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Veteran Peace Activist TOM CAHILL

Read Tom's provocative articles below. Or click here and here, to view several news articles about his 63-day(!) fast in 1984. And here's his more recent Report from Iraq. You'll be stunned at this man's courage and steely resolution. By the way, while Tom himself is not gay, he's included on my site for his stalwart support for gay rights, including his empowering words to me as regards my devotion to another man in distress.




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Permission granted for anyone to distribute this writing, or
parts thereof, free of charge (including translation into any
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that excerpted portions remain intact and complete, including
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November 22, 1963 (Public domain. Please post especially where prohibited.)

THE DAY DEMOCRACY DIED IN AMERICA



By Tom Cahill
tpc@mcn.org


        George W. Bush is no anomaly.  His administration is no real
departure from the direction  in which the U.S. government has been going
since WW II and especially since democracy along with the Democratic Party
and  organized labor died in Dallas with John Kennedy more than four
decades ago.
        "Understand Dallas, that is the start of the cure of the cancer on
the presidency,"   wrote Carl Oglesby  in  "The Yankee And   Cowboy War,"
way back in 1976 with "Watergate" in mind.   In the past quarter century,
much in American politics has changed and for the worse.
        "Even more than the rest of the South, Texas has been the buckle on
the U.S. gun belt," wrote Kevin Phillips more recently  in  "American
Dynasty; Aristocracy, Fortune and the Policy of Deceit in the House of
Bush" (2004).  "Texans, in particular, have had an extra hawkish chromosome
or two, likewise caring little whether the rest of the world agreed or
disagreed," wrote Phillips.
        Then Vice-President Lyndon  B. Johnson was a central figure in the
conspiracy to assassinate Pres. John Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.  This is
the verdict of recently published books and a  TV documentary aired in
November 2003.
        Unimportant ancient history?  Perhaps.  But have you noticed how
over the past four decades, the Democratic Party has  drifted further and
further to the right under the domination of the "military-industrial
complex?"  This now famous euphemism for fascism was a warning coined by
Pres. Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address, January 17, 1961,  which
to the present day has been virtually ignored.
        Four decades after the assassination,  the USA has another
president who is polarizing the country with an unpopular war and--like
LBJ--his sanity as well as motives are being questioned by growing numbers
of people, according to  books and polls.  Did the murder in Dallas lay the
groundwork for the present hostile takeover of the country by neo-fascists?
This is why solving the murder of JFK may be as important today as it was
forty years ago.

        Several books have been written about Lyndon Johnson's emotional
condition and in the 2003 documentary it was mentioned that LBJ's
psychiatrist was offered  $1 million to not reveal anything the then
ex-president told him during his treatment for severe depression not long
before Johnson's death in 1973.
        But for me, the best evidence that Johnson was sick and sinister
enough to at least encourage JFK's assassination and help cover it up is
well-documented in the book by D. Jablow Hershman,  "Power Beyond Reason:
The Mental Collapse of Lyndon Johnson" (2002).
        "There are professionals and programs in place to deal with a
president's physical illness but no machinery to deal with mental illness,"
writes  Hershman.
         In the very first sentence of chapter one, Hershman writes, "A
Texan is president again and this country is fighting a war again."  But I
sharply disagree with her second sentence when she observes, "Beyond that,
there seems to be few parallels between the Vietnam War and the war on
terrorism in which we  are currently engaged."  Fast-moving events since
she wrote the book may have changed her mind.

'BUSH ON THE COUCH'

        Like the "wartime president"  more than three decades ago, Pres.
George W. Bush's integrity and mental state are being questioned and
monitored by an increasing number of citizens.  Bush's earlier life of
alcohol and drug use if not abuse is being examined closely, especially
during the period when he allegedly flew multimillion dollar jet fighters
in the Texas Air National Guard, then "disappeared," went "AWOL," or
"deserted" for awhile.
        Early in Bush's  White House residency, Dr. Helen Caldicott, the
Australian physician, environmentalist and anti-nuke activist, said the
President required "psychiatric intervention."
        But more recently, on June 4, 2004, Doug Thompson wrote in "Capitol
Hill Blue,"  "President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and
wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides
privately express concern over their leader's state of mind."  Continues
Thompson, "In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the
President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums
against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as 'enemies of
the state.'"  This is not only reminiscent of LBJ but also Richard Nixon
and Ronald Reagan in their final days in the White House.
        And even more recently, Harper Collins  published a book by Justin
A. Frank, MD, titled  "Bush On The Couch; Inside the Mind of  the
President" (2004).  It's a 272-page psychoanalysis of George W. Bush.
Megalomania, paranoia, untreated alcohol abuse, thought disorders, and even
sadism are some of the emotional problems of the President explored by Dr.
Frank who is Director of Psychiatry at George Washington University.
        "President George W. Bush is taking powerful antidepressant drugs
to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia," according to
Teresa Hampton, editor of Capitol Hill Blue (www.capitolhillblue.com) July
28, 2004.  White House physician, Col. Richard  J. Tubb, prescribed the
drugs after a recent incident.  Asked about his relationship with Enron
exec Ken Lay at a press conference July 8, 2004,  the President stormed out
of the room and screamed at an aide backstage, "Keep those motherfuckers
away from me.  If you can't, I'll find someone who can."
LBJ ON THE COUCH

        Without such medical credentials but with her own experience with
bipolar illness, Hershman contends LBJ was the worst kind of manic
depressive and  got sicker as he got older and acquired more power.  His
last decade of life was a living hell for him and everyone within his very
wide range.  As if this wasn't bad enough, she believes he was paranoid to
boot.
        I, too, have been diagnosed bipolar but much less severe and I may
be close to healed since in the past four years I have had episodes of
neither mania nor depression.  After reading Hershman's book,  with my own
experience to call upon, I think Hershman makes a very convincing diagnosis
of Pres. Johnson.  And in his introduction to "Power Beyond Reason," Dr.
Gerald Tolchin, professor of psychology at Southern Connecticut State
University, agrees with the author.
        In her 1983 bestseller,  "Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream,"
Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote of LBJ's "extreme oscillations of mood,"  his
"obsessional, delusional thinking," and his "mercurial temperament."
Before at least three elections, he got so depressed he considered
withdrawing.  Before another three elections, he had to be  hospitalized.
"The votes  were for him expressions of love," according to Goodwin who
quoted Johnson saying in 1968, perhaps the worst year of his life, "If the
American people don't love me, their descendants will."
        Just one symptom of LBJ's paranoid bipolar illness was his
bold-faced lies and his dangerous manipulation of Congress. Just one
example was the fiction he himself created of the North Vietnamese attack
on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin that led to a major escalation of the
most  controversial and divisive conflict in US history. This eventually
led to youngsters in Washington, DC, chanting within earshot of the
President who claimed he was deeply pained by it, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many
kids did you kill today?"  And when he announced on March 31, 1968, he
would not seek a second term, many of the same young people sang, from "The
Wizard of Oz.,"  "Ding, dong, the witch is dead, the wicked old witch is
dead."
        Revelations by Hershman as well as  others about Johnson  in recent
years now give even more credence to Barbara Garson's 1965 play, "MacBird."
In this parody of Shakespeare's "MacBeth," a tale of a man goaded by his
ruthlessly ambitious wife into  murdering the king to gain the crown for
himself, Garson accuses Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, of orchestrating
the assassination of Pres. John Kennedy.  The play was an instant hit since
early on many shared Garson's suspicions.

'THE GUILTY MEN'

        In early February 2004, Pres. Johnson and his widow, now 91, were
back in the news...about the assassination.  Mrs. Johnson, former
Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and former LBJ aides Jack Valenti
and Bill Moyers joined together to demand an investigation of facts
presented in a TV documentary aired in November 2003 about Johnson's role
in the murder of JFK.
        Called "The Guilty Men," the documentary was a segment of a  series
titled, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy"  during "JFK Week"  on the History
Channel.
        The documentary is "the greatest, most damaging accusation ever
made against a former vice president and president in American history,"
wrote Pres. Ford in a letter Jan. 23,  2004, according to the Associated
Press, Feb. 3.  Pres. Ford is the last surviving member of the Warren
Commission.
        "I'm puzzled, bewildered, that a distinguished enterprise like the
History Channel would put on the air such garbage, such ugliness.  It makes
one sick," said Valenti soon after the documentary aired in November 2003.
Valenti is author of a book about LBJ titled, " A Very Human President"
(1975).  Yet Valenti once said LBJ was a "mean bully" who "could  humiliate
you , both publicly and privately," according to Hershman.
        Although the documentary was thoroughly fact-checked before
broadcast, "The History Channel apologized to its viewers and to Mrs.
Johnson and her family for airing the show," according to the Los Angeles
Times,  April 6, 2004.  The public declaration was made April 7 in a
televised rebuttal called "The Guilty Men:  An Historical Review" in which
three historians  agreed LBJ's involvement in the assassination was
"entirely unfounded and does not hold up to scrutiny."  One of the
historians, Professor Robert Dallek of Boston University said the
documentary was "corrupt, dishonest and deceitful."  Yet it was admitted
that of the more than eighty percent of the American public who believe
there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, almost twenty percent  think LBJ was
involved.
        In an editorial Feb. 13, 2004, "The New York Times," called the
documentary "harebrained," "what-if fantasizing," and the "stuff" of "Texas
conspiratorial satires."  And  the paper supported the conclusion of the
Warren Commission despite polls that show an overwhelming majority of the
American people across the political spectrum reject the investigation
controlled by Pres. Johnson  soon after the murder that obviously
changed--and quickly--the course of world history.
        But of what value is public opinion?   More damaging to the
credibility of the major media that has long and consistently supported the
Warren Commission was the finding of the House Select Committee on
Assassinations (HSCA).  Under the weight of new evidence in 1979,  the HSCA
as much as admitted the Warren Commission was a cover-up.  The Committee's
feeble finding--couched in legalese and bureaucratic gobbledygook--there
was "probably" a conspiracy.  Of course this revelation has not received
much media  exposure over the past two and  a half decades.

'MEDIA POWER IS POLITICAL POWER'

        Needless-to-say, but please indulge me anyway, "The New York Times"
is arguably the most influential newspaper of the major, corporate-owned,
for-profit media which in turn is collectively the Ministry of Propaganda
for the US military-industrial complex.
        Especially in this most critical presidential election year, an
accusation that a  vice-president  of the United States and member of the
Democratic Party conspired with members of the far right to kill a sitting
president also of the Democratic Party will not play well with voters who
in increasing numbers believe  conspiracy is synonymous with politics.  One
need only look at how under Republican leadership, the Democrats--with an
able assist of the major media--in 2003 helped  literally "sell" to the
American public the war on Iraq.  Less than a year later, with the
"liberation" going badly, Democrats and the major media left the sinking
ship of state.
        A more interesting investigation might be into how the recent
controversial assassination documentary ever got aired in the first place
since the History Channel is part of the major media consortium.  The
Central Intelligence Agency, for instance, has misinformation,
disinformation, and infotainment down to an  art, thoroughly refining the
work of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda
        And remember, it was the major media that  in early 2004 shot down
Howard Dean, at the time front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination,
not long after he pledged to break up  major media  control of information
in America.
        "Yellow journalism" is nothing new.  Remember how William Randolph
Hearst rushed to judgment about the sinking of the US battleship "Maine"
in 1898 and stirred up such high emotions in his newspapers nationwide,
that the US ended up  colonizing Cuba, the Philippines and Hawaii.  Many
decades later, in an investigation led by Admiral Hyman Rickover, the US
Navy discovered the ship--fueled by coal--was blown apart by an accidental
explosion  of coal dust.
        In his 1983  book, "The Media Monopoly," Ben Bagdikian, a professor
of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote, "Media
power is political power."  And the fifty corporations, that  at that time
(in 1983) dominated the major print and electronic media,  helped set the
national agenda, he warned.  Conflict of interest abounds within these
corporations where public information has become an industrial byproduct.
The US is endangered by the spreading truth blackout, Bagdikian insisted.
        Two decades later, only five major corporations now control most
of the information that Americans depend on to make important decisions
like who gets the lease on the White House and for how long.  And since
November 22, 1963, it has been the major media that has rarely failed to
denigrate JFK assassination sleuths as "conspiracy nuts."
        One such investigator of the JFK murder, Ed Tatro, a college
professor in Massachusetts,  was one of five researchers  featured in the
History Channel documentary.  He has been writing a book about the
assassination since soon after it occurred.  The reason he hasn't finished
the book is because new and important information keeps surfacing.  When in
a telephone conversation early in 2004 , I told him I thought LBJ was at
the very pinnacle of the pyramid of the conspiracy, he told me he wouldn't
go as far as that.  But, he said, since 1968 he has believed Johnson was a
"central" figure in the assassination.

LBJ'S  'MURDER INC.'

        Another assassination sleuth featured in the History Channel
documentary in November 2003 is Barr McClellan, an attorney who worked for
LBJ in the late Sixties.  Much of the film was based on his book, "Blood,
Money and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK" (2003).  McClellan claims two men
close to Johnson helped arrange for him  more than a dozen murders
including that of LBJ's own sister, Josefa,  and...John Kennedy.
        One of the men was  Ed Clark, LBJ's top confidant  known as the
"secret boss of Texas" with ties to big oil moguls as well as the Brown
brothers of Brown and Root Construction Company.   The other was  Clifton
C. Carter, an aide to LBJ and his liaison with the Democratic National
Committee.
        Carter was the uncle by marriage of my late ex-wife, the former
Mary Sue Howse whose first husband, Don Shepard, worked briefly for then
Sen. Johnson in the late Fifties.  Mary Sue, who changed her name to
Sedonia Cahill when we married in 1970, was the granddaughter of Bill
Garrett of Kerrville, Texas, who was an early and influential supporter of
Johnson.  In the late Thirties, both Garrett and Johnson were rare--for
Texas--FDR, New Deal,  liberal Democrats.  But while Johnson  abandoned the
progressive wing of the Democratic Party after WW II, Garrett remained.
        In  September 1971, Carter met with Billy Sol Estes, a major donor
to LBJ's fortune who was later convicted of defrauding the US government of
millions.  Included in their discussion were eight murders by Estes' count
and seventeen murders  by Carter's count.  And, at that time, Carter
expressed fears for his own life.  Two days later, Carter died
unexpectedly, according to McClellan, and in his sleep,   according to
Sedonia.
        In 1984, before a grand jury in Texas, Estes told of the eight
murders he knew LBJ ordered.  And he implicated Carter as well as Malcolm
Wallace, the shooter of some of the victims and whose fingerprint was found
in the Book Depository.

A 'SOCIAL' IN DALLAS

        In "The New York Times" hit piece on the History Channel
documentary,  the editorial trashed McClellan stating, "The book is rich in
patently unhistorical touches, insisting that Johnson was at a shadowy
meeting on the eve of the assassination..."  Many of us who haven't yet
healed from the trauma of the very public execution and have hung on every
word written or spoken about the deed, have long known about the party in
honor of J. Edgar Hoover at the North  Dallas home of Clint Murchison, a
right-wing Texas oil baron,  the night of November 21, 1963, the very eve
of the assassination.  At  the "social," as Madeline Brown called it, were
H.L. Hunt, even further to the right of Murchison and perhaps  one of the
richest  men in the world at that time; and George R. Brown, of the company
known today as Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton with
construction sites in Iraq.  During the Sixties, Brown and Root constructed
bases in Vietnam and helped make Johnson the richest president ever, far
more wealthy than JFK.
        Others at the party were John McCloy, who later served on the
Warren Commission;  and Richard M. Nixon, who years later may have ordered
the Watergate break-in to find out  what the Democrats knew about the
assassination.  Till his dying day, Nixon denied ever being in Dallas at
the time of the assassination.  But as an attorney for Pepsi Cola, he was
placed in Dallas then at a meeting of the company, reported in an article
in the "Dallas Morning News" published  Nov. 22, 1963, just hours before
perhaps the most history-changing murder in modern times.
        Madeline Brown, author of  "Texas In The Morning: The Love Story of
Madeline Duncan Brown and Lyndon Baines-Johnson" (1997), died in 2002--but
after she was videotaped by Nigel Turner, producer of "The Guilty Men."  In
the documentary, she tells how a surprise late arrival at the party was her
longtime lover.  Immediately after Johnson stepped in the door, a group of
men including those named above, sequestered themselves in another room for
awhile.  When Johnson emerged, he went to her, squeezed her hand tightly
and whispered, "After tomorrow, those blankety-blank Kennedys will never
embarrass me again.  That's not a threat;  that's a promise," said Brown on
camera.   In her book, she quoted her paramour as using the more profane,
"goddam Kennedys."
        Thus far the scenario that may come closest to the murder in Dallas
is the movie "Executive Action" released in 1973 and starring Burt
Lancaster and Robert Ryan.  Writers for the film were  Donald Freed, Dalton
Trumbo, and Mark Lane who was one of the earliest  assassination sleuths.
The movie disappeared for many years, but has resurfaced in video shops.
The film portrays the oily,  sinister types who were at the party in Dallas
the eve of the assassination.
        Just how many "coincidences" does it take to make a conviction.
Many people have been executed in America on far, far thinner evidence.

THE SEXUAL PREDATOR

        LBJ called Brown "Miss Pussy Galore" and "threatened to brand her
in bed like a cow," according to Jan Jarboe Russell in her book,  "Lady
Bird" (1999).  In 1951, Brown had a son by Johnson.   Child support
payments for Steven Brown from Lyndon Johnson stopped after the President's
death in 1973.  In 1987, Steven filed a $10.5 million law suit against Lady
Bird, claiming she denied him his "legal heirship."  Not long after being
arrested by the US Navy and hospitalized under mysterious circumstances,
Steven died before trial in 1991.  He was forty years old.
        Russell describes LBJ as a "robust lover" and a "sexual gorilla."
In her book,

Hershman describes Johnson as  a sexual predator whose hobby was  humiliating

 people--including Lady Bird--sexually and in public.  Once while driving his

Lincoln on his ranch with two aides in the back, Lady Bird on the right
front seat,

and a female friend in the middle, Johnson had his hand up the woman's dress,

according to Jarboe.

        In a conversation not long after we were married, Sedonia, who was
especially beautiful and genteel,  painfully alluded to Johnson's "hobby"
which may have been the reason her first husband quit the then Senator's
staff and the young couple returned to Texas after a short time in
Washington, a city both liked very much.  Just by the expression on her
face,  I knew Sedonia well enough by then  to not ask for details.
        In the sci-fi movie,  "Time Quest: What if JFK had lived?"  (2002),
a visitor from the future tells the Kennedy brothers that Jack would be
murdered twice, once by gunmen (plural) and later by character
assassination...by the media exposing every detail possible about his
womanizing.
        While LBJ's promiscuity is only now being revealed,  JFK may have
been the first president whose sex life was made public, and soon after his
death.  It was as if J. Edgar Hoover who taped many of JFK's amorous
telephone conversations starting while he was in the Navy, was waiting in
the wings  for Kennedy's death to tattle on him.
        Now known to history as a loathsome blackmailer, racist, prude,
megalomaniac,  and more,  Hoover's reputation is even worse to some of us
survivors of COINTELPRO, the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program against the
New Left in the late Sixties and early Seventies.  Two memos from my FBI
files indicate it may have been COINTELPRO that set me up to be beaten,
gang-raped and otherwise tortured while jailed for civil disobedience in
Texas in 1968 because of my activism against the war in Vietnam.
        Bobby Kennedy, JFK's attorney general and Hoover's boss, once
called the director, a "mean, bitter, vicious animal" that fit perfectly
Hoover's mug and moniker, "Bulldog."  Like many associated with the JFK
assassination and LBJ's Murder Inc.,      Hoover  died "unexpectedly"  on
May 2, 1972.   Cause of death--"undiagnosed heart disease."  He was 77.

SOME REASONS JFK WAS ASSASSINATED

        I maintain a long list of reasons, available on request, why Pres.
Kennedy was murdered.  I  would place close to the top, a fact that "The
New York Times" cannot dispute.  The Kennedy team was going to dump LBJ for
the 1964 election campaign and Johnson knew it.  The Kennedy's were also
going to force into retirement J. Edgar Hoover after the '64 election and
Hoover knew it.
        As if that wasn't bad enough for Johnson's massive ego, his
chickens were coming home to roost.  Johnson knew that Atty. Gen. Kennedy
was aware of much of the fraud and murders in Texas connected to him  and
he feared he would die in prison.
        Anyone who enjoys murder mysteries knows to look for motive, means
and opportunity.  John Kennedy was far more popular with the voters than
when he first ran for the presidency.  But he had made a lot of very
dangerous enemies among the rich and the powerful.  An old saying in Texas
is, "Fuck with the bull, you get the horn."  To the military, members of
the vast intelligence community, the oil magnates and other industrialists,
Lyndon Johnson was the absolutely perfect replacement for the "radical"
from Massachusetts.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY,  R.I.P. OR REFORM

        Lyndon Johnson was as close to a dictator as the US has yet come.
And exactly like another world-class tyrant,  Johnson was a loquacious
know-it-all, a crashing bore who could pontificate for hours, and a crude
and ill-mannered boor.  He was irascible, suspicious and vindictive.  And
above all,  just like Adolph Hitler, Johnson was the consummate actor.  LBJ
made up his mind about something, then bribed, bullied or blackmailed
others to go along.
        With his huge bulk towering over his adversary, LBJ  would grab the
man, drive a rigid finger into the man's chest each time he made  point
after point, and to further rattle his prey, with his own knees, he would
bang those of the man often leaving them black and blue.  This was called
the "Johnson treatment,"  according to Alfred Steinberg in "Sam Johnson's
Boy; A Close-up Of The President From Texas" (1968).
        More than a decade before Sen. Joe McCarthy's communist witch hunt
unjustly devastated America's left wing, LBJ--the former liberal, FDR "New
Dealer"-- was red-baiting in Texas where he later became known as
"Landslide Lyndon" and "Lyin' Lyndon" for stealing the US Senate election
of 1948.   Early in his career, LBJ wrapped himself in the American flag
and under the umbrella of national security, he bilked the nation for all
he could.   He became  a "political general" and the "senator from the
Pentagon,"     according to  Ronnie Dugger  in his book, "The Politician;
The Life And Times Of Lyndon Johnson" (1982).
        "Just get me elected, and you can have your war," Johnson told the
Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 1963.  Three years later Johnson claimed,
"If it (the Vietnam War) belongs to anyone, it's my war."  And, Hershman
reports in "Power Beyond Reason," "On one occasion, Johnson became
exasperated with the reporters who kept asking why the US was fighting in
Vietnam.  The President unzipped his pants, extracted his penis and
announced, 'This is why.'"
        Johnson's work to control--or kill--the Democratic Party began in
earnest in the critical year of 1952 when the Party passed into the hands
of the big corporations, according to Dugger.  Then Senate majority leader,
Johnson helped sell the country mainly to big oil and the defense industry.
Johnson's cynicism was unlike anything known before in American history,
wrote Dugger who knows Texas and national politics like few others and is
now a guiding light of  the Alliance for Democracy.
        Lyndon Johnson didn't have a sincere molecule in his huge (6'4")
body.  Like he used patriotism, he used Christianity.  In his book, Dugger
describes God's late night visits to Pres. Johnson  in the White House
which sound much like Pres. Bush's relationship with the deity.  As scary
then as now, US presidents  have the power to destroy much of the world.
Probably just grandstanding, then Sen. Johnson said in 1948,  nuclear
warfare is "ours to use, either to Christianize the world or pulverize it."
Could Johnson be cueing Bush from beyond the grave?
        Arrogant to the max, especially as president, Johnson exercised his
rank and his favorite past time of humiliating people to the extreme.  When
a Secret Service man complained to Pres. Johnson that he was urinating on
the agent's leg, LBJ replied, "I know I am.  It's my prerogative," writes
Hershman.  Does this sound like "A Very Human President?"
        Whether Johnson led  or participated in the coup d'etat or not, his
war on Vietnam was a sharp turn to the right for America  from which not
only the Democratic Party but also organized labor and democracy itself has
yet to recover.
        "The Kennedy assassination remains...the best route into recent
American history, " wrote Robin Ramsay in his book, "Who Shot JFK?" (2002).
And if the Democratic Party doesn't soon purge itself of the same big
corporations that own and operate the GOP, then we can  "Say Goodbye To
America," the title of a book by Matthew Smith on  "New Perspectives On The
JFK Assassination" (2001).
        "The Vietnam war alone generated 'business' to the value of $200
billion," according to Smith who believes JFK was murdered on orders from
big business which he was in process of divesting of power in favor of the
people.

        With a long history of heart disease, LBJ had a fatal attack Jan.
22, 1973, at his ranch on the Pedernales River.  The  ultimate alpha male
was 65.
        "When he died, Johnson was in fact an old man, twisted by the
failure of the Vietnam war and the chaos of civil unrest, his hair long and
with speckled brown spots on his flesh.  He had become his own worst
nightmare," wrote Jarboe.
        John Kennedy's ghost will forever haunt each anniversary of his
passing and each presidential election campaign at least until the truth of
his murder satisfies the majority.  Meanwhile Lyndon Johnson may carry
forever the epithet "the ugliest American."

#  #  #



This essay is dedicated to the memory of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.)
who except for his "untimely" death  on Oct. 25, 2002, might have been
the Democratic frontrunner for President in 2004.
(Recommended reading:  "American Assassination,"
Professors James Fetzer and Don Jacobs, 2004)



The essayist has been a political activist more than forty years.  Early in
2003, he was a human shield in Baghdad during the bombing.  As president of
Stop Prisoner Rape (www.spr.org), he witnessed Pres. George W. Bush sign
into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act in September 2003.  He is a member
of  many progressive organizations including Veterans for Peace and the
Alliance for Democracy.

==============================================================

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Permission granted for anyone to distribute this writing, or
parts thereof, free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition no profit is made therefrom, and
that excerpted portions remain intact and complete, including
credit to the original author.
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Dec. 2, 2004   (Public domain. Please post especially where prohibited.)

WAR IS GOOD BUSINESS
Invest Your Sons & Daughters


A Thumbnail History of America's Dark Side
And
Suggestions To Save The Planet


By Tom Cahill
tpc@mcn.org


        In ancient times, war was good news for those who crafted bows,
arrows, spears, armor, catapults, chariots, even  those who supplied horses
and forage for the noble beasts as well as the victuals for the warriors.
And let's not forget the flag-makers,  songwriters, camp-followers and the
generals who usually prospered.  Businessmen, the career military,  and
politicians especially have always been quick and eager to exploit the
peasants' fear of an "enemy."
        If there was no threat from abroad, one could always be easily
created, then demonized, packaged and sold along with lots of colorful
banners and catchy songs.
        Clever, rich old men have forever sent  undereducated,  poor young
me to kill or be killed for God, Country and Gold but not necessarily in
that order of importance.  Medals have always been a cheap "thank you, son"
for services rendered, lives, eyes or limbs lost.
        In the American Revolution,  while the Minutemen were freezing and
starving at Morristown and Valley Forge,  among those who got wealthy from
that decade-long war were Robert Morris, William Duer, Elias Derby, and
William Bingham.  "The merchant has no country," warned Thomas Jefferson in
response.  During the US Civil War, the country's bloodiest conflict to
date in which a half million Americans on both sides were slaughtered,
those who avoided military service and opted to make money from the carnage
were John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carneigie, J. Pierpont Morgan, Jay Gould,
Philip Armour and Marshall Field.  These are more familiar names,  now
known to American history as the "robber barons."

'Remember the Maine'

        The media  of the time was almost always complicit, never, ever
asking the "hard questions" that would make newspapers appear unpatriotic,
as critics charged in  the roll-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The
term "yellow journalism," meaning heavily slanted propaganda, was coined
shortly before the Spanish-American War.  William Randolph Hearst rushed to
judgment about the sinking of the US battleship Maine  in Cuba in 1898 and
stirred up such high emotions in his nationwide chain of newspapers, that
the US ended up colonizing the Spanish possessions of Cuba and the
Philippines and even  grabbed Hawaii which was an independent monarchy.
Many inquiries and many decades later, after an investigation led by
Admiral Hyman Rickover, the US Navy finally admitted the Maine, fueled by
coal, was blown apart by an accidental explosion of coal dust and not by
the Spanish Navy.   Oops!    Was an apology ever made to Spain?  I don't
think so.

'I'm a Yankee Doodle Dan-dy, Yankee Doodle Do Or Die...'

        Working class, American "doughboys" returning from France  after WW
I became incensed when they learned of the mountains of wealth made by war
profiteers safely at home while they were in the muddy, bloody trenches of
Flanders.  They demanded wealth be drafted as well as men for future wars.
So united and loud became their voice of outrage that conservative
businessmen and their servants in government organized , among other
groups, the American Legion to paint the "radicals " as unAmerican.  This
led to the "Red Scare" of the early 1920s which was a pogrom against the
left.  Because of the "Palmer Raids" during this time,  a young J. Edgar
Hoover rose to prominence with his fledgling Federal Bureau of
Investigation  that confirmed earlier fears that the FBI would become a
secret political police force which is what it is to this day.
        Early in the Great Depression,  the politicians--always generous
with patriotic platitudes--reneged on a promised bonus for service in WW I.
So in May 1932,  a handful of  unemployed,  blue collar vets led by Walter
W. Walters encamped in Washington, DC.  When their "Bonus Expeditionary
Forces" swelled to  almost 20,000 men,  wives and children--many homeless
and starving--Pres. Herbert Hoover sicked General Douglas MacArthur, his
aide-d-camp, Capt. Dwight Eisenhower,  and a force of regulars  including
armored vehicles on the Bonus Army at Anacostia Flats, July 28.   Maj.
George Patton led a cavalry charge with swords.  Many of the ragtag
protesters were injured and a baby was killed in the rout.
        The opening scene of In "Pursuit of Honor," dramatically depicts
the refusal of some calvarymen to draw sabers on their former
brothers-in-arms.  Their punishment is what the rest of the film is about.
Don Johnson plays Medal of Honor winner, M/Sgt. Jack Libby in the 1995
movie made for TV and now on video.

'War Is A Racket'

        Teapot Dome, Wyoming, was an oil reserve set aside by Pres. William
Taft's Administration in 1912 for exclusive use of the US Navy in wartime.
A decade later it was discovered private oil companies had been illegally
obtaining (stealing) this oil and selling it on the public market.  The
resulting scandal, despite endangering national security, turned out to be
a tempest in  a   ahhhh   teapot.  But from this time, oil became
recognized as an integral part of the so-called "defense industry."
        "War Is A Racket" is the title of a book written by Brig. Gen.
Smedley Darlington Butler published in 1934.  The General was a  tough,
career Marine and twice won the Congressional Medal of Honor.  After his
retirement, he began speaking out against the war industry.
        "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military
service...And during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class
muscle man for big business, for Wall Street, and the bankers.  In short, I
was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism," wrote Gen. Butler in his book
reprinted in 2003.  "Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe
for American oil interests in 1914.  I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent
place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.  I helped in
the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of
Wall Street," confessed the General who died in 1940 as the U.S. war
machine was gearing up once again for big profits.
        In Haiti alone at this time, 50,000 children, women and men were
killed by United States marines.
        Shortly before WW II, Congress became concerned about how bankers,
munitions makers, oil moguls and others seemed to encourage wars.
Republican Sen. Gerald Nye of South Dakota organized an investigating
committee that resulted in the Neutrality Acts of 1935,1936 and 1937.  But
this was a time fascism was looming in Europe and Japan and conservatives
tend to be soft on their cousins on the far right.  Had  communism been the
threat, attitudes may have been different, fear may have been exploited ,
and the US may have gone to war with the Soviets at that time.
        Antisemitism made Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, and
Adolph Hitler kindred spirits.  For years, Hitler kept a large portrait of
Ford in his office.   The Fuhrer gave Ford a medal.  Subsidiaries of Ford,
General Motors and other US manufacturers helped rearm Germany in the
1930s.
        During the Hitler years from 1933 to America's entry into the war
in December 1941, despite the Neutrality Acts and military "lend-lease" to
Britain, US investment in Germany increased by almost fifty percent while
declining almost everywhere else in Europe, according to Kevin Phillips in
"American Dynasty:  Aristocracy,  Fortune, and the Politics of  Deceit in
the House of Bush" (2004).   Prescott Bush, grandfather of Pres. George W.
Bush, as managing partner of the investment bank,  Brown Brothers Harriman,
didn't stop doing business with the Nazis till well into 1942 when Pres.
Franklin Roosevelt forced a halt.  To polish his tarnished image, Bush got
himself appointed chairman of the United Service Organization (USO)  and
helped raise $33 million  of other people's money that year for
entertaining servicemen and women.

'Remember Pearl Harbor'

        Neo-cons (or are they neo-fascists) today falsely charge the left
with appeasement in the 1930s.  Of the overwhelming majority of Americans
who were against  involvement in another foreign war, only a minuscule
portion were pacifists.  The majority were conservative isolationists who
saw direct or indirect profit from rearming Germany and Japan.  By 1940,
when Britain stood alone against the Nazi onslaught, Pres. Roosevelt and UK
Prime Minister  Winston Churchill conspired to bring America into the war.
Because of the huge  population of German-American isolationists and racism
against Asians,  FDR and Churchill saw Japan as  easier to provoke into
making a first strike against America so necessary to unite the country. If
Japan went to war, so would Germany and Italy, such was the provision of
their Tripartite Pact of Sept. 27, 1940.
        A number of provocations were instituted by the Roosevelt
Administration against Japan, most hurtful of which was an oil embargo,
according to Robert Stinnett in  "Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and
Pearl Harbor" (2001).  US intelligence had already broken Japanese military
and diplomatic codes.  Pearl Harbor was the most likely target  of a
Japanese attack because Midway was too insignificant and the West Coast of
the US was too suicidal.
        For many decades, the battleship was considered the "Queen of the
Fleet."  But by 1941, the aircraft carrier was the new sovereign.  At Pearl
Harbor in December of that year, obsolescent dreadnauts were lined up along
"battleship row" like ducks in a shooting gallery while new  aircraft
carriers were kept safely out to sea.
        Meanwhile German forces were at the very gates of Moscow.  At the
western end of the Moscow subway line, Wehrmacht soldiers could see the
spires of St. Basel's Cathedral in the Kremlin.  Except for the  Battle of
Britain in the summer before, there was no more critical time in WW II.
        Thus the aerial bombing of Pearl Harbor was no "sneak attack" as
was splashed across headlines of newspapers throughout America.  US
intelligence knew when and where the Japanese would strike America.  Top
officials in the Roosevelt Administration as well as  the British power
elite were  also naturally fully apprised.  On Dec. 10, 1941, three days
after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the US as
Americans across the country were still  singing, "Let's re-mem-ber Pearl
Har-bor, as we march to vic-to-ry..."
        Fast forward to 2004.  A growing number of Americans, who believe
conspiracy is synonymous with politics, are convinced the Bush
Administration knew a "terrorist" attack  from the air was imminent  in
September 2001.  Ignored  were warnings  from US as well as many foreign
intelligence services.   On the fateful day, the Federal Aviation
Administration's air traffic control  in New York and Washington, DC was
sabotaged.  US Air Force fighter interceptors were grounded .  And the
set-up was so Iraq would be blamed.   Meanwhile the growing "9-11 Truth
Movement" keeps sifting through fact and fiction.
        The rationale for this ploy of the  neo-con conspirators  was/is
that to defend the United States of America from its jealous and hate
filled enemies, it needed to  unite America to hurry and finish the job of
dominating the world.  And the most effective and profitable way  to do
this is through control of the oil of the Mideast in general and in
particular that of Iraq with its massive reserve.   After all, Humvees
don't run on air and California Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger drives a
different one each day of the week.  Sundays, it's the blue Hummer;
Mondays, the yellow one;  Tuesdays, the olive drab one to play soldier
with...
        To paraphrase Adolph Hitler--today oil, tomorrow the world.

Trading With The Enemy In WW II

         Other US financiers and corporations not only did business with
Hitler before but also during WW II via neutral countries, according to
"Trading With The Enemy" by Charles Higham (1983).  The Rockefellers'
Standard Oil Company, for instance, not only helped fuel the Luftwaffe and
the U-boat wolf packs  through neutral Spain, but through their Chase Bank
of New York, they helped launder $378 million in gold looted from
Nazi-occupied countries and from  teeth of  Holocaust victims.
        When it came to making money, the Rockefellers remained neutral in
other  conflicts too.  During the Korean War, they traded with Eastern Bloc
countries, according to Higham.   During a later war, savvy American GIs
would ask green replacements, "What's the safest vehicle to hitch a ride on
in Vietnam?"  The punch line was, "An ESSO oil truck--the Viet Cong loose
their aim when they see one,"  according to Bob Brewin and Sidney Shaw in
"Vietnam On Trial" (1987).
         Ford, IT&T, and RCA were among other US corporations that
influenced the US Army Air Force not to bomb certain targets in
Nazi-occupied countries.  Someone even warned the Germans about one raid on
Schweinfurt in which sixty American bombers with six hundred men aboard
were shot down in flames.
        Instead of receiving prison sentences for war profiteering in WW
II, top executives of  the Bechtel Group escaped  the scrutiny of the
Truman Committee and actually received awards because of their connections
in Washington., according to  Laton McCartney in "Friends In High Places"
(1988).
        Responding to charges of fraud and waste in the war industry even
before US entry into  WW II, then US Sen. Harry S. Truman (D-Missouri)
organized a committee that saved so much money and made him so popular, he
was nominated Pres. Roosevelt's  running mate in the 1944 election.  Upon
Roosevelt's death five months later, Truman became the most powerful man in
the world.  After the war, when  Secretary of State George Marshall
suggested a plan to rebuild Europe, Truman reminded Congress  of the money
his committee saved  during the war which would be ample to pay for the
Marshall Plan.
        More than in any other previous time, WW II blurred the distinction
between business and national security.  Thus was birthed the war machine
that later came to be known as the "military-industrial complex," a
Frankenstein monster that under the Administration of Pres. George W. Bush
is clearly trying to devour the world as Hitler failed.

 'Cold' War Spooks

        As previously mentioned, the Rockefellers did business with Eastern
Bloc countries and North Vietnam during the Cold War.  Though virulently
anti-communist, Bechtel was never loath to do business with the Soviets
either, having built for them pipelines, refineries, fertilizer plants, and
a world trade center in Moscow, according to Laton McCartney.  For years,
Bechtel worked closely with the CIA providing intelligence, a business
front for agents, and even arms to rebels friendly to the USA.  The Reagan
Administration included many former Bechtel execs such as Secretary of
State George Schultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Director
of the CIA John McCone.
        "The interests of the intelligence community, organized crime and
megabuck corporations overlap in concentric self-serving circles," wrote
Warren Hinckle and William Turner in "The Fish is Red" (1981).
        The Central Intelligence Agency is one of  a dozen or so
organizations in the vast US intelligence community and it, like the FBI,
is only mid-sized.  Biggest of the lot may be US Air Force Intelligence of
which I was a member in Germany in the late 50s.  The National Security
Agency may be second largest.  As of two decades ago, NSA had acres
(plural) of computers spying on the world.  With  the same space allotment
and years of electronic miniaturization, NSA's computers can't miss much
today.  If Osama bin Laden is still alive, he must be on another planet or
the US knows exactly where he is.  Some large corporations have their own
intelligence-gathering departments employing ex and retired government
spooks who often work along with the rest of the alphabet soup of
government agencies, bureaus, and departments that make up the intelligence
industry.   This should give you an idea of how huge and expensive is the
effort to spy on  "subversives" at home and abroad.
        Oversight committees of both Houses of Congress have traditionally
rubber-stamped the work of the intelligence community.  Rumors of
downsizing spy organizations have been just that--scuttlebutt.  What
politician would dare buck the intelligence system?  If not an "accident,"
the representative would have his or her dirty laundry publicly aired in
the corporate media  which is always eager to make a buck and  is just as
intimidated of the cloak and dagger as anyone.
        But it's the CIA that's the headline-grabber because of it's
history of assassinations,  illicit drug trafficking,  gunrunning, and
other "black operations."  Originally mandated by the Truman Administration
to only gather intelligence and only abroad, the ink wasn't yet dry on its
charter when in 1947 it took over from French Intelligence a drug pipe line
from Indochina to Marseille, according to Dr. Alfred McCoy in his book The
Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia:  CIA Complicity in the Global Drug
Trade (1972).  The conduit known as the "French Connection" was in exchange
for helping subdue communists in France.   The drug trading eventually got
out of hand which was one of the causes for  US involvement in the West's
decades-long war on Vietnam.  One of the  CIA's "blowbacks" (unexpected
negative effect)  resulted in as many as one third of American GIs in
Vietnam being hooked on heroin. The CIA would peddle the dope to corrupt
South Vietnamese officials who  in turn  would have children sell it to US
servicemen outside their bases.
        Today tens of thousands of US veterans of the fighting in Vietnam
are homeless.  Aging, sick and dying,  they wander the streets of American
cities  while others  languish in prisons for drug abuse and violence.
More than  a decade ago, it was estimated more Vietnam vets had committed
suicide than died in combat in Southeast Asia.
        "The military are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in
foreign policy," former Secretary of State (under Nixon) Henry Kissinger
once said.

CIA's War On The World

        In his book, In Search of Enemies (1978), John Stockwell estimated
the CIA was responsible for the deaths of perhaps six million people of the
Third World from the time of the Agency's  inception in 1947 to the time he
wrote his expose.  This he calls the CIA's "Third World War."  Stockwell
was a CIA officer from 1964 to 1976.
        The CIA is still using  narcotics and guns to destabilize low
income black and Hispanic inner cities in the US, according to Gary Webb in
his book, Dark Alliance:  The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine
Explosion (1998).
        Many people suspect the CIA had a hand in the assassination of John
Kennedy and that the murder was in fact a coup d'etat.  In December 1963,
less than a month after JFK's death, even ex-President Truman said,  "For
some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from
its original assignment.  It has become an operational arm and at times a
policy-making arm of the government."  Another time, Truman referred to the
CIA as the Gestapo.
        Already distrustful of the CIA, after the Agency's Bay of Pigs
debacle in 1961, Pres. Kennedy--suspecting sabotage by the Agency to
embarrass, intimidate and control him--threatened to "smash the CIA into a
thousand pieces and scatter them to the wind."  Instead he fired CIA
Director Alan Dulles who after JFK's death, was appointed by Pres. Johnson
to the Warren Commission.  JFK also fired Dulles' deputy, Charles Cabal
whose brother Earl was mayor of Dallas in 1963 and may have been
responsible for rerouting the Kennedy motorcade around the Book Depository
in Dealy Plaza in order to slow  down the cars for the snipers.
        There was celebration in at least one CIA station when John
Kennedy's execution was announced, reported Hinkle and Turner in "The Fish
is Red."

The 'Arms Race'--What could be better for business?

        But the greatest  single grafter of the Cold War and perhaps all of
American history was Pres. Lyndon Johnson.  Early in his climb to the
summit of US politics, Johnson got in bed and stayed  there with the Brown
brothers of Brown and Root Construction Company.  Especially since his days
in the Senate, Johnson arranged contract after contract for the Browns and
was rewarded handsomely with kickbacks not only for his election campaigns
but for his own piggy bank.  In Vietnam, Brown and Root constructed
military bases and helped make Johnson the richest president ever, far more
wealthy than Pres. John Kennedy.
        The number of Americans who owned stocks rose from five million in
1950 to twenty million in 1965 and thirty-one million by 1970.  "They never
rushed in faster than in the year 1968," according to David Hapgood in "The
Screwing Of The Average Man" (1974).  During that remarkable year marked by
the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, riots at the
Democratic Convention in Chicago and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the
withdrawal of LBJ  and the election of Richard Nixon,  Wall Street was
making it's own history in the average man's chips faster than ever before
or since.  In the first five months of that year, Merrill Lynch alone
opened 181,000 new accounts, wrote Hapgood.
        "The Vietnam War alone generated 'business' to the value of $200
billion," according to Matthew Smith in his book "Say Goodbye To America:
New Perspectives On The JFK Assassination (2001)."  Smith believes JFK was
murdered  on orders from big business which he was in process of divesting
of power in favor of the people.

The Mother of All Bumperstickers

        The U.S. and the world has paid dearly for ignoring the warning of
a former general and at the time a Republican president, Dwight D.
Eisenhower,  in his farewell address in 1961.  "In the councils of
government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex...We must
never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or
democratic processes," he said.  Less than three years later, his successor
was assassinated in full view of many citizens.
        A popular bumpersticker during the Vietnam era was "WAR IS GOOD
BUSINESS;  Invest Your Sons."  Now with women like Jessica Lynch  and
Lynndie England in combat in Iraq, we need only add to the sticker,"And
Daughters."
        Fighting communism was  a lucrative growth industry until the fall
of the Berlin Wall.  Authentic WW II Nazis helped set the agenda for the
World Anti-Communist League headed for a time by John Singlaub of
Iran-Contragate infamy, according to Scott and Jon Anderson in  Inside The
League (1986).  Rev. Sun Myung Moon, ultra-rightists in Israel, Klaus
Barbie (until he was imprisoned in France), and the CIA teamed up to create
the "death squads" of Latin America.   Not only power but profit was their
motive.  And money makes such strange bedfellows.  No?
        Then as now, the ancient Buddhist warning goes unheeded--"Beware
lest you become what you fight."

Saint Ronald, Patron of Plutocrats


        During the Reagan Administration, 11,000 people died in Nicaragua,
50,000 in El Salvador and 100,000 in Guatemala, most of them civilians and
most victims of CIA-trained police, soldiers and militia, according to Noam
Chomsky in "The Culture of Terrorism" (1988).  By the term "terrorist
culture," Chomsky meant the US government.          Today the US Army's
"Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation"--formerly known as
the "School of the Americas"--at Fort Benning, Georgia, is the world's
foremost  educator of torturers and assassins.
          During the Reagan era, the Iran-Contra hearings investigated the
illegal trade of guns to Iran in exchange for that country keeping
American hostages till after the 1980 election in order to make Pres. Jimmy
Carter look feeble.  This was a Machiavellian scheme arranged by George H.
W. Bush, former director of the CIA, who was rewarded with the nomination
for vice-president.  After Reagan and Bush took office,   "The
congressional inquiry took considerable care not to learn too much that
would be unpleasant," wrote Chomsky.
        It was at this time that a young Sen. John F. Kerry
(D-Masschusetts) and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) came on highly and
loudly critical of the  dirty deal early in the hearings, only to fall
silent later on as if they got the offer you can't refuse like those
obviously refused by the Kennedy brothers and more recently Sen. Paul
Wellstone (D-Minn.) who just might be the Democratic frontrunner in 2004
had he not died in an airplane "accident" in October 2002.
        A country doesn't get to be a superpower by playing nice-nice.
Does it?

Saving the World for Democracy

        "A Texan is president again and this country is fighting a war
again.  Beyond that, there seems to be few parallels between the Vietnam
War and the war on terrorism," wrote D. Jablow Hershman in"Power Beyond
Reason: The Mental Collapse of  Lyndon Johnson" (2002).  Fast moving events
in Iraq  and elsewhere since she wrote the book may have changed her mind.
        Bechtel and Brown and Root (now called Kellogg, Brown and Root) are
in Iraq together with Halliburton and other US corporations
"reconstructing" the devastated country.  Gross "overcharges" by these
companies are frequently reported even by the corporate media.  Pres. Bill
Clinton gave Pres. Bush a budget balanced on the backs of those who could
least afford it, and Bush has already turned it into one of America's
larger deficits.  So is a Democrat president going to change much for the
good?  I don't think so.
        In the Mideast as everywhere else US oil and arms merchants as well
as the CIA wheel and deal,  they leave behind corruption , hatred of
America, drug trafficking, and death, according to Anthony Sampson in "The
Arms Bazaar: From Lebanon to Lockheed" (1977), and Chalmers Johnson in
"Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire" (2000).

Solutions

        So we know humankind's number one problem.  And the solution is
simple--take the profit out of war.  Energy and defense industries  need to
be nationalized.  The intelligence community needs to be greatly downsized
and must have genuine oversight.  The media monopoly needs to be smashed
into a thousand pieces and scattered to the wind.   Most importantly
politicians need to be held to a higher standard than any other citizen.
        US Army guards of honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at
Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC, have to pledge no use of alcohol or
profanity for the rest of their lives. Why should politicians be held to a
lower standard?
        Conflict of interest among elected officials should be the only
offense punishable by death.  And lastly, politicians who support these
suggestions need to be hidden away in safehouses all over the universe.

        "Oh, when will you ever learn?   Oh, when will you ev-ver learn?"
This was the refrain of an anti-war song popularized by Pete Seeger in the
60s--"Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"

# # #


The essayist  served in U.S. Air Force Intelligence in Germany in the
Fifties and has been an activist more than four decades.  Early in 2003, he
was a human shield in Iraq during the bombing.  In September 2003, he
witnessed Pres. Bush sign into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act.  He is
a member of many progressive organizations including Stop Prisoner Rape,
Alliance for Democracy and Veterans For Peace.

==============================================================


---finis