undereducated, greedy, suicidal nation that President Kennedy hoped to avoid. We stagger around the planet with amazing military might, but to no real end. And no real end in sight.
The Horribles were let back in to roam freely in the Mansion and on the grounds and have poisoned the well for the world. The fate of America may be that the world will simply turn its back to the United States because they can no longer stand the sight of us.
To Withrawal or not to Withdrawal... that is the question... (pun intended)
President Kennedy started the month of September, 1963 with a set of televised interviews with major television news anchors, Walter Cronkite of CBS News and Chet Huntley of NBC News. The interviews are a week apart and JFK gives two answers that historians wrestle over to the question about the future of Vietnam.
Interview with Walter Cronkite: September 2, 1963 for CBS News
MR. CRONKITE. Mr. President, the only hot war we've got running at the moment is of course the one in Viet-Nam, and we have our difficulties here, quite obviously.
PRESIDENT KENNEDY. I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the Government to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it—the people of Viet-Nam—against the Communists. We are prepared to continue to assist them, but I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort, and, in my opinion, in the last 2 months the Government has gotten out of touch with the people.
The repressions against the Buddhists, we felt, were very unwise. Now all we can do is to make it very clear that we don't think this is the way to win. It is my hope that this will become increasingly obvious to the Government, that they will take steps to try to bring back popular support for this very essential struggle.
MR. CRONKITE. Do you think this Government has time to regain the support of the people?
PRESIDENT KENNEDY. I do. With changes in policy and perhaps with personnel, I think it can. If it doesn't make those changes, I would think that the chances of winning it would not be very good.
MR. CRONKITE. Hasn't every indication from Saigon been that President Diem has no intention of changing his pattern .
PRESIDENT KENNEDY. If he does not change it, of course, that is his decision. He has been there 10 years, and, as I say, he has carried this burden when he has been counted out on a number of occasions.
Our best judgment is that he can't be successful on this basis. We hope that he comes to see that; but in the final analysis it is the people end the Government itself who have to win or lose this struggle. All he can do is help, and we are making it very clear. But I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. That would be a great mistake. I know people don't like Americans to be engaged in this kind of an effort. Forty-seven Americans have been killed in combat with the enemy, but this is a very important struggle even though it is far away.
We took all this—made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe is quite secure. We also have to participate—we may not like it—in the defense of Asia.
September 9, 1963 Interview on NBC News with Chet Huntley
MR. HUNTLEY. Mr. President, in respect to our difficulties in South Viet-Nam, could it be that our Government tends occasionally to get locked into a policy or an attitude and then finds it difficult to alter or shift that policy ?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, that is true. I think in the case of South Viet Nam we have been dealing with a Government which is in control, has been in control for 10 years. In addition, we have felt for the last 2 years that the struggle against the Communists was going better. Since June, however—the difficulties with the Buddhists—we have been concerned about a deterioration, particularly in the Saigon area, which hasn't been felt greatly in the outlying areas but may spread. So we are faced with the problem of wanting to protect the area against the Communists. On the other hand, we have to deal with the Government there. That produces a kind of ambivalence in our efforts which exposes us to some criticism. We are using our influence to persuade the Government there to take those steps which will win back support. That takes some time, and we must be patient, we must persist.
Mr. HUNTLEY. Are we likely to reduce our aid to South Viet-Nam now?
The PRESIDENT. I don't think we think that would be helpful at this time. If you reduce your aid, it is possible you could have some effect upon the government structure there. On the other hand, you might have a situation which could bring about a collapse. Strongly in our mind is what happened in the case of China at the end of World War II, where China was lost—a weak government became increasingly unable to control events. We don't want that.
Mr. BRINKLEY. Mr. President, have You had any reason to doubt this so-called "domino theory," that if South Viet-Nam falls, the rest of Southeast Asia will go behind it ?
The PRESIDENT. No, I believe it. I believe it. I think that the struggle is close enough. China is so large, looms so high just beyond the frontiers, that if South Viet-Nam went, it would not only give them an improved geographic position for a guerrilla assault on Malaya but would also Live the impression that the wave of the future in Southeast Asia was China and the Communists. So I believe it.
Mr. BRINKLEY. In the last 48 hours there have been a great many conflicting reports from there about what the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] was up to. Can you give us any enlightenment on it?
The PRESIDENT. No.
Mr. HUNTLEY. Does the CIA tend to make its own policy ? That seems to be the debate here.
The PRESIDENT. No, that is the frequent charge, but that isn't so. Mr. [John A.] McCone, head of the CIA, sits in the National Security Council. We have had a number of meetings in the past few days about events in South Viet-Nam. Mr. McCone participated in every one, and the CIA coordinates its efforts with the State Department and the Defense Department.
Mr. BRINKLEY. With so much of our prestige, money, so on, committed in South Viet-Nam, why can't we exercise a little more influence there, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. We have some influence. We have some influence and we are attempting to carry it out. I think we don't—we can't expect these countries to do everything the way we want to do them" They have their own interest, their own personalities, their own tradition. We can't make everyone in our image, and there are a good many people who don't want to go in our image. In addition, we have ancient struggles between countries. In the case of India and Pakistan, we wound like to have them settle Kashmir. That is our view of the best way to defend the subcontinent against communism. But that struggle between India and Pakistan is more important to a good many people in that area than the struggle against the Communists. We would like to have Cambodia, Thailand, and South Viet-Nam all in harmony, but there are ancient differences there. We can't make the world over, but we can influence the world. The fact of the matter is that with the assistance of the United States and SEATO [Southeast Asia Treaty Organization], Southeast Asia and indeed all of Asia has been maintained independent against a powerful forces the Chinese Communists. What I am concerned about is that Americans will get impatient and say, because they don't like events in Southeast Asia or they don't like the Government in Saigon, that we should withdraw. That only makes it easy for the Communists. I think we should stay
We should use our influence in as effective a way as we can, but we should not withdraw.
So the debate rages... However, in my opinion JFK was speaking to the news media and sending a political message to the Communists in China, the Diem Government, his own National Security Team including the CIA as well as the American electorate, as Vietnam would certianly be an important topic in the coming Presidential Election of 1964. There were the public statements and there were the private statements:
During a meeting on September 10, 1963 regarding the civil war in Vietnam, President Kennedy expressed frustration with the conflicting reports provided to him by his military and diplomatic advisors and asked them to explain why their eye-witness accounts contrast so widely. General Victor Krulak and State Department Advisor Joseph Mendenhall were reporting to the President on their four day fact-finding mission to South Vietnam. Krulak’s view, based on his visits with military leaders was generally optimistic while Mendenhall, a Foreign Service Officer, shared his impressions of widespread military and social discontent.
According to the meeting minutes Krulak was on record as stating that “the Viet Cong war will be won (by the United States) if the current US military and sociological programs are pursued.” Meanwhile Mendenhall replied, “The people I talked to in the government when I asked them about the war against the VC, they said that is secondary now – our first concern is, in effect, in a war with the regime here in Saigon. (pause). There are increasing reports in Saigon and in Hue as well that students are talking of moving over to the Viet Cong side.”
These vastly different viewpoints caused President Kennedy to pause and then comment: “You both went to the same country?”
After nervous laughter, the President continued, “I mean how is that you get such different - this is not a new thing, this is what we’ve been dealing with for three weeks. On the one hand you get the military saying the war is going better and on the other hand you get the political (opinion) with its deterioration is affecting the military …What is the reason for the difference – I’d like to have an explanation what the reason is for the difference.”
The American government had long been a supporter of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem but policy makers were growing frustrated over the influence of Diem’s brother Ngo Dinh Nhu and his wife, Madame Nhu. In August, a month prior to the recorded meeting released today, Cable 243 had been issued authorizing the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, to pressure Diem to remove his brother Nhu; if Diem refused, the US would explore the possibility of alternative leadership. The issuance of the controversial cable caused infighting among the diplomatic and military advisors of the Kennedy Administration, which continued during the autumn of 1963.
The September 10, 1963 meeting continued with a presentation by advisor Rufus Phillips, which suggested various counterinsurgency efforts. Remarking on these recommendations, former Vietnam Ambassador Frederick Nolting asked, “What do you think will be the result of this? … ‘Cause what I’m thinking about is what happens if you start this and you get a reaction as expected from those that you’re encouraging, do you then get a civil war or do you get a quiet palace revolution or what do you think we get?”
Phillips answered that he believed it was still possible to split the Nhus from President Diem. He then commented: “When someone says that this is a military war, and that this is a military judgment. I don’t believe you can say this about this war. This is essentially a political war…for men’s minds.”
At a meeting the following day on September 11, 1963, President Kennedy asked Defense Secretary Robert McNamara if he thought that Diem’s reign was viable long-term. McNamara answered, “Mr. President, I don’t believe I can forecast that far ahead. I believe strongly that as of today there has been no substantial weakening of the military effort. I don’t know what the future will hold. I strongly support Dean Rusk’s suggestion that we proceed carefully and slowly here and this is quite contrary to what Ambassador Lodge has recommended.”
September 20, 1963 - President Kennedy addresses the United Nations General Assembly: "...For the value of this body's work is not dependent on the existence of emergencies-nor can the winning of peace consist only of dramatic victories. Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, that pursuit must go on."
Later, President Kennedy decided to send Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor to Vietnam. At the September 23, 1963 meeting, as Taylor and McNamara are about to start their mission, the President stated his hope that, based on what the two find, the US could “come to some final conclusion as to whether …they’re (Diem and Nhu) going to be in power for some time…and whether there is anything we can do to influence them or do we stop thinking about that.”
At a Cabinet meeting that same day, Undersecretary of State George Ball commented to the President on Vietnam, “It’s not an easy situation … what we want to do is to see if we can bring the situation about where the war can continue successfully and come at some point to a conclusion, because we don’t want to be bogged down in Southeast Asia forever.”
As September, 1963 drew to a close, the Vietnam debate raged on inside the Kennedy White House and reverberated through all the various Corridors of Power. Actions were being taken, unseen, and mostly unspoken, to change the course of history... or for some, take the wheel of the Ship of State into their own hands.
At the end of September, President Kennedy embarked on a 'Conservation Tour' and visited Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Utah, Oregon, California, and Nevada. Here is an example of him on this tour:
There are some hilariously sad photographic attempts to 'prove' Oswald was in Mexico and trying to get a Cuban Passport... but by the time that kind of proof was needed. There would be no investigation. And the Press, who once and to this day claim they loved JFK, are to blame as well as those that plotted and carried out and covered-up the assassination.
Here is some bullshit Warren Commission timeline of Lee Harvey Oswald for September, 1963:
September 17, 1963: LHO obtains a tourist card good for one visit to Mexico City from the Mexican consulate in New Orleans.
September 20, 1963: Ruth visits the Oswalds, and it is decided that Marina will return to Irving with Ruth for the birth of the baby.
September 23, 1963: Ruth and Marina leave for Irving.
September 24, 1963: Eric Rogers, a neighbor, sees LHO running to catch a bus.
September 25, 1963: LHO collects his unemployment check of $33. Later, he catches a bus bound for Houston. Late that night, he places a phone call to Horace Twiford, an official of the Texas Socialist Labor Party.
September 26, 1963 Early in the morning, LHO boards a bus for Laredo, Texas. He crosses the border into Mexico in the early afternoon.
2:15 PM: At Nuevo Laredo, LHO boards a bus for Mexico City.
September 27, 1963 10:00 AM: LHO arrives in Mexico City.
11:00 AM: LHO registers at the Hotel del Comercio, where he will stay for the duration of his visit.
11:30 AM: LHO makes his first visit to the Cuban Embassy, where he fills out the
application for a visa to Cuba. In the afternoon, LHO returns with passport photographs he had obtained. When LHO is told that the visa could take up to four months and was not possible without a Russian visa as well, he becomes angry. He walks a short distance to the Russian Embassy to inquire about a visa to Russia and is put off until the next day.
September 28, 1963 LHO returns to both the Cuban and the Russian Embassies with no success.
September 29, 1963 LHO probably attends a bullfight on this, a Sunday.
September 30, 1963 LHO phones the Russian Embassy one last time with no success. Later, he buys a bus ticket from Mexico City to Laredo, Texas.
So by September, 1963 the conspiracy is set in motion, Lee Harvey Oswald is being set up. A great, unanswered question is: Why him?
Who was Lee Harvey Oswald and why was he selected to be the patsy?
Who selected him, because obviously someone had made that decision already and was busy creating false evidence.
At the end of September, 1963 President Kennedy had less than two months to live.
You don't get more progressive than KPFA in Berkeley or KPFK in Los Angeles. So when those radio stations stopped begging for money for an hour and broadcast Peter Staudenmaier flapping his mouth about the harm conspiracy theorist do to the liberal and progressive agenda, I felt he was in need of a response.
It took the self proclaimed anarchist a while to get to his main point. He doesn't like Michael Moore documentaries, especially Fahrenheit 9/11. This in itself fires off a conspiracy theory: Any negative media about 9/11 must get beat down. Even our liberal icons must pay the piper and insult and, not try to refute, but mock any 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Mr. Staudenmaier warms us up to his theory with some really bad examples: The Reichstag Fire was a government conspiracy, you asshole. The Nazi Party was caught and called out, so it wasn't the Jews after all.
The Assassination of President Kennedy was not a random act of some 24 year old loner who decided to bring a rifle to work and shot the President as he drove down Main Street.
Lee Harvey Oswald was proven to be on the CIA payroll. He was a Marine who defected to the Soviet Union, changed his mind and moved back to the United States with a Russian wife, no questions asked. AND... the Dallas newspaper published the Presidential parade routed , unbeknownst to any loner who worked in the Texas School Book Depository, that routed was changed from whisking the President safely on to the Stemsons Freeway to making the right turn and left turn down a little side street and stopping directly in the line of fire… whatever that may have been.
50 witnesses said the bullets came from behind them on the infamous grassy knoll… 50 is a lot of people. (Mr. Staudenmaier really hates when conspiracy theorists use …)
Staudenmaier mumbles insults at Michael Moore's film and conspiracy theorists in general and says we are all simplistic and think the world would be a better place if the 'cabal' could be stopped.
Well, I do believe the world would be a better place if the conspiracy to steal the election of 2000 did not work and Bush, Jr. /Cheney did not enter the White House. Any arguments from the left?
I also think the nation would be a better place if Bush, Sr. never got anywhere near the White House and was not allowed to take part in any secret hostage negotiations with the Iranian Fanatical Islamic Government in 1979…
And yes, I believe the entire world would have been better served had JFK not been assassinated.
History is on the side of those labeled conspiracy theorists. It is amusing that even these liberal, left-wing radio stations felt obliged or were 'tricked' into broadcasting Mr. Staudenmaier's self immolation.
"If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed." - President James Buchanan to President Abraham Lincoln.
Diplomacy is a fascinating art. Some are good at it, but with bad results. Some are bad at it, with horrible results. Some are good at it with positive results. There are lies, deceit, false promises, hopes, dreams, desperation... different end games, riddles inside enigmas... and then there is oil.
China stepping into the Middle East as the 21st century unfolds will be an interesting chance to see the art of diplomacy through an entire arc of history. The decline of the West and the rise of China and the East as the possible leaders of the world's economic and political life... one never knows what the result will be or who will be sitting at the table.
The Iran situation is case in point. China is sliding a chair up to the table... what do they want? Such a loaded question... Let's take a look at the cards spread out in front of them...
From pretty far down into the article by Thomas J. Buonomo on Informed Comment:
"...While China does not currently view Iran’s expanding nuclear program as a threat substantial enough to warrant truly constricting sanctions, U.S. diplomats should impress upon them that interests diverge and loyalties shift. While a weak and isolated Iran might remain friendly toward China in the short term out of necessity, a nuclear-armed Iran might adopt a more independent, hegemonic foreign policy in the region, presenting potential energy security complications for China, whose dependence on the Middle East will only increase as its economy continues to expand.
If the United States and European Union could convince China that its interests are actually aligned on Iran, the threat of a more thoroughly constricting sanctions regime might induce Iran to acquiesce on its nuclear program in exchange for generous technological and financial support for renewable energy..."
Came across an interesting interview on-line with screenwriter Walter Bernstein after reading some of his journalism work during World War Two.
It is a seven-part interview and the official link from The Archive of American Television can be found below...
Walter Bernstein was interviewed for three-and-a-half hours at his home in New York, NY. Bernstein discussed openly about being listed in "Red Channels" in 1950. Despite being blacklisted and the pressure by the FBI, Bernstein wrote under pseudonyms for shows including Danger, Charlie Wild, Private Eye, You Are There, and David Susskind's The Prince and the Pauper.
Once his name was cleared, he wrote many movies including, Fail Safe, The Front, and the Emmy award-winning Miss Evers’ Boy s. The interview was conducted by Sunny Parich on April 20, 1998.
Here is Part One found on YouTube:
Here is a multi-part documentary about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It is the 50th anniversary of what has become know in the history books as The Berlin Crisis of 1961. As part of the terrorist-corporate media's rewriting of those American history books, we have lots of badly researched and false analysis in the Press (TV, radio, books, websites) of President Kennedy's handling of the political crisis. This weekend, our conservative pundists are slobbering all over the latest revisionist histoy book by Frederick Kempe.
President Kennedy faced crisis after crisis in the early 1960's as the military industrial complex fought to take hold of the reigns of power in America. By 1963, JFK was a different man, a different President than he was on his Inauguration Day. He had been through the fire of handling these crisis and by 1963, had become the great President we still honor today... just listen to his speeches from 1963... it would have been a very different America if he had not been assassinated in Dallas in November of that year.
Here is a post on The Berlin Crisis of 1961 by David Lifton (you can follow the comments thread by clicking here to Lifton's 50th anniversary post.)
Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:34 PM
This thread concerns Kennedy's "Berlin policy," and the recently published book by Frederick Kempe, "Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth." The Kempe book revives a very important issue, one that author Richard Reeves analyzed in depth 18 years ago in his book, "President Kennedy: Profile of Power." I thought I'd start this thread, to put the matter in context.
In my opinion, understanding what happened in Berlin in the "summer of '61" (and in what is called "the Berlin Crisis") is critical to understanding what followed in the Kennedy administration in the area of JFK's foreign policy towards Cuba and--consequently--Berlin figures as another marker on the road to Dallas.
I have not read Kempe's book (just yet) but those interested in this subject should be aware that the basic situation JFK was facing in Berlin is narrated (and analyzed, in considerable detail), in author Richard Reeves' 1993 book "President Kennedy: Profile of Power." What is known as the Berlin crisis began on 6/4/61, when JFK met Khrushchev in Vienna (at what is sometimes referred to as the "Vienna Summit"), and Khrushchev delivered an ugly, fist-banging ultimatum: that he was going to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany, that access to Berlin (located over 100 miles inside East Germany) would then be controlled by East Germany (and the Communist regime of Walter Ulbricht) and the west be damned.
Kennedy was faced with this ugly ultimatum and the problem of what to do about it. For a brief while, what actually happened in Vienna, and the full extent of Khrushchev's ultimatum was not made public.
What happened next: The hawks in JFK's administration clustered around former Secretary of State Dean Acheson who, on 6/28/61, wrote a critical memo that defined the parameters of the situation. Acheson decided that Berlin was the place to face down the Soviets,once and for all. Acheson's memo instructed Kennedy to "prepare for war. . .nuclear war." Siding with Acheson were the JCS AND Vice President Johnson--yes "and Vice President Johnson". Moreover, the JCS sought authority to use tactical nukes to defend West Berlin (can you believe that? Well, its true).
Kennedy sought to find a way to avoid war, and to maneuver around this dangerous situation, and convince Khrushchev that he meant business. His brain trust consisted of Sorenson, Schlesinger, Mansfield---and a young MIT whiz named Thomas Schelling, an expert in game theory. (You can buy his books on game theory on Amazon).
As events unfolded, Kennedy learned (to his distress) that Khrushchev did not care what Kennedy said--only what he did. So: Kennedy basically had to bluff Khrushchev--publicly--but the stakes were huge and the risks were terrible. A strategy had to be devised that projected the credible appearance that Kennedy would in fact go to war over Berlin, without actually going to war. For Kennedy, it was touchy, scarey, and just plain awful. He had to tread a very fine line.
JFK went on TV on July 25, 1961, calling for increased money, calling up reserves, increasing draft calls, etc. There were also very serious (and secret) back channel communications, involving Bobby Kennedy and the Russian spy Bolshakov.
The bottom line: Kennedy made the decision that what counted (i.e., what he ultimately wanted) was Western access to West Berlin--that he could not be responsible for what East German did in its zone (i.e., the Soviet Zone). In other words, JFK made the decision that the U.S. would not go to war to protect the "freedom" of East Berlin--just the freedom of West Berlin. That's where he drew the line.
Most important: JFK was able to "walk in the other guy's shoes." He understood that East Germany was hemorrhaging at the rate of 2,000 per day. So he understood that the East German government was going to have to do something about that.
Kennedy was (apparently) hoping that the East German government would simply seal off their own border, and solve their political problem that way. And in fact, Senator Fulbright, in a national TV appearance on "Issues and Answers," signaled that that would in fact be acceptable to the U.S.
The public response to JFK's 7/25/61 speech was very positive. Hugely positive, in fact.
Behind the scenes, much of JFK's strategy was dictated by his conferring with Thomas Schelling. (All this is spelled out in Reeves).
During this very dangerous period, after the July 25, 1961 nationwide TV address (but before the Wall went up [8/14/61] which marked "the end" of the Berlin Crisis ), Bobby Kennedy thought the chances of a major nuclear war were one in five. Yes, one in five. It was that serious.
The "resolution" of the crisis was the erection of the Berlin Wall on 8/14/61. As explained by Reeves, that avoided a nuclear war in Europe. No question about it.
Its all spelled out in Richard Reeves; and you've got to read BOTH the text, AND the footnotes.
The Berlin Crisis --starting on 6/4/61 and ending on 8/14/61--is every bit as hair raising as the Cuban Missile Crisis the following year. But Kennedy played it down, after it was over. No proclamations were made. Just two key news stories--one in the NY Times and the other in the Washington Post--explaining the "real-politik" of the situation, and that the Wall marked the end of what had been a dangerous situation.
From a memo in my files that I wrote three years ago. . .:
QUOTE: I've read through Reeves' chapters (and all the footnotes) very carefully, and now have a much greater understanding of what happened between June 4 and August 14 (1961) It seems clear to me that "the Berlin Crisis" is almost as dramatic as the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the details are not known because many of the most fundamental documents (including the official record of the JFK-Khr meeting of June 4, 1961) were not available until the 1990s, and both Schlesinger AND Sorenson hid the true nature of the frightening way Khrushchev behaved on June 4, in delivering his ultimatum. (So did Hugh Sidey, who also--apparently--had access to the official notes of the meeting.) Again, Reeves' book was not written until 1993, and the other key sources on which he relies. . .. UNQUOTE
Here's another passage:
Anyway, nuclear war was avoided because of some very sophisticated maneuvering by JFK (and Sorenson, and Schlesinger, and probably RFK, too) that was on a par with-and completely equivalent to--the strategic maneuvering and tactical thinking that JFK again employed during the much more well known Cuban missile crisis, which commenced fourteen months later, and lasted for the famous period known as "13 days." UNQUOTE
QUOTE: "However, in the lead-up to the climax--which extended through must of June, and into July (and which ended with a major nationwide TV address by JFK on the address of 7/25)--former Secretary State Dean Acheson (who was called in as an adviser) weighed in with a critical memo (6/28/61)--a very hawkish document recommending that JFK prepare for nuclear war over Berlin. The JCS wanted to use nukes, too. In the key meetings, LBJ sided with Acheson and the JCS.
In this [memo], I cannot possibly adequately summarize the complex situation, but the story of how JFK maneuvered through this diplomatic and military minefield is all laid out in Reeves' 1993 book--IF you not only read the text, but also the footnotes.
What I learned from this is that its not possible to understand how JFK/RFK approached Cuba (with Mongoose, starting in October/Nov 1961) if one does not understand what happened in the 10-week period between June 4 and August 14, and which must have been a thoroughly terrifying experience (and a prelude, of course, to what happened in October 1962, when the Soviets put missiles in Cuba). UNQUOTE
Here's some more background. During the crisis (and apparently as part of the strategy), JFK authorized Joseph Alsop to air his personal views in a Saturday Review article. The headline of the Alsop Saturday Review article: "The Most Important Decision in U.S. History—And How the President is Facing It"
Now, focus this language (QUOTING ALSOP, reporting Kennedy's thinking):
* * * The decision, as Alsop phrased it, was “Whether the United States should risk something close to national suicide in order to avoid national surrender.” UNQUOTE
Kennedy knew he had to avoid appeasement, or even the appearance of it. "What he said to insiders: If he wants to rub my nose in it. . its over."
"It's over" meant just that--that if, after all JFK did, Khrushchev insisted on "taking" Berlin (via the use of its proxy, the East German government) there would indeed be war.
From my notes on JFK's 7/25/63 Berlin Speech:
JFK addresses the nation—and played his hand, to show how serious he was, designed to make Khrushchev "pay attention":
--tripled draft calls
--Personal sacrifice neccessary
--More $ for military (put in details)
I don't know how this data is treated in Kempe's book (my copy is on order from Amazon). What I'm laying out here is how author Richard Reeves dealt with this remarkable situation in his really excellent 1993 book--and remember, that was 18 years ago.
There's little question in my mind that the prospect of nuclear war was very serious--as I said above, Bobby Kennedy estimated the chances at 1 in 5.
There's also no question that JFK's key adversary, politically, was former Secretary State Dean Acheson (supported by the JCS AND Vice President Johnson). Acheson, in the aftermath, viewed Kennedy as an "uninformed" young man, who was "out of his depth," etc. When Kennedy navigated the dangerous Cuban Missile Crisis, 14 months later, he (Acheson) called the positive outcome "pure dumb luck."
(If you want to understand the nature of "political forces" that were allied against Kennedy, it wasn't just people like Lyman Lemnitzer and Curtis Lemay. One cannot ignore Acheson.)
So much for what you will find in Reeves book. . now, here are some of my own views.
DSL PERSONAL VIEWS ON RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BERLIN CRISIS AND SUBSEQUENT CUBA POLICY
FIRST: Kennedy's failure to "knock down the wall" (and other such crazy ideas) was viewed, by the top political/military leadership, as on a par with his failure to send in the Marines in connection with the Bay of Pigs. So to those people, by August, 1961, Kennedy was an out and out appeaser, and it looked this way:
--March 1961: Kennedy failed to go into Laos with troops, as advocated by Sec State Dean Rusk
--April 1961 Kennedy failed at the Bay of Pigs
--August 1961 Kennedy failed to knock down the Berlin Wall
To me, this kind of "analysis" is sheer lunacy, but. . and here's where I am heading. .
SECOND: when it came to Cuba, and the fall of 1961. . I don't believe that John Kennedy was going to risk another brush with thermonuclear war because of what he viewed as a revolutionary out-of-control Marxist in the Caribbean, whose associate, Che Guevara, was fomenting revolution in South America.
Consequently--and this is just my opinion--understanding what happened in Berlin (circa 6/4/61 - 8/14/61) is essential to understanding the "moral calculus" or "ethical calculus" that motivated Kennedy in deciding --if necessary--to treat Castro (personally) as a military target and overthrow his regime, rather than risk a rerun of the frightening experience he (and brother Robert) had just had in Berlin. (And can you blame them?)
So that, imho, explains his calling in Tad Szulc, and asking: "What would you say if I gave the order to assassinate Castro?" etc. He simply had no intention of losing his presidency by being "tolerant" of a Marxist regime 90 miles off the coast of Florida.
What's amazing to me, once you read Reeves, is how Sorenson played it down, in his book, and even in Counselor, his recently published memoir published just a year or so prior to his death. I think that he simply didn't want to let the world know that Kennedy had played nuclear poker. Again, that's my opinion.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading Kempe's book, but I don't think I will agree with his conclusions, at all.
There's little question in my mind that, as historian Robert Dallek correctly has said (and Dallek probably has pored over all the same documents that Reeves had, and to which Kempe had access) that this was THE single most dangerous crisis (other than the Cuban Missile Crisis).
I really do not believe that how JFK viewed the "world stage" and the rapidly evolving events, and the problem posed by his own recalcitrant military can be properly understood without appreciating the super-charged Berlin crisis (6/4-8/14/61), and how it ended without a war (on 8/14/61) BECAUSE OF "the wall."
As JFK said on 8/14/61: "Better a wall, than a war" (from memory).
I agree. We're here today, and the map of Europe looks the way it does, because of how that crisis was handled.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Kempe talks of his visit to East Berlin, and his traverse through Checkpoint Charlie. I had the same experience, but at a much earlier time. As I write this post, I have in front of me my passport from 1961, when I was briefly living in Paris, and in general, was touring Europe in a VW "bug" that I purchased when I first arrived. The Wall was big news--all over the world--and I and a companion, a Fulbright Scholar, set out from Paris and went to Berlin. We entered East Germany on August 30, 1961 (at Helmstedt) and were in Berlin in a few hours. As U.S. citizens, we had the right to go into the "eastern zone," and that's what we did. I have some vivid memories of that day--just two weeks after the Wall went up. Checkpoint Charlie--the crossing point on the Frederichstrasse, looked exactly as it did in the movie "The Spy That Came in from the Cold." Parked nearby were the U.S. tanks, that had been involved in the famous standoff. As we passed through Checkpoint Charlie, off to one side were men with microphones, taking down everyone's license number. We spent several hours in East Berlin (which was akin to a poor section of Brooklyn) with some buildings emblazoned with large posters of Soviet astronaut Yuri Gargarin, and then returned to the glass and steel beauty of West Berlin. It was a memorable experience.
Of course, at the time I had no idea of the behind the scenes policy debates that were going on. Or how close the world had come to the outbreak of a nuclear war in Europe.
6/21/11 5:45 PM PDT
Los Angeles, CA
1961 is the 50th anniversary of the JFK Presidency.
Here is the audio track of President John F. Kennedy speaking at the 8th annual Conference on International Economic and Social Development held at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 1961.
In his speech the President addresses the new foreign aid program and the need to overturn communist regimes in order to end social and economic injustice.
Kennedy's take on how to win the world over to our side had more to do with social and economic justice than bombers and troop deployments.
Following his assassination in 1963, America did not continue to follow along his path...
If you want the short version... skip to 12 minutes in.
August 23, 2011 will bring the 40th anniversary of one of the most successful efforts to transform America. Forty years ago the most influential representatives of our largest corporations despaired. They saw themselves on the losing side of history. They did not, however, give in to that despair, but rather sought advice from the man they viewed as their best and brightest about how to reverse their losses. That man advanced a comprehensive, sophisticated strategy, but it was also a strategy that embraced a consistent tactic – attack the critics and valorize corporations! He issued a clarion call for corporations to mobilize their economic power to further their economic interests by ensuring that corporations dominated every influential and powerful American institution. Lewis Powell’s call was answered by the CEOs who funded the creation of Cato, Heritage, and hundreds of other movement centers.
"...Powell’s solution was for corporations to act like real corporations by using their wealth and ownership to take control of the universities and media and use that control to further corporate interests by causing the universities and media to extol the virtue of corporate dominance and by influencing the law to support corporate interests. But his central theme was that business must cease its “appeasement.” CEOs should show:
“no hesitation to attack the Naders … who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.”
Powell: Do what we do Best – “Produce and Influence Consumer Decisions”
Powell’s specific prescriptions for how corporations should use their economic power to achieve dominance are filled with hortatory expressions about quality.
“Essential ingredients of the entire program must be responsibility and "quality control." The publications, the articles, the speeches, the media programs, the advertising, the briefs filed in courts, and the appearances before legislative committees -- all must meet the most exacting standards of accuracy and professional excellence.”
But Powell knew corporations’ real strength – manipulating the public through advertising and marketing.
“It is time for American business -- which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions -- to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.”
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) spoke on the importance of net neutrality at this year's South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.
Open Internet: An Independent Producer's Last, Best Hope
Thank you, Todd, for that kind introduction. I'd like to thank Roland Swenson, Hugh Forrest, Shawn O'Keefe, and all the talented and dedicated organizers who have brought us here together for South by Southwest.
South by Southwest started as a showcase for this city's music scene, an innovative way for Austin's uniquely talented and wonderfully eclectic musicians to get the nation's attention.
It wasn't just about the party. It wasn't just about keeping Austin weird. It was about commercial viability, about finding a big enough audience so that these musicians could afford to keep making music.
It was a brilliant solution to a problem that most artists spend a lot of time wrestling with.
Some of you may be aware that I used to be in comedy. And like many of the bands and filmmakers and other creative professionals here in Austin this week, my partner Tom Davis and I had to wrestle with the challenge of getting ourselves heard and seen.
Francis Ford Coppola was asked about this problem in a recent interview. He said:
You have to remember that it's only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job.
Just like everyone else, Tom and I wanted our craft to be our job. And we didn't have an in with the duke of Weimar. Who, by the way, had a terrible sense of humor.
So we worked our hard and paid our dues, starting out at a place called the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis and touring anywhere they'd have us, hoping to find an audience and build a following so that we could do the thing we loved-and do it as a job instead of a hobby.
And in the back of my mind, and the back of Tom's mind, and the back of everyone's mind was the same thought: God, I hope I don't have to sell out.
Because there was another kind of patron on the scene-rich and powerful corporations with access to built-in audiences.
And just like the patronage of a king or a pope, support from these corporations-big record labels or studios or TV networks-came with strings attached. Your art had to be mainstream enough to appeal to-and generate profit from-a mainstream audience.
Coppola describes it this way:
The cinema language happened by experimentation-by people not knowing what to do. But unfortunately, after 15-20 years, it became a commercial industry. People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, "Don't experiment. We want to make money. We don't want to take chances."
That's not to say there's never been good mainstream art. There has. And lots of it. Tom and I got really, really lucky to get hired by Lorne Michaels in July of 1975 to work on brand a new show, to be called "NBC Saturday Night," that would premier in October.
We were able to be ourselves, to do our thing and get paid. But there was a reason for that: We had Lorne fighting on our behalf with the network executives. Time after time, he would go to the mat for us, insulating us from the pressures of commercial viability.
And if you couldn't find a gig where you had a Lorne Michaels defending your creative integrity from the bosses, oftentimes the only way to get heard was to sell out. That wasn't us. And that's not the people who are here in Austin this week.
Fortunately, South by Southwest has grown. It's not just Austin's music scene's attempt to reach out and build a following without going through the corporate wringer. It's a celebration of all the ways in which independent creative minds have been able to find audiences.
And it's fitting that there's now a whole portion of the festival devoted to interactive, because the Internet has proven to be not only a hotbed for innovations that change our lives and an incredible engine of job creation, but also the ultimate self-distribution channel.
Thanks in no small part to the astonishing brilliance and creativity of the folks in this room, people the world over are now able to connect with each other, inspire each other, learn from each other, and entertain each other. And the best part is, no one has to sell out. Unless they want to. The Greatful Dead once told me, I can't remeber when exactly, that they'd been trying to sell out for 30 years. But the Dead were an exception that proved the rule.
But nowYou don't need a record deal to make a song and have people hear it. You don't need a major studio to make a film and have people see it. You don't need a fancy R&D job at a big corporation to come up with a great business model and launch it. You don't even need a high school diploma.
But I came here today to warn you that the party may almost be over. There is nothing more motivated than a corporation that thinks it's leaving money on the table. They are coming after the Internet, hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important tool for independent artists and entrepreneurs-its freedom and openness.
I know that many of you have heard people talk about net neutrality before. You might have heard me say that it's the First Amendment issue of our time. And it is. And you might already be on board with our fight to save it.
But I want to take just a moment to explain it, because part of the strategy being used by people who want to destroy net neutrality is to confuse Americans about what the term even means.
Net neutrality means that content-a web page, an email, a download-moves over the Internet freely, and it moves at the same speed no matter what it is or who owns it.
So an email from President Obama and an email from your Tea Partier uncle come in at the same speed. You can buy a song from an indie band just as quickly as you can buy a song from a band on a major label. And if you start a website for your small business, your customers can have their orders processed just as easily with you as they could if they were buying from a multi-national conglomerate.
We take this basic fairness-this equality, this, shall we say, neutrality-for granted, because that's how it's always been. The Internet is democratic. Not capital-D Democratic, although, for that annoying uncle of yours who still insists that government has never created a job, the Internet was developed by the government at public expense.
No, what I mean is that the Internet is small-d democratic. Everyone has the same say. If you want to be heard above other people-if you want your argument to prevail, or your song to be popular, or your product to sell-the only way to do it is to have a better argument, or a catchier song, or a more useful product.
I think this is a good thing. I think most people think this is a good thing. And that's why your Tea Partier uncle might hear that Al Franken is fighting for net neutrality and say something like, "Leave the Internet alone!"
And that's exactly what I want. We have net neutrality right now. And we don't want to lose it. That's all. The fight for net neutrality isn't about improving the Internet. It's not about changing the Internet at all. It's about ensuring that it stays just the way it is.
It's the big corporations who now own the physical infrastructure that makes the Internet work, the pipes through which content is distributed-the tubes, if you will-who want to change the Internet by ending net neutrality.
Now, let me say something about big corporations. They're not inherently evil. Not at all. I notice that some of them have even sponsored this year's South by Southwest, which is very hip of them.
But corporations have a contractual duty-a legal obligation to their shareholders-to make as much money as they can.
And the big telecom companies make lots and lots of money off their ownership of the Internet-but they've figured out a way to make more.
It's called "paid prioritization." Telecom companies want to create a high-speed lane for corporations that can pay for it. As the Chief Technology Officer for BellSouth pointed out, "I can buy a coach standby ticket or a first class ticket...I can get two-day air or six-day ground."
This would make these corporations gatekeepers of the Internet, with the power to decide what content can get to its intended audience in the high-speed lane and what content gets stuck in traffic, depending on what makes the most money for their shareholders.
For American consumers, this would of course be bad news.
We'll have a lot fewer viewpoints represented online-not just creative viewpoints, but maybe even ideological viewpoints. Do you think Comcast would refrain from making it harder for people to watch this speech online if they could do so legally?
And even if the telecoms can't force Americans to like their preferred content, they could make it very difficult-and very expensive-for Americans to access the content they do prefer.
Maybe you don't care for whatever Verizon is peddling on its V-Cast. So you go to load up a YouTube video of something else. But if Verizon selectively throttles bandwidth, as we've seen reports indicating they might, that video might load slower and at a lower resolution. How long are you going to put up with that before you turn back to the pristine quality and speedy downloads you can still have through V-Cast?
Maybe you don't want to watch the NBC/Universal content Comcast is offering through its streaming service. The movie you want to see is on Netflix's instant streaming platform. But now Comcast wants to impose a new fee on Netflix, making it more expensive for them to offer competition to Comcast's streaming service. Obviously, this cost could be passed on to you in the form of higher prices on Netflix subscriptions. But the real endgame for Comcast is to put Netflix out of business entirely, leaving you with no choice except Comcast's programming.
Meanwhile, now that Comcast has bought NBC, it won't be long before Verizon or AT&T starts thinking about buying ABC or Direct TV, creating a few enormous media conglomerates with bigger and bigger footprints over the delivery of content. If they're able to implement what they call "managed services," you might have to buy both broadband access and a cable package to get either.
And just as you pay extra to get HBO or Showtime on your cable package, we've seen reports that telecom companies might consider dividing the Internet into tiers the same way-you'd pay a base fee for a few sites, and more if you want to be able to get to others.
If these companies aren't already doing these things now, rest assured that this is their plan. In the end, the American people will end up paying a lot more money for worse service and less content. They'll hear from a lot fewer viewpoints. They'll have a lot less freedom to choose what they want to see and hear and do online.
All of this is bad for consumers. But it would be an outright disaster for the independent creative community. Corporations want control over distribution systems so they can ensure that content that makes them a profit has an easier time finding an audience than content that doesn't. That's been true throughout history.
Here's an example I saw first-hand.
We used to have rules to prevent this kind of conflict of interest in television. They were called "Fin-Syn," or "Financial Interest in Syndication" rules, and they prevented corporations that owned the pipelines over which content was distributed on TV-broadcast networks-from owning that content.
But then the networks asked Congress to let those rules expire. Network executives swore under oath that they wouldn't give their own programming preferred access to the airwaves.
I was working at NBC back then, and I didn't buy that line one bit. But Congress did. And when those rules were allowed to expire, guess what happened. Within a couple of years, NBC was the largest supplier of its own prime-time programming. Following suit, Disney bought ABC. Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, bought CBS. And then NBC merged with Universal.
Today, if you're an independent producer, you can make a great show. But you can't get it on the air-you cannot access the most effective distribution system-unless you give the network a huge piece of the show. The price for getting to air is creative control and a hefty chunk of the valuable syndication rights.
Or look at the history of independent film. Anyone can make a movie. The technology exists. But in the early days of film, a few powerful studios developed a monopoly over the theater industry-the main distribution system.
Independent filmmakers have had to find other ways to get their work seen. From drive-in theaters to VCRs, cable television to video stores, each new distribution system has offered independents a new opportunity to reach an audience without having to sell out and make the kind of movies that the big studios wanted.
And each has died off, either because they couldn't compete with the corporate-controlled distribution channels-or because they were co-opted. HBO was once a home for all kinds of weird indie films-until Time Warner up and bought it.
The Internet has proven more effective and more durable than any other independent distribution channel.
Examples are all around us, especially this week.
When the relationship between the Writer's Guild and television studios deteriorated so badly in 2007 and 2008 that the Guild-of which I am a member-went on strike, Joss Whedon had a dilemma. He didn't want to sit on his hands-but he didn't want to cross the picket line.
So, when he created Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, he released it for free on the Internet. TIME magazine would later call it not just one of the best TV shows, but one of the best inventions of the year, writing:
It's hard to imagine a studio green-lighting an idea as weird and ostensibly uncommercial as a 43-min., three-part online super-villain musical.
And yet, it was a huge hit. Millions of people downloaded the episodes, and more have subsequently purchased it on DVD. Whedon made back his investment. The cast and crew, who had taken on the project without compensation, got paid. The studios did not.
Meanwhile, as Clear Channel consolidates its hold on the radio, more and more bands are using the Internet to launch their careers outside of the corporate-controlled distribution networks.
Now, I want to be clear about something. Often, when people talk about using the Internet as a distribution network, especially for music, they mean "for free." And that's not necessarily what I'm talking about.
If you want people to listen to your music or watch your movie for free, fine. But I support efforts to crack down on piracy for the same reason I support net neutrality: I want artists to be able to get paid for their work-artists, and sound engineers, and gaffers, and camera operators, and craft services people, all of whose livelihoods are threatened by piracy.
But I also want artists to be able to get paid for their work while being able to do the work that they want to do, not what a corporation wants them to do. And the Internet can make that possible.
It's not just YouTube. Sites like Bandcamp and Kickstarter have made it possible for audiences not only to discover new independent acts, but to help those artists make and distribute music.
Last week, the Decemberists released a letter in which they described how they went, in their words, "went from being a small local band in Portland to creating a successful small business that employs over a dozen people and allows us to tour and sell records throughout the world."
Our ability to build a fan base at home and abroad was and still is dependent to a large degree on the Internet and the way it has changed how musicians connect to their listeners. We depend on everything from our own online store to streaming sites like Pandora and Rhapsody to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some of these help us reach people, some help us sell our product and generate revenue for our employees and ourselves. These outlets have become absolutely essential to us, and practically all musicians working today.
And then we come to you guys-the tech entrepreneurs.
The open Internet allows the creative artists here in Austin this week to be more entrepreneurial. And it allows the entrepreneurs in this room to be more creative-and more successful.
More corporate control of the Internet would make it harder for small online businesses to compete, as anyone who's had to wrestle with Apple over an app can attest.
But it would also undermine the spirit that has made this sector so valuable, not only to the entrepreneurs who have succeeded in it, but to the American economy.
We are all familiar with the stories of YouTube, launched above a little pizzeria in San Mateo, and Twitter, dreamed up during a brainstorming session at a small podcast company.
And represented here in Austin are hundreds, thousands of stories just like those, stories of people who build prototypes in garages and drop out of college to take a chance on their own ambition, entrepreneurs who come from nowhere to change people's lives everywhere.
You guys know these stories. You are these stories. And you know that these wouldn't be possible if you couldn't rely on the Internet as a free and open distribution platform.
But here's what you may not realize. You aren't just tech innovators. You're job creators. And with our economy just beginning to recover from a debilitating recession, the industries of the 20th century struggling to survive, and our nation increasingly focused on the enormous challenge of remaining competitive in the 21st century global economy, you have enormous credibility right now.
I haven't been in Washington that long, but I've heard enough from both parties to know that people there are desperate to hear from successful entrepreneurs like you. Job creators get their phone calls returned. Do not underestimate how much political power you have.
And just as the Internet has proven to be the last, best independent distribution system, you just might be our last, best hope for saving it.
But we don't have much time. Net neutrality is in trouble.
Unfortunately, one thing the big corporations have that we don't is the ability to purchase favorable political outcomes.
All industries have lobbyists-but the big telecoms have lots of them, and good ones, too. On top of that, last year's Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns without disclosing any of it.
This means that every policymaker in Washington is hearing much more from the anti-net neutrality corporate side than they are from the side without the lobbyists. Everyone has more to fear from the corporations with unlimited slush funds than they do from our side.
The end of net neutrality would benefit no one but these corporate giants. And yet, true to form, telecom lobbyists and their conservative allies in Congress are taking up their cause, persuading your Tea Partier uncle and far too many other Americans by using a rhetorical technique I call "making stuff up."
They'll tell you that putting rules in place to preserve net neutrality as it exists today amounts to a "government takeover" of the Internet, a talking point that deserves a place alongside "death panels" and "Obama's a Muslim" in the pantheon of lies that aren't just baldly false, but completely ridiculous.
The word "takeover" implies that we want to change the Internet. We don't. And it's not the government trying to exert more control over the Internet, it's big corporations who want to put tollbooths on the information superhighway.
But that isn't stopping big corporations from trying to undermine net neutrality at every turn.
Earlier this year, the FCC approved new rules that, while they didn't go nearly as far as I think they need to in order to keep the Internet fully free, at least laid some foundation for preserving the principles of net neutrality as it exists today.
But the House of Representatives voted to deny the agency the funding it would need to implement its order. And they plan to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse it entirely, giving the telecoms an explicit permission slip to move ahead with paid prioritization and any other scheme they can concoct.
Meanwhile, I've introduced legislation with Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington that would codify principles of net neutrality into law.
And I'm introducing a new bill that would call violations of net neutrality out for what they are-anti-competitive actions by powerful media conglomerates that represent violations of our anti-trust laws. We don't allow big corporations to use their size to bully their competition, and my bill would make it clear that this applies to telecoms that use their power to control the Internet.
These fights are coming to the Senate. And I'm going to be on my colleagues every day, urging them not to cave in to the telecom lobbyists.
But there are more of those lobbyists than there are of me. And with Citizens United in place, the more powerful these corporations are allowed to get-and the more they profit from what they're trying to do-the more they'll spend targeting elected officials who stand up to them, and the harder it will be to move the needle back in the other direction.
If we're going to win these legislative fights, we need to engage more voices in the debate-people who would be hurt if net neutrality became a thing of the past.
Of course, that includes artists and entrepreneurs like you. But it also includes the American people as a whole. Most of them just don't know that the Internet they rely on could cease to exist as they know it. They hear a lot of talk about how innovative and exciting these corporations' plans are-and they don't realize that those plans would raise their rates, make it harder to access their favorite content online, and kill off creative and ideological viewpoints.
That's why our side needs to do a better job of communicating with people outside of the corporate-controlled distribution systems. Which, as it so happens, is what you all think about for a living.
And so it's time for us to use the Internet to save the Internet. One of the great things about the tech sector is how you use the technology you pioneer not only to build businesses, but to strengthen communities.
You have customers, or users, or members who look to you for leadership. They represent a tremendous source of social and political capital. And you're the only ones who can tap into that to help build the movement we'll need to win this fight.
Twenty years ago, South by Southwest was a music festival. Today, it's a hotbed of creative entrepreneurship and a celebration of independent art and technological innovation.
What will it be twenty years from now? Will independent artists still matter? Or will so many Americans have no choice but to consume the content sponsored by corporations that only the corporate content can thrive? Will individual entrepreneurs still matter? Or will a few conglomerates have so much control over the Internet that only the innovations they can profit from will stand a chance of making it on the open market?
When we gather at South by Southwest 2031, will we be hearing new music from independent creative minds and talking about the next exciting way the Internet will help to connect us? Or will we be stuck listening to the Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about the days before you had to sell out to make it?
Let's not sell out. And let's not let the government sell us out. Let's fight for net neutrality. Let's keep Austin weird. Let's keep the Internet weird. Let's keep the Internet free.
Here is a speech that the Democratic President Obama or a supposed working class Vice-President Biden should be delivering... in Wisconsin.
Robert M. La Follette gave this speech opening his campaign for Governor of Wisconsin on July 4, 1897.
More than a hundred years ago, progressives were fighting off the rise of the corporation in America.
The basic principal of this government is the will of the people. A system was devised by its founders which seemed to insure the means of ascertaining that will and of enacting it into legislation and supporting it through the administration of the law. This was to be accomplished by electing men to make, and men to execute the laws, who, would represent in the laws so made and executed the will of the people.
This was the establishment of a representative government, where every man had equal voice, equal rights, and equal responsibilities. Have we such a government today? Or is this country fast coming to be dominated by forces that threaten the true principle of representative government? I have no desire to stir your passions or invoke an unfair judgement. But we owe it to the living as well as the dead to make honest answers to these questions.
Every thinking man must have been impressed with the unsettled restless condition of the public mind so marked for the last few years . . . What is it that is swelling the ranks of the dissatisfied?
Is it a growing conviction in state after state, that we are fast being dominated by forces that thwart the will of the people and menace representative government?Since the birth of the Republic, indeed almost within the last generation, a new and powerful factor has taken its place in our business, financial and political world and is there exercising a tremendous influence. The existence of the corporation, as we have it with us today, was never dreamed of by the fathers...
The corporation of today has invaded every department of business, and it's powerful but invisible hand is felt in almost all activities of life...
The effect of this change upon the American people is radical and rapid.The individual is fast disappearing as a business factor and in his stead is this new device, the modern corporation...
The influence of this change upon character cannot be overestimated. The businessman at one time gave his individuality, stamped his mental and moral characteristics upon the business he conducted...
Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost...
I am well aware that the combining of capital admits of operations upon a vast scale, and may cheapen production in the long run, but we pay too dearly even for cheap things, and we cannot afford to exchange our independence for anything on earth...
Corporations exacting large sums from the people of this state in profits, upon business transacted within its limits, either wholly escape taxation, or pay insignificantly in comparison with the average citizen in Wisconsin... Owning two thirds of the personal property of the country, evading payment of taxes wherever possible, the corporations throw almost the whole burden up on the land, upon the little homes, and the personal property of the farms. This is a most serious matter, especially in the pinching times the people have suffered for the last few years...
God, how patient are Thy poor! These corporations and masters of manipulation in finance heaping up great fortunes by a system of legalized extortion, and then exacting from the contributors, -- to whom a little means so much, -- a double share to guard the treasure!...
So multifarious have become corporate affairs, so many concessions and privileges have been accorded them by legislation, -- so many more are sought by further legislation, -- that their specially retained representatives are either elected to office, directly in their interests, or maintained in a perpetual lobby to serve them.
Hence it is that the corporation does not limit its operations to the legitimate conduct of its business. Human nature everywhere is selfish, and with the vast power which consolidated capital can wield, with the impossibility of fixing any personal or moral responsibility for corporate acts, its commands are heard and obeyed in the capitals of the state and nation. But in a government where the people are sovereign why are these things tolerated? Why are there no remedies promptly applied and the evils eradicated?
It is because today there is a force operating in this country more powerful than the sovereign in matters pertaining to the official conduct.The official obeys whom he serves. Nominated independently of the people, elected because there is no choice between candidates so nominated, the official feels responsibility to his master alone, and his master is the political machine of his party. The people whom he serves in theory, he may safely disobey; having the support of his political organization, he is sure of his renomination and knows he will be carried through the election, because his opponent will offer nothing better to the long suffering voter...
Fellow citizens, I could have chosen a topic that would have given me much greater pleasure to discuss with you here today. But as we love our state and our country we cannot ignore the events that mark these days. Recall if you can a session of a legislature in any state in the Union last winter which wholly escaped charges of scandalous corruption. It will not do to say that such charges have always been made,because it would not be true. Such charges twenty-five years ago accompanied by legislative investigation retired the man to private life... Not so today.
So greatly has the standard of official morality deteriorated that such charges have ceased to impress the public mind.Between the people and the representatives there has been built up a political machine which is master of both. It is the outgrowth of the caucus and convention system...
In the years of business prosperity which the country experienced with the development of the great Upper Mississippi Valley, men in every pursuit of life were engrossed with their individual affairs and left caucuses and conventions wholly to the politician. When finally the pressure of hard times and the multiplying abuses in official life turned their thoughts toward needed reforms in legislation, they awoke to find themselves the mere subjects of this new master, the political machine, which had come to be enthroned in American politics.
They found it running their caucuses, naming their delegates,conducting their conventions, nominating party candidates, making the party platform, controlling legislatures and state administration, and fooling a majority of the people year after year with plausible explanations through the columns of its own press. Experience has proved it almost an idle folly to attend a caucus with the hope of defeating the machine until today; -- after a century of statesmanship and struggle and sacrifice, after all the triumphs achieved under the stars and stripes, -- thousands upon thousands of good citizens in every state, stand aloof from the caucus and convention with the settled belief that representative government is an unqualified failure.
Think of it! The citizen recognized the supremacy of the machine and abandoning the contest, the official recognizing the supremacy of the machine obeying its orders. What then have we left?
It is the very life of a republic that the laws shall be made and administered by those constitutionally chosen to represent the majority.
Government by the political machine is without exception the rule of the minority... When legislatures will boldly repudiate their constituents and violate the pledges of their platforms,then indeed have the servants become the masters, and the people ceased to be sovereign; -- gone the government of equal rights and equal responsibilities, lost the jewel of constitutional liberty. Do not look to such lawmakers to restrain corporations within proper limits. Do not look to such lawmakers to equalize the burden of taxation. Do not look to such lawmakers to lift politics out of the ways of darkness.
No, begin at the foundation, make one supreme effort, --even under the present bad system, --to secure a better set of lawmakers. Rally to the caucuses and conventions, each with the party in which he believes, Secure one victory, if possible, over the machine, elect men who will pass a primary election law which will enable the voter to sell the candidate of his choice without the intervention of caucuses or convention of the domination of the machine. Do this and your officers will respond to public opinion. Do this and the reforms you seek will be within easy reach...
Oh, men! Think of the heroes who died to make this country free; think of their sons who died to keep it undivided upon the map of the world. Shall we, their children, basely surrender our birthright and say: "Representative government is a failure? No, never, until Bunker Hill and Little Round Top, sink into the very earth."
Let us here, today, under this flag we all love, hallowed by the memory of all that has been sacrificed for it and for us, dedicate ourselves to winning back the independence of this country, to emancipating this generation and throwing off from the neck of the freemen of America, the yoke of the political machine.
Speech of Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, 1950
This speech became known as the Enemies From Within speech. Whether the likes of McCarthy and J.Edgar Hoover were actually patriots and true believers, or just the vanguard to take back the reigns of power from the Democratic Party and deliver it back to Corporate Powers that lost it in 1932 is a blurry mess for historians to study. Neither men was virtuous and if they succeeded completely in their day, what would the world and America's place in it be like today...
On the other hand...The Korean War was about to start... what would America do?
"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight as we celebrate the one hundred forty-first birthday of one of the greatest men in American history, I would like to be able to talk about what a glorious day today is in the history of the world. As we celebrate the birth of this man who with his whole heart and soul hated war, I would like to be able to speak of peace in our time—of war being outlawed—and of world-wide disarmament. These would be truly appropriate things to be able to mention as we celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
Five years after a world war has been won, men’s hearts should anticipate a long peace—and men’s minds should be free from the heavy weight that comes with war. But this is not such a period—for this is not a period of peace. This is a time of “the cold war.” This is a time when all the world is split into two vast, increasingly hostile armed camps—a time of a great armament race.
Today we can almost physically hear the mutterings and rumblings of an invigorated god of war. You can see it, feel it, and hear it all the way from the Indochina hills, from the shores of Formosa, right over into the very heart of Europe itself.
The one encouraging thing is that the “mad moment” has not yet arrived for the firing of the gun or the exploding of the bomb which will set civilization about the final task of destroying itself. There is still a hope for peace if we finally decide that no longer can we safely blind our eyes and close our ears to those facts which are shaping up more and more clearly . . . and that is that we are now engaged in a show-down fight . . . not the usual war between nations for land areas or other material gains, but a war between two diametrically opposed ideologies.
The great difference between our western Christian world and the atheistic Communist world is not political, gentlemen, it is moral. For instance, the Marxian idea of confiscating the land and factories and running the entire economy as a single enterprise is momentous. Likewise, Lenin’s invention of the one-party police state as a way to make Marx’s idea work is hardly less momentous.
Stalin’s resolute putting across of these two ideas, of course, did much to divide the world. With only these differences, however, the east and the west could most certainly still live in peace.
The real, basic difference, however, lies in the religion of immoralism . . . invented by Marx, preached feverishly by Lenin, and carried to unimaginable extremes by Stalin. This religion of immoralism, if the Red half of the world triumphs—and well it may, gentlemen—this religion of immoralism will more deeply wound and damage mankind than any conceivable economic or political system.
Karl Marx dismissed God as a hoax, and Lenin and Stalin have added in clear-cut, unmistakable language their resolve that no nation, no people who believe in a god, can exist side by side with their communistic state.
Karl Marx, for example, expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning such things as love, justice, humanity or morality. He called this “soulful ravings” and “sloppy sentimentality.” . . .
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time, and ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down—they are truly down.
Lest there be any doubt that the time has been chosen, let us go directly to the leader of communism today—Joseph Stalin. Here is what he said—not back in 1928, not before the war, not during the war—but 2 years after the last war was ended: “To think that the Communist revolution can be carried out peacefully, within the framework of a Christian democracy, means one has either gone out of one’s mind and lost all normal understanding, or has grossly and openly repudiated the Communist revolution.” . . .
Ladies and gentlemen, can there be anyone tonight who is so blind as to say that the war is not on? Can there by anyone who fails to realize that the Communist world has said the time is now? . . . that this is the time for the show-down between the democratic Christian world and the communistic atheistic world?
Unless we face this fact, we shall pay the price that must be paid by those who wait too long.
Six years ago, . . . there was within the Soviet orbit, 180,000,000 people. Lined up on the antitotalitarian side there were in the world at that time, roughly 1,625,000,000 people. Today, only six years later, there are 800,000,000 people under the absolute domination of Soviet Russia—an increase of over 400 percent. On our side, the figure has shrunk to around 500,000,000. In other words, in less than six years, the odds have changed from 9 to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us.
This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of Communist victories and American defeats in the cold war. As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.” . . .
The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores . . . but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this Nation. It has not been the less fortunate, or members of minority groups who have been traitorous to this Nation, but rather those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest Nation on earth has had to offer . . . the finest homes, the finest college education and the finest jobs in government we can give.
This is glaringly true in the State Department. There the bright young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been most traitorous. . . .
I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . .
As you know, very recently the Secretary of State proclaimed his loyalty to a man guilty of what has always been considered as the most abominable of all crimes—being a traitor to the people who gave him a position of great trust—high treason. . . .
He has lighted the spark which is resulting in a moral uprising and will end only when the whole sorry mess of twisted, warped thinkers are swept from the national scene so that we may have a new birth of honesty and decency in government. "
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke to the National Press Club on January 19, 2011.
Trumka goes to the wall for President Obama again and again... but I don't think the President understands Trumka. Obama feels more comfortable around big business...
And we know the Republicans hate Trumka...
...but as a Party, the Democrats better listen to this speech and act on it in the next election. 2010 was a disaster for American history... some parts of the world shake their heads... some turn away in embarrassment... and others smile and lick their lips.
What made America great last century is what can save America this century... but we are extinguishing our own lights and The City Upon The Hill is growing dark. No foreign enemy has done this to America. The Republican Party and Corporate America, including the media has done more damage than all our foreign enemies combined.
In 1972, the Democratic Party nominated Senator George McGovern from South Dakota, a World War Two Hero to be the Presidential nominee against Republican Richard Nixon.
Well, we all know how that turned out.
In the 1964 election, the Democratic Party kicked-ass and took names. By 1980... Ronald Reagan was President of the United States of America. Now that is a long, strange trip.
In Conservative in America, you can be a conspiracy-theorizing, tinfoil-hat wearing, lying corporate shill… and be considered Presidential material.
Here is the transcript to Living on Earth from Public Radio International. The discussion is about the chaotic weather during the last year: The Wild Weather of 2010.
The American Media and Republican politicians mock any mention of global warming, but here is a rational, global and therefore alternative discussion of the weather.
If you would rather listen to the discusion: click here to go to the Living on Earth website.
CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth, I'm Steve Curwood. The other day it was colder in southern Florida than northern Maine, while some western states had just set daily records for high temperatures. It's been that kind of year-- extreme. Twenty-ten is bidding to go in the record books as one of the warmest, but it's the craziness of the weather, rather than just the heat that has scientists concerned. Twenty-ten, they say, stands out for the number and intensity of extreme weather events. It appears climate change is tilting the odds in favor of more of the kind of heat, floods and even snows that 2010 brought us. Living on Earth's Jeff Young has our story.
YOUNG: Jeff Masters has seen some pretty wild weather. As a hurricane hunter in the late '80s, he flew into the teeth of some of the biggest, baddest storms. Then he co-founded the internet forecasting site, Weather Underground. There he keeps track of extreme weather events. And Masters says 2010 is the most extreme yet.
MASTERS: In my 30 plus years of being a meteorologist I can't ever recall a year like this one as far as extreme weather events go, not only for U.S. but the world at large.
YOUNG: Countries covering one fifth of the planet's land saw record high heat. Drought altered the world's food trade. Floodwaters inundated parts of the U.S. and Asia with frequency that defied statistical expectations.
TRENBERTH: Isn't that interesting, we have a one in a thousand year event happening every few years nowadays.
YOUNG That's Kevin Trenberth, a meteorologist who leads the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
TRENBERTH: And so, it's the changes in extremes where we notice the climate change. Droughts and floods and heat waves that are outside the bounds of what we'd normally expect. The global warming component is rearing its head in that way.
YOUNG: And 2010 could be a harbinger of things to come, says Heidi Cullen, a climatologist with the non-profit research group Climate Central.
CULLEN: I actually do get a sense that we are really getting glimpses of what the future will look like through some of these extreme events that we've experienced.
YOUNG: I asked these three experts, Cullen, Trenberth and Masters, to choose their top examples of the year's weather extremes. Their list tells us a lot about the interplay of climate change and weather. And it carries a warning about the storms on the horizon for coming generations.
YOUNG: Remember snowpocalypse? Snowmageddon? Those monster storms dumped record piles of snow on the mid-Atlantic, including Washington D.C.
YOUNG: This snowball battle in Washington's Dupont Circle wasn't the only fight the snow brought on.
CBS SNOWSTORM NEWS CLIP, SAWYER: That war of words over what this storm means for global warming...
LIMBAUGH CLIP: It's one more nail in the coffin for the global warming thing.
YOUNG: The Capitol's most prominent climate change denier, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, got attention with an igloo on the national mall.
INHOFE: They put a sign on top that said Al Gore's new home!
YOUNG: But climate expert Kevin Trenberth says the Senator's take on the storm is, well, a bit of a snowjob. Increased precipitation events— whether rain or snow— are just what computer models of climate change predict.
TRENBERTH: That's actually very much a symptom of warmer sea temperatures off the coast that are providing extra moisture to produce that huge amount of snow. It's not a sign that global warming is not here, quite contrary in fact.
YOUNG: That extra moisture and warm temperatures kept feeding severe storms in the U.S. Nor'easters soaked New England in late March; a deluge hit coastal North Carolina in October; record rains fell in Oklahoma City in June; and, in May, disaster struck Tennessee.
NEWS CLIP: Massive flooding left at least a dozen dead. Thousands of people have been evacuated after an astonishing 13 inches of rain fell in a two-day period.
MASTERS: That rain event was equivalent to a one in 1000 year event.
YOUNG: That's Weather Underground's Jeff Masters.
MASTERS: You have to go back to the civil war to look at any kind of disaster that effected Tennessee as great. The city of Nashville was basically underwater. And I might add that the record high temperatures were set up and down the coast in the few days accompanying that storm event. And, again, when you have record high temperatures you can have record amounts of water vapor present in the atmosphere capable of causing heavy rains.
YOUNG: By mid summer it was the heat Masters was tracking, first in the eastern U.S.
MASTERS: Well, the record heat was concentrated in mid Atlantic region again, so not only did they have snowmageddon, but they had their hottest summer on record in the DC area. Maybe the legislators there were trying to be told something! I don't know...
YOUNG: Then in September the West Coast felt the heat.
NEWS CLIP: A record-breaking heat wave making LA feel more like Death Valley. In downtown Los Angeles yesterday, thermometers topped out at 113 degrees, an all time high.
YOUNG: Through October, more than 41 hundred record highs were reported around the U.S. About 15 hundred record lows were posted in the same time, a high-to-low ratio of about two point five to one. But the U.S. heat wave paled compared to what much of the rest of the world endured this summer.
NEWS CLIP: Forest fires have killed at least 25 and left thousands homeless in central Russia as heat wave grips much of the country.
YOUNG: Moscow had never before hit 100 degrees. This summer, it hit that mark 5 times in ten days. Again, Climate Central's Heidi Cullen:
CULLEN: What we saw happen in Russia this summer was so fascinating, because we saw it had global reach, right. They stopped exporting wheat; they lost essentially 30 percent of their wheat yield. And, from a statistical standpoint, those kinds of statistics just fascinate me. When you look at the July temperature anomaly in Moscow since 1950, technically, it was essentially like a one in 100,000 year event that's how intense it was. I mean it was just off the charts.
YOUNG: Eighteen countries set records for high temperatures. Jeff Masters mapped them as the extreme heat covered more and more of the planet.
MASTERS: The warm temperatures covered a record amount of the earth's surface. We've never seen 20 percent of the earth's surface experience their all-time record high in one year. Now, that's not to say every point in those country set an extreme record, but certainly in Russia, a good portion of Russia hit their all time extreme records. In Pakistan they hit 128 and a half degrees Fahrenheit, which is the hottest ever recorded in Asia. And, Southeast Asia hit its highest with Burma over 116 degrees this summer.
YOUNG: Masters says the same rare weather pattern that baked Russia—a sort of kink in the jet stream over Asia—also had another effect.
MASTERS: And so, again, all that heat allowed for more water vapor to evaporate into the air and caused heavier precipitation than would have otherwise would have happened.
NEWS CLIP: Southern China has been devastated by floods and landslides caused by weeks of torrential rain. In Schizuan province some parts were hit with the heaviest flooding in more than 150 years.
YOUNG: First China, then, Pakistan. Some 20 million people were affected in Pakistan, as roughly a fifth of the entire country was underwater.
MASTERS: In Pakistan it was that nation's Katrina. It was their worst natural disaster in history.
YOUNG: This is by no means an exhaustive list for 2010's weather extremes. The Atlantic hurricane season was also very active, and the Pacific saw a shift from the periodic warming known as El Nino to the cooling called La Nina. What climate and weather experts like Masters, Cullen, and Trenberth see in this year's wild weather is a mix of natural variability and a changing climate. NCAR's Kevin Trenberth says the natural variability still reigns supreme.
TRENBERTH: But the global warming signal is always in the background and always going in one direction. And, it's when the natural variability is going in the same direction as the global warming that we're suddenly apt to break the records.
YOUNG: So, journalists seem especially prone to asking this question when there is, say, a big flood or heat wave, and we want to know is this global warming-- What do you say?
TRENBERTH: That's really not the right question because we can't attribute a single event to climate change, but I would contend that every event has a climate change component to it nowadays. And a different way of thinking about it is try to look at odds of that event happening. And, with some of the events that we've had this year it's clear-- even though the research has not been done in detail yet-- that the odds have changed, and we can probably say some of these would not have happened without global warming, without the human influence on climate.
YOUNG: Climate Central's Heidi Cullen agrees. She likes to say, there's no lone gunman theory of climate change causing weather events. But the data can reveal warming's extra push. That's just what scientists were able to do in a study of the deadly heat wave that gripped Europe in 2003. Cullen says they ran two models, one with a steady, unchanging climate, another with a climate altered by greenhouse gas emissions.
CULLEN: In that world where we have had our fingerprint through fossil fuel burning and deforestation, that world produced a heat wave like the one we saw in Europe with a much greater frequency. So, global warming doubled or possibly quadrupled the chances of that event happening.
YOUNG: Cullen writes about that study in her book, "The Weather of the Future." She explores what studies like that can tell us about the weather to come.
CULLEN: They showed that by 2040 the 2003 type summer we saw in Europe would likely be happening every other year. And by 2070 the European heat wave of 2003-- that would be a relatively cool summer. And so I think that when you do that thought exercise and fast forward through time, you begin to really see how big of a problem this becomes for society.
YOUNG: That 2003 heat wave, Cullen reminds us, killed more than 30 thousand people and cut crop harvests by nearly a third.
MASTERS: This year makes me nervous, it really does.
"He'll help people think" - FDR
The Way To Peace
Division of World Between Russia and United States
Henry A. Wallace
A speech delivered September 12, 1946.
1. First off, I want to give my own personal endorsement to the candidates chosen by the Democratic Party and the American Labor Party in New York. James Mead long has been one of the ablest public servants in Washington—a constant, faithful and intelligent proponent of the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt. The Senate will miss him—but Albany needs him. He will make a great governor—worthy of the tradition of Smith and Roosevelt and Lehman.
2. Herbert Lehman knows full well the problems and the opportunities facing the State of New York, the United States, and the United Nations. His great heart and great mind will be increasingly useful when he is a member of the United States Senate.
3. Victory for Mead and Lehman in November will mean a long stride in the people's progress.
4. Tonight I want to talk about peace—and how to get peace. Never have the common people of all lands so longed for peace. Yet, never in a time of comparative peace have they feared war so much.
5. Up till now peace has been negative and unexciting. War has been positive and exciting. Far too often, hatred and fear, intolerance and deceit have had the upper hand over love and confidence, trust and joy. Far too often, the law of nations has been the law of the jungle; and the constructive spiritual forces of the Lord have bowed to the destructive forces of Satan.
6. During the past year or so, the significance of peace has been increased immeasurably by the atom bomb, guided missiles and airplanes which soon will travel as fast as sound. Make no mistake about it—another war would hurt the United States many times as much as the last war. Web cannot rest in the assurance that we invented the atom bomb—and therefore that this agent of destruction will work best for us. He who trusts in the atom bomb will sooner or later perish by the atom bomb—or something worse.
7. I say this as one who steadfastly backed preparedness throughout the Thirties. We have no use for namby-pamby pacifism. But we must realize that modern inventions have now made peace the most exciting thing in the world—and we should be willing to pay a just price for peace. If modern war can cost us $400 billion, we should be willing and happy to pay much more for peace. But certainly, the cost of peace is to be measured not in dollars but in the hearts and minds of men.
8. The price of peace—for us and for every nation in the world—is the price of giving up prejudice, hatred, fear, and ignorance.
9. Let's get down to cases here at home.
10. First we have prejudice, hatred, fear and ignorance of certain races. The recent mass lynching in Georgia was not merely the most unwarranted, brutal act of mob violence in the United States in recent years; it was also an illustration of the kind of prejudice that makes war inevitable.
11. Hatred breeds hatred. The doctrine of racial superiority produces a desire to get even on the part of its victims. If we are to work for peace in the rest of the world, we here in the United States must eliminate racism from our unions, our business organizations, our educational institutions, and our employment practices. Merit alone must be the measure of man.
12. Second, in payment for peace, we must give up prejudice, hatred, fear and ignorance in the economic world. This means working earnestly, day after day, for a larger volume of world trade. It means helping undeveloped areas of the world to industrialize themselves with the help of American technical assistance and loans.
13. We should welcome the opportunity to help along the most rapid possible industrialization in Latin America, China, India, and the Near East. For as the productivity of these people increases, our exports will increase.
14. We all remember the time, not so long ago, when the high tariff protectionists blindly opposed any aid to the industrialization of Canada. But look at our exports to Canada today. On a per capita basis our Canadian exports are seven times greater than our exports to Mexico.
15. I supported the British loan of almost four billion dollars because I knew that without this aid in the rehabilitation of its economy, the British government would have been forced to adopt totalitarian trade methods and economic warfare of a sort which would have closed the markets of much of the world to American exports.
16. For the welfare of the American people and the world it is even more important to invest $4 billion in the industrialization of undeveloped areas in the so-called backward nations, thereby promoting the long-term stability that comes from an ever-increasing standard of living. This would not only be good politics. and good morals, it would be good business.
17. The United States is the world's great creditor nation. And low tariffs by creditor nations are a part of the price of peace. For when a great creditor demands payment, and at the same time, adopts policies which make it impossible for the debtors to pay in goods—the first result is the intensification of depression over large areas of the world; and the final result is the triumph of demagogues who speak only the language of violence and hate.
18. Individual Republicans may hold enlightened views—but the Republican party as a whole is irrevocably committed to tariff and trade policies which can only mean world-wide depression, ruthless economic warfare and eventual war. And if the Republicans were in power in the United States today, intelligent people all over the world would fear that once more we would be headed straight for boom, bust and world-wide chaos.
19. I noticed in the papers recently that Governor Dewey doesn't like my prophecies. I said weeks before the last election—and said it repeatedly—that Franklin Roosevelt would carry 36 states and have a popular majority of three million. Of course, Mr. Dewey didn't like that one. I say now—as I have said repeatedly—that Republican foreign economic policies carried into action would mean disaster for the nation and the world. Mr. Dewey won't like that one either.
20. The Republican party is the party of economic nationalism and political isolation—and as such is as anachronistic as the dodo and as certain to disappear. The danger is that before it disappears it may enjoy a brief period of power during which it can do irreparable damage to the United States and the cause of world peace.
21. Governor Dewey has expressed himself as favoring an alliance of mutual defense with Great Britain as the key to our foreign policy. This may sound attractive because we both speak the same language and many of our customs and traditions have the same historical background. Moreover, to the military men, the British Isles are our advanced air base against Europe.
22. Certainly we like the British people as individuals. But to make Britain the key to our foreign policy would be, in my opinion, the height of folly. We must not let the reactionary leadership of the Republican party force us into that position. We must not let British balance-of-power manipulations determine whether and when the United State gets into war.
23. Make no mistake about it—the British imperialistic policy in the Near East alone, combined with Russian retaliation, would lead the United States straight to wax unless we have a clearly-defined and realistic policy of our own.
24. Neither of these two great powers wants war now, but the danger is that whatever their intentions may be, their current policies may eventually lead to war. To prevent war and insure our survival in a stable world, it is essential that we look abroad through our own American eyes and not through the eyes of either the British Foreign Office or a pro-British or anti-Russian press.
25. In this connection, I want one thing clearly understood. I am neither anti-British nor pro-British—neither anti-Russian nor pro-Russian. And just two days ago, when President Truman read these words, he said that they represented the policy of his administration.
26. I plead for an America vigorously dedicated to peace—just as I plead for opportunities for the next generation throughout the world to enjoy the abundance which now, more than ever before, is the birthright of man.
27. To achieve lasting peace, we must study in detail just how the Russian character was formed—by invasions of Tartars, Mongols, Germans, Poles, Swedes, and French; by the czarist rule based on ignorance, fear and force; by the intervention of the British, French and Americans in Russian affairs from 1919 to 1921; by the geography of the huge Russian land mass situated strategically between Europe and Asia; and by the vitality derived from the rich Russian soil and the strenuous Russian climate. Add to all this the tremendous emotional power which Marxism and Leninism gives to the Russian leaders—and then we can realize that we are reckoning with a force which cannot be handled successfully by a "Get tough with Russia" policy. "Getting tough" never bought anything real and lasting—whether for schoolyard bullies or businessmen or world powers. The tougher we get, the tougher the Russians will get.
28. Throughout the world there are numerous reactionary elements which had hoped for Axis victory—and now profess great friendship for the United States. Yet, these enemies of yesterday and false friends of today continually try to provoke war between the United States and Russia. They have no real love of the United States. They only long for the day when the United States and Russia will destroy each other.
29. We must not let our Russian policy be guided or influenced by those inside or outside the United States who want war with Russia. This does not mean appeasement.
30. We most earnestly want peace with Russia—but we want to be met half way. We want cooperation. And I believe that we can get cooperation once Russia understands that our primary objective is neither saving the British Empire nor purchasing oil in the Near East with the lives of American soldiers. We cannot allow national oil rivalries to force us into war. All of the nations producing oil, whether inside or outside of their own boundaries, must fulfill the provisions of the United Nations Charter and encourage the development of world petroleum reserves so as to make the maximum amount of oil available to all nations of the world on an equitable peaceful basis—and not on the basis of fighting the next war.
31. For her part, Russia can retain our respect by cooperating with the United Nations in a spirit of open-minded and flexible give-and-take.
32. The real peace treaty we now need is between the United States and Russia. On our part, we should recognize that we have no mare business in the political affairs of Eastern Europe than Russia has in the political affairs of Latin America, Western Europe and the United States. We may not like what Russia does in Eastern Europe. Her type of land reform, industrial expropriation, and suppression of basic liberties offends the great majority of the people of the United States. But whether we like it or not the Russians will try to socialize their sphere of influence just as we try to democratize our sphere of influence. This applies also to Germany and Japan. We are striving to democratize Japan and our area of control in Germany, while Russia strives to socialize eastern Germany.
33. As for Germany, we all must recognize that an equitable settlement, based on a unified German nation, is absolutely essential to any lasting European settlement. This means that Russia must be assured that never again can German industry be converted into military might to be used against her—and Britain, Western Europe and the United States must be certain that Russia's Germany policy will not become a tool of Russian design against Western Europe.
34. The Russians have no more business in stirring up native communists to political activity in Western Europe, Latin America and the United States than we have in interfering in the politics of Eastern Europe and Russia. We know what Russia is up to in Eastern Europe, for example, and Russia knows what we are up to. We cannot permit the door to be closed against our trade in Eastern Europe any more than we can in China. But at the same time we have to recognize that the Balkans are closer to Russia than to us—and that Russia cannot permit either England or the United States to dominate the politics of that area.
35. China is a special case and although she holds the longest frontier in the world with Russia, the interests of world peace demand that China remain free from any sphere of influence, either politically or economically. We insist that the door to trade and economic development opportunities be left wide open in China as in all the world. However, the open door to trade and opportunities for economic development in China are meaningless unless there is a unified and peaceful China—built on the cooperation of the various groups in that country and based on a hands-off policy of the outside powers.
36. We are still arming to the hilt. Our excessive expenses for military purposes are the chief cause for our unbalanced budget. If taxes are to be lightened we must have the basis of a real peace with Russia—a peace that cannot be broken by extremist propagandists. We do not want our course determined for us by master minds operating out of London, Moscow or Nanking.
37. Russian ideas of social-economic justice are going to govern nearly a third of the world. Our ideas of free enterprise democracy will govern much of the rest. The two ideas will endeavor to prove which can deliver the most satisfaction to the common man in their respective areas of political dominance. But by mutual agreement, this competition should be put on a friendly basis and the Russians should stop conniving against us in certain areas of the world just as we should stop scheming against them in other parts of the world. Let the results of the two systems speak for themselves.
38. Meanwhile, the Russians should stop teaching that their form of communism must, by force if necessary, ultimately triumph over democratic capitalism—while we should close our ear's to those among us who would have us believe that Russian communism and our free enterprise system cannot live, one with another, in a profitable and productive peace.
39. Under friendly peaceful competition the Russian world and the American world will gradually become more alike. The Russians will be forced to grant more and more of the personal freedoms; and we shall become more and more absorbed with the problems of social-economic justice.
40. Russia must be convinced that we are not planning for war against her and we must be certain that Russia is not carrying on territorial expansion or world domination through native communists faithfully following every twist and turn in the Moscow party line. But in this competition, we must insist on an open door for trade throughout the world. There will always be an ideological conflict—but that is no reason why diplomats cannot work out a basis for both systems to live safely in the world side by side.
41. Once the fears of Russia and the United States Senate have been allayed by practical regional political reservations, I am sure that concern over the veto power would be greatly diminished. Then the United Nations would have a really great power in those areas which are truly international and not regional. In the world-wide, as distinguished from the regional field, the armed might of the United Nations should be so great as to make opposition useless. Only the United Nations should have atomic bombs and its military establishment should give special emphasis to air power. It should have control of the strategically located air bases with which the United States and Britain have encircled the world. And not only should individual nations be prohibited from manufacturing atomic bombs, guided missiles and military aircraft for bombing purposes, but no nation should be allowed to spend on its military establishment more than perhaps 15 per cent of its budget.
42. Practically and immediately, we must recognize that we are not yet ready for World Federation. Realistically, the most we can hope for now is a safe reduction in military expense and a long period of peace based on mutual trust between the Big Three.
43. During this period, every effort should be made to develop as rapidly as possible a body of international law based on moral principles and not on the Machiavellian principles of deceit, force and distrust—which, if continued, will lead the modern world to rapid disintegration.
44. In brief, as I see it today, the World Order is bankrupt—and the United States, Russia and England are the receivers. These are the hard facts of power politics on which we have to build a functioning, powerful United Nations and a body of international law. And as we build, we must develop fully the doctrine of the rights of small peoples as contained in the United Nations Charter. This law should ideally apply as much to Indonesians and Greeks as to Bulgarians and Poles—but practically, the application may be delayed until both British and Russians discover the futility of their methods.
45. In the full development of the rights of small nations, the British and Russians can learn a lesson from the Good Neighbor policy of Franklin Roosevelt. For under Roosevelt, we in the Western Hemisphere built a workable system of regional internationalism that fully protected the sovereign rights of every nation—a system of multilateral, action that immeasurably strengthened the whole of world order.
46. In the United States an informed public opinion will be all-powerful. Our people are peace-minded. But they often express themselves too late—for events today move much faster than public opinion. The people here, as everywhere in the world, must be convinced that another war is not inevitable. And through mass meetings such as this, and through persistent pamphleteering, the people can be organized for peace —even though a large segment of our press is propagandizing our people for war in the hope of scaring Russia. And we who look on this war-with-Russia talk as criminal foolishness must carry our message direct to the people—even though we may be called communists because we dare to speak out.
47. I believe that peace—the kind of peace I have outlined tonight—is the basic issue, both in the Congressional campaign this fall and right on through the Presidential election in 1948. How we meet this issue will determine whether we live not in "one world" or "two worlds"—but whether we live at all.
Here is Chalmers Johnson, who died a few weeks ago, being interviewed at UC Berkeley in 2007.
Have Americans forgotten how to think?
That is the central question for us as a nation. The first half of this interview is fascinating history we don't get from our media... the second half is mandatory viewing if we are going to survive as a democratic republic.
I'm going to be posting videos every Friday for a while that feature alternative thinkers.
The first in this series is a rather long video interview with Peter Dale Scott from 2007.
Let me know what you think.
As Peter Dale Scott discusses in this video as well as in his books, America has a Public Government and a 'Deep Government' or secret government... the two have seldom had the same goals.
Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, I believe, are insane and controlled the reigns of power in this nation.