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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CHAPTER SEVEN. THE WAR TO END ALL WAR: SOLDIERS FOR PEACE






Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on May 28, 2009 7:00 AM PDT



It is fair to describe the battle for single payer as the opening clash in the War to Take Back America from the junta of transnational corporations that has seized it. To paraphrase Joseph McCarthy, we are developing a list of subversives within the United States Congress who are aiding and abetting the enemy during this time of war. 

At the top of the list at this moment is Max Baucus, alleged Democrat from Montana and current chairman of the Senate Finance committee. He is the most luridly visible symbol of the corruption that has seized control of our government. After receiving 1.65 million dollars from insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate medical interests from 2003 until the time of his re-election, he is now leading the forces of counter-Revolutionaries who are trying to stave off our assault on the corporatocracy. 

This mindless Machine is desperately trying to cling to its death grip on our revered institutions, mindless of the collateral damage that they are inflicting on citizens of America and the world. In drawing a Maginot line around the Finance committee that is crafting health care “reform” legislation, he is making a tactical error. The generals in our gathering Army are preparing a flanking movement which will ultimately ensure his defeat in this skirmish.

Wars are won by disciplined forces coordinating to carry out an overall strategy with defined aims and proven tactics. The most effective commanders are students of military history who are capable of learning from the failures as well as the successes of others. In this war, we must carefully study the history of the continuing American Revolution and the mistakes that we have made in recent years in fighting it. 

There is a danger in thinking that our early successes against arrogant, unimaginative British colonialists means that we are ultimately guaranteed success against those counter-Revolutionaries who have spent decades preparing for an all-out assault on our nation. It is our good fortune that like all men of evil intent, they are too confident that others share their fearful world view and will fall in line if they present themselves as benevolent protectors against imagined threats from without.

We must not succumb to the conceit that we can win because we are smarter than the enemy. While this may be true, it will only be so as long as we keep our motivation pure. We must always put the goals of the movement and the interests of those for whom we fight above our own. 

Remember that when the great question of whether a people could govern themselves, the issue hinged on whether that people was virtuous enough to esteem the common good over self interest. At that time, the battle lines were clearly drawn. Those who believed that man was inherently selfish became the conservative Tories, while the patriot radicals who believed in the benevolent nature of Man went on to victory, at great cost in lives and personal fortune. George Washington, our first commander in chief, is rightly revered for embodying this principle. We must honor their sacrifice and carry on the battle for the soul of America.

Our grand strategy is thus as simple as it is clear. Armed only with the truth, we must bring the people of America back to the future. We will enlist an educated force who will teach our people about what America truly means and carry the banner of the American flag proudly before us as we lead our growing Army to victory. 

We can only lose if we falter in our conviction out of perceived self interest. We must always remember that our interests are only preserved by defending the interests of all. Using the classic British tactic of dividing and conquering, we can use our opponents’ beliefs against them. As we attack the enemies of freedom in a systematic fashion, one by one these alliances of convenience will fall apart, as each tribe seeks to preserve its own privilege and power.

While every Army needs its commanders, no victory is achieved without the efforts of the disciplined foot soldier. While our Minutemen bravely face the power of the disciplined Army of invaders who hold Washington, others must persuade the common citizen to enlist in our cause. Our immediate task is to go to the cities and the country alike and seek out those people of faith whose belief in the rightness of the American cause of democracy has never wavered. As we proceed, remember that no man can be left behind.




In the words of Johnnie Horton:






In 1814 we took a little trip,


along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
and we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.




We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


We looked down the river and we see'd the British come.
And there must have been a hundred of'em beatin' on the drum.
They stepped so high and they made the bugles ring.
We stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.


We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
if we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eye
We held our fire 'til we see'd their faces well.
Then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave 'em ... well.


We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.


There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em,
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
and when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.


We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.


There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.




Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em,
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.




Rick Staggenborg, MD


Coos Bay, OR

2 comments:

  1. This is a good example of an early minimalist essay that implies more than it says. The title refers to a theme mentioned earlier and referred to repeatedly throughout the book: restoring a functioning democracy to America will inevitably lead to America promoting peace.

    We can only become fully democratic when our citizenry is educate as to our history, aims and philosophy of our the Founders, who had steeped themselves in the study of the history and theory of government,

    Even a superficial understanding of the basis of their design of American government would be a great leap forward for average Americans in their understanding of how it is supposed to function and how far it has fallen short of that ideal.

    The other element of restoring democracy is instilling a sense of confidence that we can preserve and spread it once we understand what it is. No two true democracies have ever waged war against each other. Democracy assumes a belief in the essential goodness and inherent equality of worth of every man and woman, hence the last line "no man will be left behind."

    If we do not beleive this, then it is hard to see how Man can rule itself. If Mankind is not inherently good, voters will inevitable lose sight of our intercdependence and surrender our government to other self-interested men and beleive it inevitable. Our task is thus in large part to educate the general public of this and the fact that our lack of such faith has become a self-destructive and self-fulfilling prophecy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Having just edited this a bit, I should add a couple of notes here.

    The reference to the effort to make Americans understand the need for a universal single payer health care system was a reflection of my belief that the massive effort to educate the People about the fact that the health care "reform" debate was all about bailing out the failing medical insurance industry would awaken people to the degree to which democracy had been perverted by the influence of corporations on the Senate.

    It is an indication of my naievite that I did not anticipate the apathy of even the most ardent progressive when it came to the idea of working to change the political paradigm to find a way to force our Senators to submit to the will of the People. I was disheartened at having to leavemy friends in the Democratic Party who shared my ideals but failed to see that our mutual goals could not be realized if we relied on the chosen elite of that Party any more than if we put our faith in similarly annointed Republicans, since the leadership of both Parties had come to accept dependence on corporate money as a fact of political life.

    A word about the song that accompanies the essay: Andrew Jackson became President in a deeply dissatisfied country because he knew how to appeal to the common man as much as the fact that he was a great General. As a military tactician and born leader, he knew how to divide and conquer using the power of the People to back him up.

    Jackson was a very complex man driven by the need to revenge the murder of his mother by the British invader suring the early stages of the revolution in which we are still engaged. He himself was tortured in a British prison, a fact that drove him to become a victorious General in the American war of Canadian conquest of 1812.

    Jackson betrayed the Native Americans he had defended in early life before beginning a career of military adventurism that led to the White House and the acquisition of a startling amount of land for a populist leader. It is no surprise that his legacy is decidedly mixed.

    Though a populist Democrat who established the Party virtually single-handedly, he is revered by other angry patriots who believe that revenge against those they feel have hurt them is a laudable goal. These angry "patriots" of today are largely those of the discredited Tea Party movement who have shown themselves so ignorant of our real history as to be easily convinced that we were fighting for corproate privilege rather than for its elimination.

    Jackson was certainly right about one thing: Giving power to the private bankers over our monetary and fiscal problem was an act of virtal treason. We can never leave it up to the money lenders to prop up democracy when unregulated capitalism fails. This inevitably leads to the monied interests finding ways to consolidate their power and corrupt the government.

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