On September 26, 2005 a nation wide strike is being called for all
students... To protest the influence of the Military and Weapons Industries
on Education, and the resulting wars that feed our kids as fodder
to a system of profits created from intentionally created conflict. This is
now entrenching, even in our high schools, with the "No Child Left Behind
Act" forcing school systems to share personal data on students with the
armed services. A fourth year graduate student in Peace studies at the University
of Oregon, Brian Bogart, has written an analysis that calls for action. Immediate
and concentrated action, because the base of our constitution has been mined
and is being mined, to a hollow shell of paper.. a foundation of Parchement
upon which our liberties will crumble. It is time to make a stand for our children,
ourselves and future generations.
Brian Bogart's call for strike has been supported so far by over 100 professors
across the nation. Mr. Bogart himself worked in the defense industry for 15
years before leaving it, and returning to graduate studies to examine the War
and Peace process...
I first heard of the strike in this mornings newsletter from the Crawford Peace
House, who is sending out reports from Camp Casey... Brian Bogart's article
was first published on:
The Information Clearing House :
Brian Bogart can be reached at :
email@example.com for more information on the Student Strike.
Here is Brian Bogart's analysis in it's entirety:
America Programmed for War: Cause and Solution
“What one generation perceives as repression, the next accepts
as a necessary part of a complex daily life.”
By Brian Bogart
08/18/05 "ICH" -- -- Cold War warriors and their policies have been
hijacked for today’s permanent war on terror. This story contains within
it the cause and solution: the weakest point in United States foreign policy,
and a legal basis for the strongest push toward a peaceful change of priorities
by the most dedicated people in America—you.
In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition
of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial
Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and
will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our
liberties or democratic processes.
—President Dwight Eisenhower, upon leaving office; January 1961
1) The Long War: From NSC-68 to 2005
As the University of Oregon’s first graduate student in the transdisciplinary
field of Peace Studies, it is my responsibility to explore the role of the military
in society and those conditions that most promote peace and human welfare. Unfortunately,
this task puts me in direct conflict with school administrators, including President
Dave Frohnmayer, whose signature appears on my Bachelor’s degree.
There is nothing personal about this conflict, and President Frohnmayer has
done nothing out of the ordinary. Like the presidents of more than 300 other
universities that help develop weapons for the Department of Defense (DoD),
he is simply leading my school into an evermore intimate partnership with America’s
military industrial complex.
Federal programs that once served low-income people nationwide have been shut
down, and states have had to cut funding for education to make up the difference.
(Our servants in the White House are still trying to abolish the food stamp
program.) Schools turned elsewhere for money, and—bing—here’s
DoD handing out major bucks for weapons research; outsourced projects that will
in one way or another lead to the death of humans and other life systems.
In the old days, universities solicited funds from their states (and states
would provide a slice of their budgets). Today our schools increasingly beg
for funds from DoD, the Department of Energy, and other firms directly connected
to the industry of war. As I will explain in this essay, soliciting funds from
the world’s greatest war machine creates not just a partnership that contradicts
the inherent purpose of enlightenment (a.k.a. higher education for a better
future), but also a point of unity for those of us who see the big picture—our
300-plus schools are 300-plus communities ready to network for change.
Before I expand on the costs to our society and the active participation of
our schools, it is worth noting that in my 50 years I wrote pen-pal letters
asking President Kennedy to take down the Berlin Wall, marched with Martin Luther
King, worshipped John Lennon, worked for companies building Trident, MX, and
Stinger missiles simultaneous to my involvement with Carl Sagan’s anti-Cold
War Space Bridge project, and helped build the B-1 bomber and parts for the
Aegis Weapons System (capable of directing 20 missiles at once) on the Ticonderoga-class
battle cruiser—much of this while attempting to deconstruct the obvious
conflict between what I wanted (peace) and what I needed (a paycheck).
So, I know a thing or two about conscience. But only after three-and-a-half
years of intensive research (some 14 years after leaving the defense industry)
did I come to appreciate the simple nature of the dilemma confronting a world
dominated by a war-driven America, and to identify the opportunity presented
A single policy decision made in secluded chambers of the White House shortly
after World War II explains why our financial and intellectual creativity focuses
on lethal technologies, why 51% of our taxes go to defense and less than 5%
to education, why there are 6000 military bases in the United States and 1000
US bases overseas, why comprehensive agendas support warfighting and weak agendas
address human services and the environment, and why our top industry since 1950
remains the manufacture and sale of weapons.
Assessing key indicators in 1947 and ’48, President Truman’s advisors
acutely feared an economic collapse back into the Depression, and, as Noam Chomsky
points out, there was scant debate among them: “It wasn’t really
a debate because it was settled before it started, but the issue was at least
raised—should the government pursue military spending or social spending?”
Our dilemma stems from the postwar adoption of a military-based rather than
a people-based economy. This policy, authored by Wall Street’s Paul Nitze,
is embodied in NSC-68, a document signed by President Truman in 1950. Along
with then Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and without any expertise in Russian
history or Soviet affairs, Nitze convinced—some say coerced—Truman
into recognizing the Soviet Union as an evil and imminent threat, and into signing
NSC-68 and launching the Cold War.
After NSC-68 was signed, it needed the approval of Congress. Post-Cold War
documents reveal that the Korean War was triggered by Americans and South Koreans
for this purpose (Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao and the Korean War, by Sergei
N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai; Stanford University Press). According
to Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, starting any war against the US
is treason if there is evidence that a US citizen took part.
All US military actions from 1950 to 2005 flow from this decision, made without
the consent of the American people. There is no fundamental difference between
the Cold War and today’s so-called permanent war on terror; perfect fuel
for our military-based economy. For 55 years, America has been waging a crime
against humanity, a crime for profiteers. I call it the Long War because “permanent”
As satellite photos and extensive post-Cold War interviews have revealed (including
interviews with Acheson, Nitze, and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz), no Soviet threat existed in 1950. Whether or not it was a ploy,
NSC-68 changed America’s priority from human prosperity to conflict-dependent
industry profit, and elevated corporations (which rarely have a conscience)
to a status above that of the people (who are, in the Founding vision, the conscience
Paul Wolfowitz cites Nitze and Acheson among his role models: “Paul Nitze
has had a huge mark on my career over many, many years, starting with 1969,
when I was still a very much wet-behind-the-ears graduate student who came to
Washington to work with three great men: Paul Nitze, Dean Acheson, and Albert
When the Cold War ended, longtime admirers and associates of Paul Nitze, led
by Paul Wolfowitz—mentor to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Richard
Perle—immediately began searching for another means to justify America’s
permanent war economy.
Plans for today’s war on terror surfaced in 1992 as President George
H.W. Bush pulled out of Iraq. Realizing that the follow-up to the Cold War was
not playing out according to their expectations, blueprints for re-invasion
and global expansion were drawn up by Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Lewis Libby, Cheney’s
current chief of staff.
When not promoting fear (“Today we face an even greater threat, an enemy
that not only hates freedom; it hates life itself and worships death”),
Paul Wolfowitz provides our rationale for the Long War: “This is not about
America imposing its values on other people. It’s about America enabling
other people to enjoy the values from which we benefit so enormously.”
In other words, our permanent war policy is about imposing our values on others—and
at great cost—and therefore thoroughly contradicts the objectives of the
Constitution to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
A war-dependent economy requires conflict, so there have been more than 200
wars since NSC-68. But those in power today have also retooled our corporate
industry (through the weakening of safeguards), our national intelligence agencies
(through top-down coercion, firings, and policy changes), and the public mindset
(through consolidation of media) to optimize war profits and popularize the
notion of the need for permanent war.
The war-driven economy is justified by a “necessary” war on terror.
But which came first—America’s global military-economic outreach,
or international terrorism? Despite protestations from the current administration,
terrorism is and has been a blowback of our policy, and as Chomsky says, the
way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it.
In the pathological pursuit of profit and power, government and corporations
(and university executives) march hand in hand, realizing President Abraham
Lincoln’s worst fears:
I see in the near future, a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned,
an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor
to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the
wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic destroyed.
The cause of our problems—the adoption and maintenance of the Long War
for profit—is well defined and its proponents are self-identified. We
know what the future holds (and doesn’t hold) as long as we have leaders
who sustain this policy as the engine of our nation. Yet, with the problem identified,
the people can implement a solution.
To motivate ourselves, we should consider at stake the control and meaning
of creativity, for in today’s America, heroes are made of dark insights.
In 2004 Paul Nitze was honored for his creativity in the interest of serving
peace by having a ship christened in his name. About that celebration, Paul
Wolfowitz declared: “to name a destroyer after a living American is an
honor bestowed on very, very few people.”
Before he died in 2004, Paul Nitze denounced the war on terror, but Wolfowitz
doesn’t talk about that statement—because the warriors on terror
co-opted Nitze’s Cold War policy to perpetuate America’s war industry.
All the better to neocontrol the world and keep “lesser” Americans
Today the Pentagon is pressuring Japan to rescind Article 9 of its Constitution
as part of our National Defense Strategy (drafted by guess who). The irony is
crushing. Here we have the first nation on Earth to use weapons of mass destruction
(the United States) urging the only nation to suffer nuclear attacks (Japan)
to re-establish a military and arm itself with nuclear weapons. Why? War is
our business, so we make it everyone else’s too. On Wall Street, war is
damn good for business. Some 310,000 companies worldwide depend on war because
we have made them dependent on war.
America’s business should be its people’s prosperity. That’s
where the Constitution should come into play. The highest office in the land
may be the presidency, but according to the Declaration of Independence, the
greatest power rests with the people. People is a title above that of President
or Secretary of Defense or Attorney General or Doctor or Professor. And I think
we can sell this point to a war-torn world and a frustrated American populace.
Peace bears no arms, erects no barriers, and plays not upon the fears of people.
Call our foreign policies offensive, contentious, and coercive, but they do
not serve peace. In the words of the Roman historian Tacitus, Rome creates a
desert and calls it “peace.”
We the people serve neither Rome nor any empire, and in serving peace, we shall
neither create conflict nor consent to sell ourselves and exchange our rights
so leaders may profit. Rather—as written—we are obliged to exchange
our leaders so humankind may prosper.
Foreign policy is what a few men make it, and that is terribly wrong. NSC-68
is where America, officially, took the wrong road. During its conception while
developing the hydrogen bomb, Secretary of State Dean Acheson instructed subordinates
to ignore any moral implications and focus on technological and budgetary challenges.
This opened the door for a future of technical justifications by the Pentagon,
and closed the door on all discussions of morality. The machine was born.
Our rights, as guaranteed in America’s Founding documents, rest beneath
the deliberate manufacture of war for profit. 55 years of the Long War is long
enough. It is time to rise and organize for a peaceful world in the name of
the people for whom America was born. If this means modifying the Constitution—to
ensure the common people are included in decision-making, and to protect the
future as life’s sacred common ground—so be it.
For the sake of all life, America must change its priority from industry profit
to human prosperity. Every problem you can name has been caused, exploited,
or exacerbated by this condition. Pass the word, gather, unite, organize nationwide,
and strike simultaneously on this single issue.
2) Our Schools and Ourselves: Cogs in the Machine
The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both congresses
and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who
pervert the Constitution. —Abraham Lincoln
Nothing better illustrates America’s Long War and its non peace-loving
policies and priorities than the consistent wealth of funding provided to the
Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) relative
to the poorly funded and withering Environmental Protection Agency and Department
of Education. And there is no greater hypocrisy than using our institutions
of higher education to feed the war machine.
The so-called “war on terror” serves to justify increased outsourcing
of DoD projects to our schools, conveniently reducing budget obstacles faced
by the Pentagon and our schools. War provides longevity for those adept at projecting
fear and power. War or even one attack prevents poll numbers from slipping too
low, and keeps weapons deals on the table when buyers such as India, Pakistan,
or Indonesia display reluctance.
War keeps America running, but only because war was adopted as our way of life.
That can and must change—and with a united sense of urgency.
At the heart of the Pentagon’s strategy for the next 30 years is something
called reachback, or killing by remote control. A good example of reachback
appeared in a recent mainstream newspaper article (4-21-05; Online Killing),
which described an online-hunting website.
Like the Panopticon—a prison of brightly lit cells surrounding a dark
central guardhouse (read Pentagon), designed with good intentions by Jeremy
Bentham in 1790—reachback is also the ability to project power and fear
by forcing subjects to assume they are being watched, or by compelling subjects
to conform to perceived standards. Reachback turns good-natured people into
cogs in a war machine whether they know it or not. Reachback is a paycheck mentality
that makes workers feel proud to accept promotions from manufacturing ordinary
radio tubes to ones that knock out electrical grids of entire cities. Reachback
keeps otherwise progressive-minded professors so occupied with one discipline
that they fail to interact with the transdisciplinary nature of the human dilemma.
Reachback is the war machine on autopilot.
But the best examples of reachback are the battlefields of tomorrow unfolding
in our school laboratories today. More than 300 universities are developing
weapons for the Pentagon’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, many involving
nanotechnology. MIT received an entire installation on campus, the Institute
for Soldier Nanotechnologies, and USC boasts the Institute for Creative Technologies.
Both are among the leaders in developing the FCS Objective Force Warrior.
DoD literature speaks glowingly of the program’s accomplishments: “Arnold
Schwarzennegger as The Terminator has nothing over the Objective Force Warrior.”
It promises to “develop a high-tech soldier with 20 times the capability
of today’s warrior by about 2010,” by integrating 18 systems into
human soldiers. These systems include: graphic displays equaling “two
17-inch computer monitors in front of the soldier’s eyes”; thermal
sensors; day-night video cameras; chemical and biological warning sensors; auditory
enhancement; stealth and self-healing-wound technology; super sneakers that
allow soldiers to jump over walls and buildings (Nike incorporated nanotechnology
into its shoes in 2001); and microclimate conditioning.
Most of these systems already exist. The next and most gruesome “advances”
in the FCS program are the ones in development on our campuses: offshoots of
DARPA’s Persistence in Combat (deep-wound disregard), Continuous Assisted
Performance (seven-day stimulant), and Brain Machine Interface (remote-controlled
human soldiers) projects.
With reachback, not only will soldiers fire their weapons in nearly any direction
and have the ammunition guided to their target (perhaps by someone with a joystick
in the basement of the White House), but the soldiers themselves will be remote
controlled, and not by mere suggestion.
Google “brain interface” to see hundreds of pages spun
from DARPA’s pilot project that was outsourced to the University of Oregon
and other schools. Google as many subjects in this essay as time permits. (This
is your country, and these are your tax dollars at work. DARPA created the Internet,
so use it.)
And while you’re online, click on http://www.bme.jhu.edu/labs/nthakor/hongbo/main.htm
for a graphic study of “wetware”: in this case controlling rats
via brain “hardpacks” (i.e. torture) at Johns Hopkins University,
where Paul Wolfowitz is (or was) dean of the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International
Studies. (Assembling the jigsaw pieces of America’s permanent war policy
is not rocket science; the connections are clear.)
Also click on http://oga.uoregon.edu/
to see University of Oregon’s Federal Priorities and how closely they
fit with our national priority. Note page 12 (Brain Biology and Machine Initiative,
Defense Applications), where this document—signed by President Frohnmayer
and esteemed subordinates—solicits funds for “optimizing the training
and performance of military personnel, such as their ability to function in
stressful and complex environments and to improve the integration of human and
machine. Examples include developing the ability to ‘lock out’ undesirable
battle responses, or to assess a soldier’s suitability to particular military
tasks involving aspects such as attention, decision making, emotion, memory,
And I am sincere when I say “esteemed.” These highly educated executives
are paid to deceive the public with phrases like Green Science. They, like us,
are merely cogs in the machine. We’re all familiar with oxymoronic programs
like Clear Skies and No Child Left Behind. Green Science slaps yet another happy
mask on the face of deadly profiteering.
As a general University of Oregon policy, classified research is not allowed
at campus facilities. However, weapons projects are allowed, and any that are
classified secret can be (conveniently) shuttled across the street to Riverfront
This is reachback. This is America, warrior nation. This is not a peace-loving
country, and this is not an enlightened, promising, hopeful use of our schools.
In addition to the intended deadly consequences of defense research, some campus
research involves unintended hazards. Nanotechnology, an industry with no standard
for safeguards, is called the deadliest industry ever created. Traditional laws
of physics cease to apply with particles less than 50 nanometers in size (a
human hair is 200,000 nanometers thick): metals become transparent, normally
hard substances dissolve, colors change ( http://rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?issue_ID=2498
A study released in June 2005 concludes that chemicals long considered safe,
such as the widely used wine-industry fungicide Vinclozolin (and Methoxychlor,
which replaced DDT), when ingested cause severe damage to all four generations
down the line. You may never show symptoms, but bad luck for the grandkids (
These same chemicals when manufactured using nanotechnology kill on contact.
Such “breakthroughs” have opened up fascinating new battlefield
possibilities for DARPA, which (with taxpayer dollars) has successfully fashioned
small bombs containing billions of flesh-and-bone eating “nanobots”
that can target specific human genotypes—a “politically useful tool,”
according to the Project for the New American Century’s 2000 report, Rebuilding
America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century,
most of whose 27 signatories, including Paul Wolfowitz, now hold top posts in
the Bush administration or at major universities around the country.
Unintended consequences of technology are always a problem, but when a nation’s
prime motive is world domination and profits through military superiority, all
life is at risk, and our national motive never sleeps (this is a race against
time). As long as the engine of our nation runs on conflict and our top industry
is weaponry, we will devote more time and money to killing—and helping
other nations to kill—than to the enhancement of life on this planet,
and otherwise intelligent people will continue to justify doing so with phrases
like Green Science.
But the real tragedy of Lincoln’s fears coming true is the disempowerment
of the people (…and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people…).
Look at us flailing to keep head above water, drowning in symptoms of the unfeeling
war machine: school funding, campaign finance reform, military recruitment on
campuses, election reform, the environment, religious extremism, corporate personhood,
stagnant education programs, economically challenged people in battle, unjust
veteran’s benefits, inadequate soldier protection, defense contractor
overruns, media manipulation (add your chosen “cause” here, but
remember it’s a symptom), and on and on—all of them indicative of
a war-for-profit-only society, all of them demanding our time and distracting
us from seeing and correcting the root cause.
In fiscal year 1999, the Department of Defense, the largest agency in the United
States, reported unaccountable adjustments of $2.3 trillion to balance its books.
In fiscal year 2000, it reported unaccountable adjustments of $1.1 trillion
to balance its books. For fiscal year 2001, and since, DoD has (again conveniently)
declined to report ( http://www.whereisthemoney.org
With the most secretive administration in history, under which millions of
public documents have vanished or been reclassified, let’s be generous
and say they misplace a mere $1 trillion a year. 3.4 plus 1 trillion times four—leaving
out 2005—means 7.4 trillion-plus Pentagon dollars are up to no good somewhere.
(See Steven Aftergood’s The Age of Missing Information, http://slate.msn.com/id/2114963
To find a few trillion of these dollars at work, spend a day or three browsing
DARPA’s massive website (darpa.mil). Keep in mind that DARPA (whom we
can thank for the Active Denial System—the new microwave crowd-control
weapon the Pentagon hopes to deploy to a police station near you by summer 2008)
is just the daddy of DoD contractors: there are 310,000 companies around the
world working for America’s war industry. That’s what we’re
Deceptions such as the Cold War, the war on drugs, and the war on terror do
not make our communities and our lives any safer. Their aim is to facilitate
war profiteering. Since the 1950 adoption of the Cold War policy, NSC-68, without
the people’s consent, we have been building a military-first, people-last
America—and this theft of our country should outrage and unite all Americans
who wonder about prices at gas stations today.
Under our corporate-owned federal government, America controls the world and
its own people through fear. It is up to us to reject the power of fear and
give birth to a superpower of public opinion. Only by peacefully asserting ourselves
around the central issue will peace and justice prevail. Think about, write
about, shout about—nationwide strike about our permanent war policy. All
it takes is an organized commitment; not just to the wealth of symptoms, but
to the root cause.
3) Strike! A Match for Cindy Sheehan
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain
the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government—lest
it come to dominate our lives and interests. —Patrick Henry
To address our deadly dilemma, we must understand what drives America and how
its people remain disempowered. Money is the fuel for the permanent-war engine,
and those at the wheel are investors in warfighting. America was built for a
people-based engine, with people at the wheel investing in people. The concept
of “power to the people” comes from the Constitution—not from
the radical minds of the 1960’s, but the radical principles that founded
How did the people lose this country? It was lost through the adoption of NSC-68,
the secret 1950 policy instituting war as the basis of our economy. How can
the people take back America? By diligently spreading word of, and uniting around,
this single cause of our problems, and—with continued devotion to the
symptoms and a sense of urgency—reclaiming America for the people in whose
name it was created. It is that simple, but we must start now—and the
best place to begin is on our campuses.
Why urgency? In Welcome to the Machine, Derrick Jensen offers indispensable
advice for contemporary cogs: “What one generation perceives as repression,
the next accepts as a necessary part of a complex daily life.” DARPA,
the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is less than
a generation away from robot warriors. Jensen suggests we are already robotized
in our thinking—submissive, removed, remote controlled (remember reachback,
the Pentagon’s strategy for the future?).
According to GradSchools.com, there are 54 graduate programs under the category
of Peace Studies at various universities nationwide. Some have interesting titles:
Special Ministry at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Accounting at Golden
Gate University in San Francisco, Aerospace Engineering at University of Cincinnati,
and Strategic Intelligence at the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington,
The Pentagon is making strides in the field of peace education, and is being
sued by Judicial Watch for dispensing propaganda through a website targeting
schoolchildren, known as Empower Peace. The National Defense Education Act,
a Cold War program created in 1958, was recently revived by the Association
of American Universities (which solicits research funds from DoD) to recruit
the next generation of national security workers from our schools. And the United
States Institute of Peace routinely sends invitations to college students through
school email servers. Past and current board members of USIP include such ultraconservatives
as DoD’s Peter Rodman of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC;
see Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for
a New Century), and Daniel Pipes, now on DoD’s Special Task Force for
Terrorism and Technology, and also a PNAC member.
In our time-pressured lives we rarely grasp the big picture and tend to view
things separately: DARPA is an agency, universities are where we send our kids,
elections are how we (think we) choose our presidents, and wars simply exist.
But those in power see a single advancing policy—a military policy to
derive profits from fear—and they have set our course in Pentagon plans
that will not change with administrations.
What is our plan as the people? We will find inspiration from our revolutionary
past. There are no laws against carrying out a change of government. Quite the
We hold these truths to be self evident—that all are created equal, endowed
with inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted deriving
their powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever government becomes
destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish
it, to throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security.
America was born a people-first country, and that concept spread rapidly throughout
the world without military force. The vision of our Founders was to advance
the notion of people living in peace everywhere, using the freedom that nature
provides upon birth. But only by practicing these principles will the American
people extinguish the obscenity of a “war to spread freedom” and
realize this Founding vision.
Today there is no graver sin at work in the world than America’s military-based
economy, adopted without the people’s consent. In honoring our Founding
principles, we must acknowledge that to exploit fears and prejudices to maintain
the flow of profits from conflict—to perpetuate a state of war in the
name of peace—is treasonous to our creed.
Though militarism in America predates the adoption of NSC-68, militarism as
our way of life became official on that day in 1950. Only by correcting our
priority can we restore hope for a people-based society. Take back this country
by popular demand and we not only right a terrible wrong, we open the door to
a world free from enslavement to war profiteers.
This option is what Noam Chomsky calls the second superpower of public opinion,
a force good people in government are waiting for. Our constitutional framework
is intact, but we need to clean house, repair the root flaw, heal its symptoms,
and live by cooperation instead of co-option—and we can only do this with
a transdisciplinary, transcendent solution; united by determination to overcome.
Addressing the symptoms won’t work, bloody revolution won’t work—organized
nonviolent popular demand will work.
Many things are in development or in place for transition to peaceful living,
such as people-based economic structures, a bill in Congress for a cabinet-level
Department of Peace, a self-financed political party that publicly measures
the character of candidates, plans for education and healthcare reforms, a resource-sharing
international vision, and much more. But all of these require an American change
Our survival requires that we continue to bail out the water pouring into the
boat. But our prosperity depends on fixing the hole—the policy that tells
industry to think “profits first-people last” while more than 300
American universities make weapons for a world on the verge of resource depletion.
To begin change, spread word among organizations—then unite and demand
the adoption of a people-based national economic policy. Campus communities—parents,
students, faculty—farm communities, physicians groups, environmental organizations,
interfaith alliances, labor unions, all who seek domestic prosperity—working
together—can by popular demand change America’s priority, and in
so doing change a nation and world. Nationwide strikes can produce nonviolent
We the people have a duty to our Founding principles, to restore the role of
America as a peaceful beacon of liberty, hope, and justice. Our reputation as
killers will only be redeemed by our duty as caretakers. There will never be
a better time to rally to this cause; there will never be clearer examples of
rampant corruption in our politics or a time when this government is riper for
Can you think of a time in US history more deliberately saturated with violence
and corruption than the years spanning the birth of the Cold War to the never-end
of the war on terror? Can you think of a better solution to provide for our
future security and stave off collapse than that of change by popular demand,
handed down to us in writing? What could motivate peace-loving Americans more
than the need to abolish a war-dependent system and establish a world free from
American tyranny? What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence—to
break from one land of tyranny to build another?
Every action and reaction in the war on terror fuels the engine by which we
live, and optimizes the performance of war profiteering. The symptoms of this
policy cover the world. The American people have the right to implement a peaceful
revolution, the duty to transform an offensive posture into a universal rescue
operation, and the opportunity to release the world from the grip of a tragic
mistake and inspire the triumph of humankind.
I have long admired Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi, but Chomsky is
correct in saying that neither were agents of change by themselves; their views
were realized by the actions of large groups of determined people. While it
may appear that we lack such leaders now, the truth is we are the leaders we
are waiting for, and we hold the key to free the world. We are ready for change,
and we are ready to strike peacefully to achieve it.
There is no better place to begin rejecting America’s industry of war
than in our network of schools—and what a great match for honoring the
efforts of Cindy Sheehan. The Pentagon has its National Security Strategy, National
Military Strategy, and National Defense Strategy. Now we have our National Community
Strategy: I will strike at my school, and you can stand in support at your schools,
and together we will inform and transform America.
One cause, one voice, one message. One planet, one future, one people.
Specialist, Military and Defense in Society
Multicultural Studies Certificate, US-Japan Relations, Lewis and Clark College,
International Studies Certificate, Waseda University, Tokyo 1996
B.A. Japanese History, University of Oregon 1997
M.A. Candidate, Peace Studies, University of Oregon
Brian Bogart worked in the defense industry for 15 years, turning down
security clearance opportunities three times before leaving Silicon Valley.
He is now in his fourth year as University of Oregon’s first graduate
student in Peace Studies and will begin his campus strike on September 26. To
help with this effort, contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org