Okay, Bush ain’t gonna get out of Iraq no matter what anyone says or does short of a) impeachment, b) a lobotomy, or c) one of his daughters setting herself afire in the Oval Office as a war protest. A few days ago, upon arriving in
And the Democrats ain’t gonna end the war. Ninety-nine percent of the American people protesting on the same day ain’t gonna do it either, in this democracy. (No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think the
Only those fighting the war can end it. By laying down their arms and refusing to kill anymore, including themselves. Some American soldiers in
The veterans group has begun organizing among active duty soldiers on military bases. Veterans have toured the country in busses holding barbeques outside the base gates. They also plan to step up efforts to undermine military recruiting efforts.
Of course it’s a very long shot to get large numbers of soldiers into an angry, protesting frame of mind. But consider the period following the end of World War Two. Late 1945 and early 1946 saw what is likely the greatest troop revolt that has ever occurred in a victorious army. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American soldiers protested all over the world because they were not being sent home even though the war was over. The GIs didn’t realize it at first, but many soon came to understand that the reason they were being transferred from Europe and elsewhere to various places in the Pacific area, instead of being sent back home, was that the United States was concerned about uprisings against colonialism, which, in the minds of Washington foreign-policy officials, was equated with communism and other nasty un-American things. The uprisings were occurring in British colonies, in Dutch colonies, in French colonies, as well as in the American colony of the
American marines were sent to
On January 13, 1946, 500 GIs in
By the summer of 1946 there had been a huge demobilization of the armed forces, although there’s no way of knowing with any exactness how much of that was due to the GIs’ protests.
If this is how American soldiers could be inspired and organized in the wake of “The Good War”, imagine what can be done today in the midst of “The God-awful War”.
Iraq Veterans Against the War could use your help. Go to: http://www.ivaw.org/
A pullet surprise for “Legacy of Ashes” by Tim Weiner
In 1971 the New York Times published its edition of the Pentagon Papers, based on the government documents concerning
In his new book, “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA”, New York Times reporter Tim Weiner also relies heavily on government documents in deciding what events to include and what not to, and the result is often equally questionable. “This book,” Weiner writes, “is on the record — no anonymous sources, no blind quotations, no hearsay. It is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from firsthand reporting and primary documents.”(p.xvii)
Thus, if US government officials did not put something in writing or if someone did not report their firsthand experience concerning a particular event, to Tim Weiner the event doesn’t exist, or at least is not worth recounting. British journalist Stewart Steven has written: “If we believe that contemporary history must be told on the basis of documentary evidence before it becomes credible, then we must also accept that everything will either be written with the government’s seal of approval or not be written at all.”
As to firsthand reporting, for Weiner it apparently has to be from someone “reputable”. Former CIA officer Philip Agee wrote a 1974 book, “Inside the Company: CIA Diary”, that provides more detail about CIA covert operations in
Former CIA officer John Stockwell also penned a memoir (“In Search of Enemies”, 1978), revealing lots of CIA dirty laundry in
Also ignored: Joseph Burkholder Smith, another Agency officer, not quite a left-wing dissident like Agee or Stockwell but a heavy critic nonetheless, entitled his memoir “Portrait of a Cold Warrior” (1976), in which he revealed numerous instances of CIA illegality and immorality in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia.
There’s also Cambodian leader Prince Sihanouk, who provided his firsthand account in “My War With The CIA” (1974). Sihanouk is also a non-person in the pages of “Legacy of Ashes”.
Even worse, Weiner ignores a veritable mountain of impressive “circumstantial” and other evidence of CIA misdeeds which doesn’t meet his stated criteria, which any thorough researcher/writer on the Agency should give serious attention to, certainly at least mention for the record. Among the many CIA transgressions and crimes left out of “Legacy of Ashes”, or very significantly played down, are:
* The extensive CIA role in the 1950s provocation and sabotage activities in East Berlin/East Germany which contributed considerably to the communists’ decision to build the Berlin Wall is not mentioned, although the wall is discussed.
* The criminal actions carried out by Operation Gladio, created by the CIA, NATO, and several European intelligence services beginning in 1949. The operation was responsible for numerous acts of terrorism in Europe, foremost of which was the bombing of the
* A discussion of the alleged 1993 assassination attempt against former president George H.W. Bush in
* Moreover, the book scarcely scratches the surface concerning the dozens of foreign elections the CIA has seriously interfered in; the large number of assassination attempts, successful or unsuccessful, against foreign political leaders; the widespread planting of phoney stories in the international media, stories that were at times picked up in the American press as a result; manipulation and corruption of foreign labor movements; extensive book and magazine publishing fronts; drug trafficking; and a virtual world atlas of overthrown governments, or attempts at same.
“A Legacy of Ashes” is generally a good read even for someone familiar with the world of the CIA, but it’s actually often rather superficial, albeit 700 pages long. Why has so much of importance and interest been omitted from a book which has the subtitle: “The History of the CIA”; not, it must be noted, “A History of the CIA”?
Whatever jaundiced eye Weiner focuses on the CIA, he still implicitly accepts the two basic beliefs of the Cold
War: 1)There existed out there something called The International Communist Conspiracy, fueled by implacable Soviet expansionism; 2)
Some sundry shooting from the lip
Football star Michael Vick has been condemned for allegedly helping to execute dogs.
But is killing a dog morally worse than killing a chicken, cow, pig, lamb, or fish which is done every hour of every day to enable non-vegans to enjoy the kind of diet they’ve become accustomed to? The fact that a dog is much more likely to be someone’s pet doesn’t answer the question; it only explains why that someone is upset over canineicide but cares much less about the liquidation of the other animals.
Home run king Barry Bonds is vilified for reputedly using steroids to build up his strength. He may have an asterisk put next to his record because this, presumably, gave him an unfair advantage over other baseball players who are “clean”. But of all the things that athletes put into their bodies to improve their health, fitness and performance, why are steroids singled out? Doesn’t taking vitamin and mineral supplements give an athlete an unfair advantage over athletes who don’t take them? Should these supplements be banned from sport competition? Vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessarily any more “natural” than steroids, which in fact are very important in our body chemistry; among the steroids are the male and female sex hormones. Why not punish those who follow a “healthy diet” because of the advantage this may give them?
“Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?” was the question posed to presidential candidate Bill Richardson by singer Melissa Etheridge. “It’s a choice,” replied the
The next time you hear someone say that homosexuality is a choice, ask them how old they were when they chose to be heterosexual. When they admit that they never made such a conscious choice, thus implying that people don’t choose to be heterosexual, the next question to the person should be: “So only homosexuals choose to be homosexual? But what comes first, being homosexual so you can make the choice, or making the choice and thus becoming homosexual?”
Why is the Bush administration so unenthusiastic about preventing global warming? Perhaps this news report provides a clue.
“The Arctic sea ice will retreat hundreds of miles farther from the coast of
We can say that the
 Sydney Morning Herald, September 6, 2007
 New York Times, January 8, 1946, p.3
 New York Times, January 11, 1946, p.1
 Ibid., p.4
 For more information about the soldiers’ protests, see: Mary-Alice Waters, “G.I.’s and the Fight
Against War” (New York, 1967), a pamphlet published by “Young Socialist” magazine.
 “The Pentagon Papers” (NY Times Edition), p. xii-xiii
 See William Blum, “Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II”, p.137-8
 Washington Post, September 7, 2007, p.6
William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at
Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website at “essays”.