Progressive Calendar 11.28.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 06:36:38 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.28.06

1. Green scare/KFAI  11.28 11am
2. Talking suitcases 11.28 12noon
3. Haiti poverty     11.28 4:30pm
4. Criticize Israel? 11.28 5pm
5. Salon/poems/open  11.28 6:30pm
6. Lion/lamb/peace   11.28 7:30pm
7. Criticize Israel? 11.28 8pm

8. Rich Broderick - The Bridges to nowhere
9. Howard Zinn    - The uses of history and the war on terrorism
10. ed            - Kiss my assets  (poem)

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Green scare/KFAI 11.28 11am

Tune into CATALYST Tues. Nov.28,11am on KFAI RADIO(archived for 2 weeks
after broadcast at hear more about the assault on First
Amendment against environmentalists (remember the Quakers and other
antiwar activists under survellience or on no-fly lists?) Progressives
must stand together against the increased assault on dissent.LH

Investigative journalist Will Potter and former Earth Liberation Front
spokesperson Leslie James Pickering to speak about "Green Scare" in
Minneapolis on December 7, 2006.

Contact: fightthegreenscare [at] 612.729.2837

The Twin Cities Eco-Prisoner Support Committee will be hosting former
Earth Liberation Front Spokesman Leslie James Pickering and investigative
journalist Will Potter on a moderated panel at the Jack Pine Community
Center (2815 East Lake St., Minneapolis) on December 7th as part of a
nationally coordinated Day Of Solidarity against the Green Scare.

On December 7, 2005, the FBI made the first arrests of "Operation
Backfire," a multi-state sweep targeting alleged Earth Liberation and
Animal Liberation Front activists with charges of conspiracy and arson.
This sweep would ultimately lead to over a dozen arrests.  Three months
later, in March of 2006, the government convicted seven organizers of the
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign. The SHAC 7 are currently
serving up to 6 years in a landmark First Amendment case involving the
"Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act," for alleged involvement in running a
controversial website.

Mr. Potter and Mr. Pickering will discuss the background on these cases,
the larger "War on Dissent" underway in the United States, discuss the
erosion of Civil Liberties, and answer questions from the audience.

The 7:00 p.m. panel will be preceded by a 6:00 p.m. dinner and
letter-writing table. We are asking for a sliding scale donation of
$10-$25, which will go to support those facing these charges or
sentencing. As with all of our events, no one will be turned away for lack
of funds.

Will Potter is an award-winning reporter based in Washington, D.C., who
focuses on how the "War on Terrorism" affects civil liberties. He has
tracked how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and
environmental activists as "eco-terrorists." Further, he has closely
followed the trial of the SHAC 7, has testified before the U.S. Congress
on his reporting, and frequently speaks with journalists and in public
forums about efforts to roll back civil liberties in the name of
"fighting terrorism." He has written for many publications, including:
The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Legal Affairs, The Chronicle
of Higher Education, In These Times, The Texas Observer, The Washington
City Paper, Z and Counterpunch.

Leslie James Pickering served as spokesperson for the North American Earth
Liberation Front Press Office, from early 2000 until the summer of 2002.
During this period, the Press Office sustained two raids by the FBI, the
ATF, and local law enforcement. He has handled countless local, national,
and international media inquires, resulting in articles in the New York
Times, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Christian
Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and many other
newspapers and magazines. He has conducted interviews with ABC, NBC, CNN,
FOX, CBC, BBC, National Geographic TV, and various other outlets.

Mr. Potter and Mr. Pickering are available for interviews.

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From: Jim Pounds <jim [at]>
Subject: Talking Suitcases 11.28 12noon

Intermedia Arts presents
What Do You Bring With You?
November 27, 2006-January 6, 2007

The red box is my open bleeding heart, which feels everything. Inside is a
moment in time. I think that every person has such moments, scattered like
jewels through a lifetime.
 From Soraja Sarasvati's Talking Suitcase

On November 27, 2006, Intermedia Arts will open the much anticipated
second version of Immigrant Status: Talking Suitcases in the Sandy Agustin
Gallery.  "During the first year that we presented this program (in
2002), Talking Suitcases was one of our most popular exhibits drawing
dozens of school groups and thousands of visitors to Intermedia Arts. I
saw many visitors moved by these very personal stories of people's
experiences coming to the United States. I believe this exhibit has a
transformative affect on many who experience it," according to Executive
Director, Daniel Gumnit. On Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM, selected
suitcases will be presented as a live performance in the Theatre by the
students and community members who created them, providing a unique
opportunity to hear the artists' stories.

Intermedia Arts hosted and presented Talking Suitcases as part of
Immigrant Status, a multidisciplinary exhibit that brings to life -
through the arts - the struggles, discoveries and experiences affecting
the lives of Minnesota's immigrants. Armington and Vogel asked the
question, "If you had to leave your home today, what would you take with
you? What would you leave behind?"

Talking Suitcases is a community-building art and storytelling project
conceived, inspired and led by visual artist Susan Armington and
storyteller Carla Vogel.  "A Talking Suitcase," says Armington, "is a
suitcase filled with handmade objects that tell a story." The concept of
creating art in suitcases began in 2001 with Armington's attempt to get
to know her father better after he was diagnosed with cancer. He told
stories; she made objects (with Vogel later coaching her in storytelling).
The result was the first talking suitcase that included performance.
Armington performed her father's Talking Suitcase in various settings
(which included a university, a senior home and a synagogue). In 2002,
Armington and Vogel approached Intermedia Arts for potential workshop

As the Immigrant Status four-year exhibit enters its final year in 2006,
the question posed to community members is: "What do you bring with
you?" The result is sixty suitcases and art pieces created by youth and
community members from Buffalo High School, The Jane Addams School of
Democracy (St. Paul), and participants from Intermedia Arts' Moving Lives
Speakers Bureau and ICCD. Through a series of school-based or community
weekend workshops, Armington and Vogel worked with nearly one hundred
participants in shaping the shared mementos and family stories they have
brought with them to Minnesota into visual representations of their
memories. From the whimsical to the poetic, these moving, colorful and
amusing handmade objects bring to life stories of immigration, transition,
and life changes. In addition, Armington's "Geography of Home," a map
of the Twin Cities made out of the words and languages of the people who
live here will also be featured. "When participants come together to
create their suitcases and tell their stories, they discover their
uniqueness as well as their commonality. Each workshop is an opportunity
to give voice to and share in a community's strengths, as well as
personal triumphs and challenges," Armington concludes.

Funding for Immigrant Status: Talking Suitcases was generously provided by
the Minnesota State Arts Board. Funding for Immigrant Status (2006-2007)
was generously provided by The Wallace Foundation, The Jay and Rose
Phillips Family Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Minnesota Foundation.

We invite you to see the world through different eyes.

November 27, 2006-January 6, 2007
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Free and open to the public
M-Sat. Noon-5pm

CONTACT: Jim Pounds, Marketing & PR Manager Phone: 612.874.2817 Email:
jim [at]

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Haiti poverty 11.28 4:30pm

Tuesday, 11/28, 4:30 pm, UCal San Francisco reproductive sciences prof
Catherine Maternowska speaks on "Reproducing Inequities: Poverty and the
Politics of Population in Haiti," Macalester College, Humanities 401, St
Paul.  biego001 [at]

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Criticize Israel? 11.28 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each
Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15.  Below are the scheduled shows through the
end of November.

11/28 and 11/29 "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic: An Evening with
Norman Finkelstein"  Part 2 of a talk given 11/5 at St. Joan of Arc

"Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with
consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists.  The
show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about
future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to
eric-angell [at]  (PS It might be better than PBS.)

--------5 of 10--------

From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon/poems/open 11.28 6:30pm
[Pax-salon] Conversational Salon

This Tuesday, Nov 28, we will continue our time about the poet, Jane
Kenyon, viewing the short documentary about her and her husband, Donald
Hall.  Then, we will be open for discussion about whatever you want.

Pax Salons ( ) are held (unless otherwise
noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943
W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

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From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: Lion/lamb/peace 11.28 7:30pm

"The Lion and the Lamb, or the Facts and the Truth": a lecture by Fenton
Johnson. Date and Time: Tuesday, November 28; 7:30 pm. Location: Weisman Art

Worldwide we are witnessing violence with its roots in the tension between
reason and faith, science and religion, history and memory, the law and
the heart, the facts and the truth. Are these forces inevitably mutually
destructive, or can the magicians of the earth - its artists and
scientists and writers - propose and negotiate peace? In a world in which
fact is so malleable, what is truth, and how may we know and preserve it?
Memoirist, novelist, and essayist Fenton Johnson discusses how a frank
embrace of memory - including its fallibility - may be our best means for
historically hostile disciplines to make constructive peace, in which the
scientist will lie down with the priest, the historian with the
fictionist, the lion with the lamb.

This is the kickoff event for a yearlong series that will bring in
distinguished authors to explore the intersection of memoir and history.
For more information, visit:

[How about a blindfolded drugged lion vs a heavily-armed lamb? -ed]

--------7 of 10--------

From: altera vista <alteravista [at]>
Subject: Criticize Israel? 11.28 8pm

Tues. Nov. 28:  Showing on Altera Vista at 8 pm, Minneapolis cable channel
16:  "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic?  An Evening with Norman
Finkelstein.  Part 1."  (Part 2 will air the following week.)  Taped
November 5, 2006, at St. Joan of Arc, Minneapolis.

Dr. Finkelstein teaches political theory at DePaul University, Chicago. He
is author of five books, including "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of
Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History" and "The Holocaust Industry:
Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering." Finkelstein is known
for his writings about the policies of the state of Israel especially with
regard to Palestinians.

--------8 of 10--------

The Bridges to Nowhere
by Rich Broderick
Twin Cities Daily Planet (

I had only one question for the representatives from WSCO – the West Side
Citizens Organization – the evening a few months ago when they visited the
Macalester-Groveland District Council.

They'd just completed their presentation, complete with artists
renderings, about The Bridges, Jerry Trooien's proposed $1.5 billion
riverfront development on the flats across from downtown St. Paul. The
WSCO folks were making the rounds of St. Paul's district councils to
explain why they strongly opposed the gargantuan project as currently

"Where," I asked, gesturing toward the easel-mounted displays, "are they
planning to house the Death Star?"

My query drew a laugh - a nervous one - for I was only half-kidding. The
Bridges is such an obvious monstrosity, a behemoth city-within-the city
that would add hundreds of thousands of square feet of office and retail
space right across the river from a downtown with 1,000,000 square feet of
office and retail space sitting empty, in the process violating virtually
every zoning, environmental, open space, affordable housing, and federal
regulation applicable to its particular stretch of the Mississippi, that
it was difficult to believe any sane person was trying to run this Jolly
Roger up the flagpole. Oh, and in addition to all The Bridges’ other
odious features, Trooien was asking cash-strapped St.  Paul – where public
school teachers go begging for classroom supplies and can’t afford the
district’s health insurance plan – for a mere $125 million handout to help
him get his boondoggle up and running. Ultimately, one of the project’s
bragging points also happens to be perhaps the most damning comment one
could make about it: building The Bridges, its backers like to crow, would
entail the history’s largest concrete pour.

Exactly. But then, so would capping a burial site for the world’s collected
supply of radioactive waste materials.

Apparently the St. Paul Planning Commission and the St. Paul City Council had
similarly negative feelings; after a brief pass-through of the proposal by the
Planning Commission’s Zoning Committee – itself packed with pro-development
members who seem never to have heard the phrase "conflict-of-interest" – those
august bodies gave Trooien the thumbs-down. At which point, the chastened deep
pockets visionary vowed to go back to the drawing board, work with neighbors and
come back with a modified plan that would achieve the backing of everybody.

Turns out "work with neighbors" means work them over.

In a brazen display of political bully-ball the Monday before Thanksgiving,
backers of The Bridges mounted a carefully coordinated takeover of poor
defenseless WSCO – defenseless because of a bizarre reading of a bizarre
organizational by-law that allowed any individual who had attended a meeting on
an issue of concern to the West Side in the past year to vote in the board
election. Suddenly some 666 (!) interested parties – the vast majority of whom
just happened to be friends of Jerry’s (or at least the dollar signs his
proposal dangles in front of some people’s eyes) – showed up at an annual
meeting that, in years past, tended to attract a crowd about one-tenth that
size. Some of the pro-Bridges community-minded souls even arrived packed on the
same buses. When the dust settled, Trooien-friendly candidates had been elected
to 13 of 14 board seats up for election – and WSCO, as the locus of even
low-level opposition to any part or parcel of his plans, had been thoroughly

It’s not clear exactly how the Trooien takeover of WSCO will affect his
aspirations for The Bridges. I can’t imagine it will endear him to any of the
City Council members who voted against his original proposal. St. Paul
Councilperson Kathy Lantry has already observed, rather dryly, that the WSCO
elections did not suddenly place $125 million at her disposal to hand over to
Trooien. Meanwhile, other St. Paul district councils are nervously reviewing
their by-laws to ensure that a similar absorption by the Evil Empire can’t
happen to them.

In the process of retooling WSCO as a personal footstool, Trooien has
convincingly demonstrated that the bridge he’s already constructed is one
leading back to a recent past in which West Side movers and shakers were more
than willing to offer up their community – one of the poorest in the city – in
return for personal favors.

On the other hand, perhaps this was precisely the point of the exercise. WSCO’s
takeover, after all, was as much an inside as an outside job. Some West Side
bigwigs have been very vocal in their fury over WSCO’s erstwhile opposition to
The Bridges; ‘til last Monday they just didn’t have the votes on the district
council to do anything about it. Now that’s changed. Stomping the council into
the ground may do nothing to advance the cause of The Bridges, but it will serve
to remind the West Side hoi-polloi who’s in charge. The real lesson of the bare
knuckle display seems to be this: grassroots democracy on the West Side is fine
– just so long as it delivers the right results.

The ones mandated by the rich and powerful.

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The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism
By Howard Zinn
Democracy Now!
Friday 24 November 2006

Howard Zinn is one of this country's most celebrated historians. His
classic work "A People's History of the United States" changed the way we
look at history in America. First published a quarter of a century ago,
the book has sold over a million copies and is a phenomenon in the world
of publishing - selling more copies each successive year.

After serving as a bombardier in World War II, Howard Zinn went on to
become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. He was active in the civil
rights movement and many of the struggles for social justice over the past
40 years.

He taught at Spelman College, the historically black college for women,
and was fired for insubordination for standing up for the students. He was
recently invited back to give the commencement address.

Howard Zinn has written numerous books and is professor emeritus at Boston
University. He recently spoke in Madison, Wisconsin where he was receiving
the Haven Center's Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical
Scholarship. We bring you his lecture, "The Uses of History and the War on

Rush Transcript

Howard Zinn: Madison is a very special place. I always have a special
feeling when I come here. I have a feeling I am in a different country.
And I'm glad. Some people get disgusted of the American policy, and they
go to live in some other country. No. Go to Madison.

So, now I'm supposed to say something. I am glad you're there, whoever you
are, and this light is shining in my eyes to wake me up.

Well, do you get the feeling sometime that you're living in an occupied
country? Very often that's a feeling I get when I wake up in the morning.
I think, "I'm living in an occupied country. A small group of aliens have
taken over the country and are trying to do with it what they will, you
know, and really are." I mean, they are alien to me. I mean, those people
who are coming across the border from Mexico, they are not alien to me,
you see. You know, Muslims who come to this country to live, they are not
alien to me, you see. These demonstrations, these wonderful demonstrations
that we have seen very recently on behalf of immigrant rights, say, and
you've seen those signs saying, "No human being is alien." And I think
that's true. Except for the people in Washington, you see.

They've taken over the country. They've taken over the policy. They've
driven us into two disastrous wars, disastrous for our country and even
more disastrous for people in the Middle East. And they have sucked up the
wealth of this country and given it to the rich, and given it to the
multinationals, given it to Halliburton, given it to the makers of
weapons. They're ruining the environment. And they're holding on to 10,000
nuclear weapons, while they want us to worry about the fact that Iran may,
in ten years, get one nuclear weapon. You see, really, how mad can you be?

And the question is, how has this been allowed to happen? How have they
gotten away with it? They're not following the will of the people. I mean,
they manufactured a will of the people for a very short time right after
the war started, as governments are able to do right after the beginning
of an armed conflict, in order to able to create an atmosphere of war
hysteria. And so for a short time, they captivated the minds of the
American people. That's not true anymore. The American people have begun
to understand what is going on and have turned against the policies in
Washington, but of course they are still there. They are still in power.
The question is, how did they get away with that?

So, in trying to answer the question, I looked a little at the history of
Nazi Germany. No, it's not that we are Nazi Germany, but you can learn
lessons from everybody and from anybody's history. In this case, I was
interested in the ideas of Hermann GŲring, who, you may know, was second
in command to Hitler, head of the Luftwaffe. And at the end of World War
II, when the Nazi leaders were put on trial in Nuremberg, Hermann GŲring
was in prison along with other of the leaders of the Nazi regime. And he
was visited in prison by a psychologist who was given the job of
interviewing the defendants at Nuremberg.

And this psychologist took notes and, in fact, a couple of years after the
war, wrote a book called Nuremberg Diary, in which he recorded - put his
notes in that book, and he recorded his conversation with Hermann GŲring.
And he asked GŲring, how come that Hitler, the Nazis were able to get the
German people to go along with such absurd and ruinous policies of war and
aggression?" And I happen to have those notes with me. We always say, "We
happen to have these things just, you know, by chance."

And GŲring said, "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would
some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all,
it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is
tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of
patriotism. It works the same way in any country."

I was interested in that last line: "It works the same way in any
country." I mean, here, these are the Nazis. That's the fascist regime. We
are a democracy. But it works the same way in any country, whatever you
call yourself. Whether you call yourself a totalitarian state or you call
yourself a democracy, it works the same way, and that is, the leaders of
the country are able to cajole or coerce and entice the people into war by
scaring them, telling them they're in danger, and threatening them and
coercing them, that if they don't go along, they will be considered
unpatriotic. And this is what really happened in this country right after
9/11. And this is happened right after Bush raised the specter of weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq and got for a while the American people to go
along with this.

But the question is, how did they get away with it? What about the press?
What about the media? Isn't it the job of the press, isn't it the job of
the media, isn't it the job of journalism to expose what governments do?
Don't journalists learn from I.F. Stone, who said, "Just remember two
words," he said to young people who were studying journalism, he said,
"Just remember two words: governments lie"? Well, but the media have not
picked up on that. The media have gone along, and they embraced the idea
of weapons of mass destruction. You remember when Colin Powell appeared
before the United Nations just before the onset of the Iraq war and laid
out to the UN this litany of weaponry that Iraq possessed, according to
him, and gave great details in how many canisters of this and how many
tons of this, and so on and so forth. And the next day, the press was just
aglow with praise. They didn't do their job of questioning. They didn't do
their job of asking, "Where? What is your evidence? Where did you get this
intelligence? Who did you talk to? What are your sources?"

Isn't this what you learn as a freshman in college? "Hey, what are your
sources? Where are your footnotes?" No, no. They were just - the
Washington Post said, "It is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that
Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction." And the New York Times, you
know, it was just beside themselves with admiration for Colin Powell. Of
course, it all turned out to be untrue, all turned out to be lies. But the
press did not do its job, and as a result, the American people, watching
television, reading the newspapers, had no alternative source of
information, no alternative opinion, no alternative critical analysis of
what was going on.

And the question is, why still did the people believe what they read in
the press, and why did they believe what they saw on television? And I
would argue that it has something to do with a loss of history, has
something to do with, well, what Studs Terkel called "national amnesia,"
either the forgetting of history or the learning of bad history, the
learning of the kind of history that you do get, of Columbus was a hero,
and Teddy Roosevelt is a hero, and Andrew Jackson is a hero, and all these
guys who were presidents and generals and industrialists, and so on. They
are the great - they are the people who made America great, and America
has always done good things in the world. And we have had our little
problems, of course - like slavery, for instance, - but we overcome them,
you know. No, not that kind of history.

If the American people really knew history, if they learned history, if
the educational institutions did their job, if the press did its job in
giving people historical perspective, then a people would understand. When
the President gets up before the microphone, says we must go to war for
this or for that, for liberty or for democracy, or because we're in
danger, and so on, if people had some history behind them, they would know
how many times presidents have announced to the nation, we must go to war
for this reason or that reason. They would know that President Polk said,
"Oh, we must go to war against Mexico, because, well, there was an
incident that took place on the border there, and our honor demands that
we go to war."

They would know, if they knew some history, how President McKinley took
the nation into war against Spain and Cuba, saying, "Oh, we're going in to
liberate the Cubans from Spanish control." And in fact, there was a little
bit of truth to that: we did go in, we fought against Spain, we got Spain
out of Cuba, we liberated them from Spain, but not from ourselves. And so,
Spain was out, and United Fruit was in, and then the American banks and
the American corporations were in.

And if people knew their history, they would know, that President McKinley
said, when - as the American army was already in the Philippines and the
American navy was already in the Philippines, and Theodore Roosevelt, one
of our great presidential heroes, was lusting for war, then people would
know that McKinley, who did not know where the Philippines were, but very
often now presidents need to be briefed and told where something is. You
know, George Bush, "This is Iraq is," you know. Lyndon Johnson, "This is
where the Gulf of Tonkin is." You know, they need it.

And president - they would know, if they knew history, that President
McKinley said, "We're going into the Philippines to civilize and
Christianize the Filipinos." And if they knew their history, if the
history books spent some time on the war in the Philippines in the early
part of the 20th century, instead of, as history books do - they spend a
lot of time on the Spanish-American War, which just lasted three months -
they spend virtually no time on the war on the Philippines, a bloody war
which lasted, oh, seven years, and which involved massacres and the
extermination of populations. That history doesn't appear. You know, we
had civilized and Christianized the Filipinos and established our control.

They would know, if they heard the President say, "We are going to bring
democracy to the Middle East," they would know how many times we brought
democracy to other countries that we invaded. They would know if we
brought democracy to Chile, when we overthrew a democratically elected
government in Chile in 1973. They would know how we brought democracy to
Guatemala when we overthrew, again, a democratically elected - oh, we love
democratic elections, we love free elections, except when they go the
wrong way. And then we send either our army in or the CIA in or secret
agents in to overthrow the government.

If people knew that history, they would never for a moment believe
President Bush, when he says, oh, we're going into Iraq, because of this
reason and that reason and liberty and democracy, and they're a threat. I
mean, it takes - yeah, it takes some historical understanding to be
skeptical of the things that authorities tell you.

When you know history, you know that governments lie, as I.F. Stone said.
Governments lie all the time. Well, not just the American government. It's
just in the nature of governments. Well, they have to lie. I mean,
governments in general do not represent the people of the societies that
they govern. And since they don't represent the people and since they act
against the interest of the people, the only way they can hold power is if
they lie to the people. If they told people the truth, they wouldn't last
very long. So history can help in understanding deception and being
skeptical and not rushing to embrace whatever the government tells you.

And if you know some history, you would understand something which is even
more basic, perhaps, than the question of lying about this war or lying
about this invasion, lying about this intervention, something more basic,
if you knew some history: you would understand a sort of fundamental fact
about society, and including our society, that the interests of the
government and the interests of the people are not the same.

It's very important to know this, because the culture tries very hard to
persuade us that we all have a common interest. If they use the language
"national interest" - there's no national interest. There's their interest
and our interest. National security - now, whose security? National
defense, whose defense? All these words and phrases are used to try to
encircle us all into a nice big bond, so that we will assume that the
people who are the leaders of our country have our interests at heart.
Very important to understand: no, they do not have our interests at heart.

You will hear a young fellow who is going off to Iraq. I remember hearing
the same thing when a young fellow went off to Vietnam. And a reporter
goes up to the young fellow and says, "You know, young man, you're going
off, and what are your thoughts and why are you doing this?" And the young
man says, "I'm doing this for my country." No, he's not doing it for his
country. And now, she's not doing it for her country. The people who go
off to war are not doing fighting for their country. No, they're not doing
their country any good. They're not doing their families any good. They're
certainly not doing the people over there any good. But they're not doing
it for their country. They're doing it for their government. They're doing
it for Bush. That would be a more accurate thing to say: "I'm going off to
fight for George Bush. I'm going off to fight for Cheney. I'm going off to
fight for Rumsfeld. I'm going off to fight for Halliburton." Yeah, that
would be telling the truth.

And, in fact, to know the history of this country is to know that we have
had conflict of interest in this country from the very beginning between
the people in authority and the ordinary people. We were not one big happy
family that fought the American Revolution against England. I remember, in
school, that's how it seemed: they're the patriots, and there's all of us,
working, fighting together at Valley Forge and Bunker Hill, and so on,
against the Redcoats and the British, and so on. It wasn't that way at
all. It wasn't a united country.

Washington had to send generals down south to use violence against young
people to force them into military service. Soldiers in the revolutionary
army mutinied against Washington, against officers, because there was
class conflict in the army, just as there had been class conflict all
through the colonies before the Revolutionary War. Well, anybody who knows
the military, anybody who's been in the military, knows that the military
is a class society. There are the privates, and there are the officers.
And in the Revolutionary War, the privates were not getting shoes, and
they were not getting clothes and not getting food, and they were not
getting paid. And the officers were living high in resplendence. And so,
they mutinied, thousands of them.

I don't remember ever learning about that when I studied history in
school, because the myth comes down: oh, we're all one big happy family.
You mean, including the black slaves? You mean, including the Native
Americans, whose land we were taking from them, mile by mile by mile by
mile? We're all one big happy family? The women, who were left out of all
of this, were - no, very important to understand that fundamental fact:
those people who run the country and we, our interests are not the same.

So, yes, history is useful for that, for understanding - understanding
that we are a nation like other nations, for understanding that we are
not, as again we are taught from early on, we are the greatest, we are
number one, we are the best. And what - it's called American
exceptionalism in the social sciences. The United States is an exception
to the rule of nations. That is, the general rule of nations is they're
pretty bad. But the United States, our country, we are good. We do good in
the world.

Not long ago, I was on a radio program, interviewed by - this was sort of
a regular commercial station. I like to be interviewed on regular
commercial stations, where the guy really doesn't know who he's invited,
you see. And he says, "Professor Zinn, don't you think America has, in
general, been a force for good in the world?" "No, no, no." Why not ask
me, "Do you think the British Empire was a force for good in Africa, or
the Belgians were a force for good in the Congo, or the French were a
force for good in Indochina? You think the United States was a force for
good when they sent the Marines into Central America again and again and"
- no.

But there's this notion of we are different. We are the great - I mean,
sure, there are very great things about America, but that's not what we
did to other countries, not what we did to black people, not what we did
to Native Americans, not what we did to working people in this country who
suffered twelve-hour days until they organized and rebelled and rose up.
No, we have to be honest with ourselves.

This is a very hard thing to do: be honest about ourselves. I mean, but,
you're brought up and you say, "I pledge allegiance," etc., etc., "liberty
and justice for all," "God bless America." Why us? Why does God blessing
us? I mean, why is He singling us out for blessing? You know. Why not,
"God bless everybody"? If indeed, you know - but, you know, we're brought
up - if we were brought up to understand our history, we would know, no,
we're like other nations, only more so, because we are bigger and have
more guns and more bombs, and therefore are capable of more violence. We
can do what other empires were not able to do to such an extent. You know,
we are rich. Well, not all of us. Some of us are, you see? But, no, we
have to be honest.

Don't people join Alcoholics Anonymous so that they can stand up and be
honest about themselves? Maybe we ought to have an organization called
Imperialists Anonymous, and have the leaders of the country get up there
on national television and say, "Well, it's time - time to tell the
truth." It would be - I don't expect it to happen, but it would be

And then, if we knew this history, we would understand how often fear has
been used as a way of getting people to act against their own interests to
work up hysteria and to get people to do terrible things to other people,
because they've been made afraid. Wasn't it fear and hysteria that
motivated lynch mobs in the South? Wasn't there created fear of black
people, hysteria about black people, that led white people to do some of
the most atrocious things that have been done in our history? And isn't it
today - isn't it fear, fear of Muslims, not just terrorists, in general?
Of course, fear of terrorists, especially fear of Muslims, you see? A very
ugly kind of sentiment to inculcate on the American people, and creating a
kind of hysteria, which then enables them to control the population and
enable them to send us into war after war and to threaten still another

And if we knew some history, we would know about the hysteria that
accompanied the Cold War, the hysteria about communism. It's not that
communism didn't exist, just as terrorism does exist, yes. It's not that
communism - communism existed, and there was a Soviet Union, and it was
repressive to its own people, and it did control Eastern Europe, but there
was an enormous exaggeration of the Soviet threat to the point where - oh,
it's not just that they're in Eastern Europe. It's, they're going to
invade Western Europe.

By the way, no evidence of that. CIA analysts who were specialists in the
Soviet Union in recent years came forth and said there was never any
evidence that the Soviet Union were going to invade Western Europe. But
against that, NATO was created. Against that, the United States built up
an enormous nuclear arsenal.

The Soviets were always behind the United States. They built up the
Soviets as a threat, but after all, who had the atom bomb first? And who
had more atom bombs than anybody? And who was the only country that
actually dropped atomic bombs on ordinary people in two cities in Japan?
And so, we who use the atomic bomb, we who accumulate the atomic bomb, we
create a hysteria about countries that are desperately trying to catch up.
Of course, Iran will never catch up, and North Korea will never catch up.
The Soviet Union tried to catch up. But in creating this monster threat,
we took trillions of dollars of the wealth of this country and expended it
on military budgets.

And the hysteria about communism reached the point where - and I'm not
just talking about school kids hiding under their desks, because the
Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. There was no evidence the
Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. By the way, there is evidence
that the joint chiefs of staff, the people high up in the American
government, at various, various times proposed preventive war, dropping
nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. But we created a threat so ominous,
so omnipresent, that kids were, yeah, hiding under their desks, and also
so that anything that happened anywhere in the world that was not to the
liking of the United States became part of the world communist threat.

And so, to deal with that, we could go into any country in Latin America
that we wanted. And because it was a communist threat, we would send an
army over to Vietnam, and several million people would die, because
Vietnam became the symbol of the communist threat in the world. When you
think about how absurd it was to worry that Vietnam, already divided into
a communist north and anti-communist south, to worry that, oh, now half of
this tiny country is going to become communist, and just to the north a
billion people had turned to communism. And there's something a little

But, bizarre thinking is possible when you create fear and hysteria. And
we're facing, of course, that situation today with this whole business of
terrorism. And if you added up all the times in speeches of George Bush
and his Cabinet and all the times they used the word "terrorism" and
"terror," it's a mantra they have created to frighten the American people.

I think it's wearing off. You know, when you - I think there's beginning
to be some recognition, and that accounts for the fact that public opinion
has turned against the war. People no longer believe that we're fighting
in Iraq in order to get rid of terrorism, because the evidence has become
so overwhelming that even the mainstream media has reported it - the
National Intelligence Estimate. And this is the government's own
intelligence agencies saying that the war in Iraq has caused a growth of
terrorist groups, has increased militancy and radicalism among Islamic
groups in the Middle East.

But terrorism has supplanted communism as an attempt to get people to do
things against their own interests, to do things that will send their own
young people to war, to do things that will cause the depletion of the
country's wealth for the purposes of war and for the enrichment of the
super-rich. It doesn't take much thought about terrorism to realize that
when somebody talks about a war on terrorism, they're dealing with a
contradiction in terms. How can you make war on terrorism, if war itself
is terrorism? Because - so you respond to terrorism with terrorism, and
you multiply the terrorism in the world.

And, of course, the terrorism that governments are capable of by going to
war is on a far, far greater scale than the terrorism of al-Qaeda or this
group or that group or another group. Governments are terrorists on an
enormously large scale. The United States has been engaging in terrorism
against Afghanistan, against Iraq, and now they're threatening to extend
their terrorism to other places in the Middle East.

And some history of the use of fear and hysteria and some history of the
Cold War and of the anti-communist hysteria would be very useful in
alerting people to what we are going through today. I mean, with Iran, for
instance, it's shameful, and the media have played such a part in this, of
the Iran nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. They don't say they
have a nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. So do I. Yeah, it's
easy to want a nuclear weapon. And small countries that face enormous
military powers and who cannot possibly match the military power of these
enormous countries, they are following what was the strategy of the United
States: the United States said, "We must have a deterrent." How many times
have you heard, when you ask, "Why do we have 10,000 nuclear weapons?" "We
must have a deterrent." Well, they want a deterrent: one nuclear weapon.
You know.

Not that situation with Iraq. I mean, Condoleezza Rice: "a mushroom
cloud." We were the only ones who created mushroom clouds, over Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. Iraq was in no position to create a mushroom cloud. All the
experts on the Middle East and atomic weapons said, you know, Iraq was
five-ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon, but we were
creating, hysteria about nuclear weapons.

Now we're doing the same thing with Iran. And the International Atomic
Energy group of the UN flatly contradicts a congressional report which
talks about the danger of Iran's nuclear weapons, and the international
group, which has conducted many, many inspections in Iran, says, well, you
know, you need to - and they give the American people a kind of
half-education. That is, they say, they use the phrase, "They're enriching
uranium." Well, that scares me. You know, they're enriching uranium. I
don't really know what it means, you see, but it's scary. And then you
read the report of the International Atomic Energy group, and you see,
well, yes, they are. They've enriched uranium to the point of 3.5%. In
order to have one nuclear weapon, they have to enrich it to 90%. They're
very, very far from even developing one nuclear weapon, but the phrase
"enriched uranium" is, repeated again and again.

And so, yes, we need some historical understanding, yeah, just remembering
back to Iraq, just remembering back to the hysteria around Vietnam. My
god, a communist might take over South Vietnam! And then what? Just a
short hop to San Francisco. No, some of you may remember that when Reagan
was supporting the Contras in Nicaragua, he was saying, "You know, you see
where Nicaragua is? It wouldn't take much for them to get to Texas." I
wondered about that, you see? And then I wondered, why would the
Nicaraguans want to get to Texas? And this is no slur on Texas, but - and
once they got to Texas, what would they do? Take a United Airlines flight
to Washington. What would they - but really, it's very important to know
some of that history to see how hysteria absolutely cripples consciousness
about what is going on.

I would suggest something else. I'm getting worried about how much time I
have taken. Well, actually, I'm not getting worried about how much time
I've taken. I don't care. I'm looking at my watch to pretend that I care.
And since I don't know when I started, I can't figure out how long I've
been talking.

But at some point the war in Iraq will come to an end. At some point, the
United States will do in Iraq what it did in Vietnam, after saying, "We
will never leave. We will never leave. We will win. We will stay the
course. We will not cut and run." At some point, the United States is
going to have to cut and run from Iraq, you see. And they're going to do
it because the sentiment is going to grow and grow and grow in this
country and because more and more GIs are going to come back from Iraq and
say, "We're not going back again," and because they're going to have more
and more trouble supplying the armed forces in Iraq, and because the
parents of young people are going to say more and more, "We are not going
to allow our young people to go to war for Bechtel, and Halliburton. We're
not going to do that." So at some point, yes, at some point we are going
to do what they say we mustn't do: cut and run.

We don't have to cut and run. Cut and walk. Cut and swim. Cut, but get
out, as fast as you can, because we're not doing any good there. We're not
helping the situation. We're not bringing peace. We're not bringing a
democracy. We're not bringing stability. We're bringing violence and
chaos. We're provoking all of that, and people are dying every day. When a
Democratic leader says, "Well, I think we ought to withdraw by May 14th,
2000-and-whatever." You know, yeah, every day from now until then more
people will die, and more people will lose arms or legs or become blinded.
And so, that is intolerable. And so, we have to do everything we can.

And in the case of Vietnam, at a certain point the government realized it
could not carry on the war. The GIs were coming back from Vietnam and
turning against the war. They couldn't bring people to join the ROTC. Too
many people were running to Canada. Too many people were not signing up
for the draft. Finally, it had to do away with the draft. They were losing
the support of the population. They were losing support of the military.
And at a certain point, no.

And something like that is going to happen. And the sooner we help it
happen, of course, the better. The more we go into the high schools - you
know, there's a very practical thing, very practical thing that everybody
can do, and that is, go to their local high schools and make sure that all
the parents and all the kids in high schools understand that they don't
have to give their information to the military recruiters, you see, as,
you know. And more and more have teams of people who will counter the
propaganda of the military recruiters.

You know, they are having trouble. They're getting desperate about
recruiting for the military, going to all sorts of lengths and, or course,
they're concentrating - they send their military recruiters into the
poorest schools, because they know that the working class kids are the
most vulnerable, the most needy, the ones who, you know - they need an
education, they need a skill, and so. And so, they're trying to prey on
the working class. Eugene Debs said - if you don't mind my quoting Eugene
Debs - but Eugene Debs said in a speech during World War I, which landed
him in jail, "The master class has always started the wars. The working
class has always fought the wars." And, of course, that has been true all
the way. So we will at some point get out of Iraq.

But I want to suggest one thing: we have to think beyond Iraq and even
beyond Iran. We don't want to have to struggle against this war and then
against that war and then against the next war. We don't want to have an
endless succession of antiwar movements. It gets tiring. And we need to
think and talk and educate about the abolition of war itself, you see.

I was talking to my barber the other day, because we always discuss world
politics. And he's totally politically unpredictable, as most barbers are,
you see. He said, "Howard," he said, "you know, you and I disagree on many
things, but on one thing we agree: war solves nothing." And I thought,
"Yeah." It's not hard for people to grasp that.

And there again, history is useful. We've had a history of war after war
after war after war. What have they solved? What have they done? Even
World War II, the "good war," the war in which I volunteered, the war in
which I dropped bombs, the war after which I received a letter from
General Marshall, general of generals, a letter addressed personally to
me, and to 16 million others, in which he said, "We've won the war. It
will be a new world." Well, of course, it wasn't a new world. It hasn't
been a new world. War after war after war.

There are certain - I came out of that war, the war in which I had
volunteered, the war in which I was an enthusiastic bombardier, I came out
of that war with certain ideas, which just developed gradually at the end
of the war, ideas about war. One, that war corrupts everybody who engages
in it. War poisons everybody who engages in it. You start off as the good
guys, as we did in World War II. They're the bad guys. They're the
fascists. What could be worse? So, they're the bad guys, we're the good
guys. And as the war goes on, the good guys begin behaving like the bad
guys. You can trace this back to the Peloponnesian War. You can trace it
back to the good guy, the Athenians, and the bad guys, the Spartans. And
after a while, the Athenians become ruthless and cruel, like the Spartans.

And we did that in World War II. We, after Hitler committed his
atrocities, we committed our atrocities. You know, our killing of 600,000
civilians in Japan, our killing of probably an equal number of civilians
in Germany. These, they weren't Hitler, they weren't Tojo. They weren't -
no, they were just ordinary people, like we are ordinary people living in
a country that is a marauding country, and they were living in countries
that were marauding countries, and they were caught up in whatever it was
and afraid to speak up. And I don't know, I came to the conclusion, yes,
war poisons everybody.

And war - this is an important thing to keep in mind - that when you go to
war against a tyrant - and this was one of the claims: "Oh, we're going to
get rid of Saddam Hussein," which was, of course, nonsense. They didn't -
did our government care that Saddam Hussein tyrannized his own people? We
helped him tyrannize his people. We helped him gas the Kurds. We helped
him accumulate weapons of mass destruction, really.

And the people you kill in a war are the victims of the tyrant. The people
we killed in Germany were the victims of Hitler. The people we killed in
Japan were the victims of the Japan Imperial Army, you know. And the
people who die in wars are more and more and more people who are not in
the military. You may know this about the different ratio of
civilian-to-military deaths in war, how in World War I, ten military dead
for one civilian dead; in World War II, it was 50-50, half military, half
civilian; in Vietnam, it was 70% civilian and 30% military; and in the
wars since then, it's 80% and 85% civilian.

I became friends a few years ago with an Italian war surgeon named Gino
Strada. He spent ten years, fifteen years doing surgery on war victims all
over the world. And he wrote a book about it, Green Parrots: Diary of a
War Surgeon. He said in all the patients that he operated on in Iraq and
Afghanistan and everywhere, 85% of them were civilians, one-third of them,
children. If you understand, and if people understand, and if you spread
the word of this understanding, that whatever is told to you about war and
how we must go to war, and whatever the threat is or whatever the goal is
- a democracy or liberty - it will always be a war against children.
They're the ones who will die in large numbers.

So, war - well, Einstein said this after World War I. He said, "War cannot
be humanized. It can only be abolished." War has to be abolished, you
know. And it's - I know it's a long shot. I understand that, but you have
to - when something's a long shot, but it has to be done, you have to
start doing it. Just as the ending of slavery in this country in the 1830s
was a really long shot, but people stuck at it, and it took 30 years, but
slavery was done away with. And we can see this again and again. So, we
have a job to do. We have lots of things to do.

One of the things we can learn from history is that history is not only a
history of things inflicted on us by the powers that be. History is also a
history of resistance. It's a history of people who endure tyranny for
decades, but who ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator. We've seen
this in country after country, surprise after surprise. Rulers who seem to
have total control, they suddenly wake up one day, and there are a million
people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. This has happened in
the Philippines, in Yemen, all over, in Nepal. Million people in the
streets, and then the ruler has to get out of the way. So, this is what
we're aiming for in this country.

Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line
we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we
engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any
GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in
class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different
world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because
that's how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people
do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and
then something good and something important happens.

Thank you.

[So when are we going to overthrow the ruling class? -ed]

--------10 of 10--------

 Ruling class asses
 demand demeaning passes
 from us ruled masses.

 See blue blood butts, bare;
 bumps lined up straight, square; marked
 to show us how, where.

 Kiss my assets, kiss
 my assets, kiss my assets,
 kiss my assets, now.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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