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SPRING 2007  · DECEMBER 2006 · JULY-AUG 2006 · APRIL--MAY 2006 · FEBRUARY 2006
Earth Day at 37 · Occupation Forces · Who Benefits · Let America Be Ameri · Moon/Bush · Bush's War Policy · Corporate War · Keller and Dylan

Click above, for articles in this issue.    


Champions for Peace



Today in America one often hears it said, in our nation's capital, and in the media, by the defenders of foreign aggression, who continually argue in favor of the current 'war on terrorism', that we are making the world safe for democratic principles. 


Bush, Blair and their lackeys have used the excuse that preventive measures are warranted in order to protect our way of life.  In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, George Bush, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and others beat the drums of war by fomenting fear as a justification for the 'shock and awe' campaign of destruction that was to be unleashed on the populace of Iraq. 


The tactics of fear mongering are not new, they have been used as tools of intimidation to stoke the fires of patriotic fervor before.  Two voices from the past, address similar tactics used by the powerful to involve America in World War I and later in Vietnam.  As one reads their words it is difficult not to hear echoes of truth reveberating in the America of today.


Hellen Keller:


Hellen Keller was one of the most important and notable activists in the peace movement in the early 20th century.  Although she was blind and deaf, hers was a mind of impassioned reasoning for peace.  The following excerpted remarks are from a speech she delivered on Jan. 5, 1916 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.


"The conquest of America... is a nightmare confined exclusively to ignorant persons... Yet everywhere we hear fear advanced as argument for armament.  It reminds me of a fable I read.  A certain man found a horseshoe.  His neighbor began to weep and wail because, as he justly pointed out, the man who found the horseshoe might someday find a horse. Having found the shoe he might shoe him.  The neighbor's child might some day go so near the horse's heels as to be kicked, and die. 


Undoubtedly the two families would quarrel and fight, and several valuable lives would be lost through the finding of the horseshoe...


Congress is not preparing to defend the people of the United States.  It is planning to protect the capital of American speculators and investors in Mexico, South America, China and the Philippines.  Incidentally this preparation will benefit the manufacturers of munitions and war machines...


These men want their foreign investments protected.  Every modern war has had its root in exploitation.  The Civil War was fought to decide whether the slaveholders of the south or the capitalists of the north should exploit the west.  The Spanish-American War decided that the United States should exploit Cuba and the Philippines.  The South African War decided that the British should exploit the diamond mines.  The Russo-Japanese War decided that Japan should exploit Korea.  The present war is to decide who shall exploit the Balkans, Turkey, Persia, Egypt, India, China, Africa...


Every few days we are given a new war scare to lend realism to their propaganda... All the machinery of the system has been set in motion.  Above the complaint and din of protest from the workers is heard the voice of authority.  "Friends" it says, "fellow workmen, patriots; your country is in danger! There are forces on all sides of us...  Will you murmur about low wages when your country, your very liberties, are in jeopardy?"


...We are not free unless the men who frame and execute the laws represent the interests of the lives of the people and no other interest.  The ballot does not make a free man out of a wage slave.  There has never existed a truly free man and democratic nation in the world.  From time immemorial men have followed with blind loyalty the strong men who had the power of money and armies.  Even while battlefields were piled high with their own dead. They have tilled the land of their rulers and have been robbed of the fruits of their labor.  They have built palaces, pyramids, temples, and cathedrals that held no real shrine of liberty.


...It is your business to see that... everyone has a chance to be well born, well nourished, rightly educated...  Strike against all ordinances and laws and institutions that continue the slaughter of peace and the butcheries of war.  Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought.  Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder.  Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings.  Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction.  Be heroes in an army of construction."



Bob Dylan:


Decades later, a young man using the stage name Bob Dylan, would be a symbol of yet another peace movement in America, this amid the violent conflict in the Southeastern Asian nation of Vietnam.  Dylan's lyrics in "Masters of War"(1963) again reverberate the same theme echoed earlier in the century, of men profiting by the blood and sacrifice of their countrymen.


Masters of War (Excerpted passages)


Come you masters of war

You that build all the guns

You that build the death planes

You that build the big bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know

I can see through your masks


You that have never done nothin'

But build to destroy

You play with my world

Like It's your little toy....


Like Judas of old

You lie and deceive

A world war can be won

You want me to believe...


You fasten the triggers

For the others to fire

Then you set back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion

As young people's blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud...


Even Jesus would never

Forgive what you do


Let me ask you one question

Is your money that good

Will it buy you forgiveness

Do you think that it could

I think you will find

When your death takes its toll

All the money you made

Will never buy back your soul...



Editorial Comments: Victor Saraiva

Posted  May 09, 2007

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