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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SOLDIERS FOR PEACE-WHO WE ARE








To answer the question "What is Soldiers For Peace?" you must understand who a Soldier For Peace is. A Soldier For Peace is any one of the millions of people around the world who struggle nonviolently for social justice in their communities, nations and the world at large.

Soldiers For Peace International is an all-volunteer virtual "Army" of a radical new kind. Rather than being an organization, it is a network of individuals working each in their own way to help build a united international front against fascism and war. Most of us have never met each other and the vast majority of Soldiers For Peace have never heard the term we use to describe our network. Nonetheless, it is our collective efforts that give humanity its last hope for peace, freedom and a future for our children worth passing on.

We are anarchical in that we have no command structure. There is no decision making body. There are no orders issued.  Each of us is effectively an “Army of one,” acting individually and as members of organizations to wage a nonviolent "war" against injustice that we believe will lead to the end of war between nations.  No one speaks for the all Soldiers For Peace. We follow our consciences and use our own initiative to further our common objectives in the field of battle. What follows is thus not a definition of Soldiers For Peace but my vision of what we can collectively become.

Our goal must be to convince a critical mass of humanity that we can end war. Only if we believe it is possible and absolutely necessary for the survival of human civilization will enough people engage in the work necessary to succeed. War is the ultimate example of injustice. All efforts to fight injustice peacefully further our ultimate goal.

Failure is not an option, because war is the ultimate tool of oppression and leaves no winners in its wake. At a time when war has become an accepted means of expanding and consolidating the power of a small group of international elite with no allegiance to nations or their peoples, none of us will escape the consequences if we fail to act now.

Given that the every decent human wants to see the end of war, the problem is one of overcoming the self-fulfilling  prophecy that war is inevitable. This is a struggle each of us must ultimately wage alone. As founder of Soldiers For Peace International I only ask that you consider whether choosing to accept the idea of war is still necessary is in itself a betrayal of humanity and most especially, the children who will reap what we have sown.




Soldiers For Peace began in the US in 1990 in response to the threat of the first Persian Gulf war, now largely forgotten except by those who fought it and by others who saw it as a great American victory rather than the wholesale slaughter it was. Few Americans realize that after the defeat of the vicious Republican Guard that terrorized  Kuwaiti civilians, the war degenerated into a massacre of Iraqi draftees who had been coerced into serving as cannon fodder in Hussein’s insane dream of restoring Iraqi greatness through another disastrous war.

Those of us who responded with alarm in 1990 to yet another war for corporate Empire so soon after Vietnam had already concluded what most people have yet to consider: War is not inevitable, it is always a choice. It is a choice made by people who are unaccountable to We the People and who act through the systematic manipulation of elected government officials. When the war was seemingly over, most of us went back to our day jobs. Only a few sensed that this was a harbinger of worse things to come.




The first Bush went on to punish the Iraqi populace for the sins of their dictator, who he apparently still found to be useful. The corrupt oil-for-food program caused the suffering of millions of poor Iraqis while doing little to curb income to Hussein. He was therefore not only able to continue his lavish spending on himself and his supporters but to allegedly acquire weapons of mass destruction, the first of many reasons offered to justify the second invasion.

Bin Laden and Hussein were in turn useful covers for the role of the corporatocracy's agents within and outside of the US government who allowed the massacre of 3,000 Americans in a plot they had been apprised of well in time to have stopped it. Unfortunately, the plot was much too convenient for the international corporate terrorists as a pretext to invade Iraq, as called for in a report by the Project for a New American Century released one year prior to 9/11.

As the initial conspirator presented to the American people as terrorism personified accused Saudi mastermind, the specter of bin Ladin proved useful only until the game plan called for the invasion of Iraq.  Saddam Hussein was deliberately and cynically substituted as the face of terror. The threat he was said to represent was the only justification given for continuing on the path to a New World Order that promised security at the cost of individual freedoms and loss of national sovereignty around the world.
  
Hussein was again used as a target toward which to direct the hatred of the American citizenry when it served the government’s purposes after America launched its War of Terror following the 9/11 attacks. US interests having long been assumed by most Americans to be synonymous with corporate interests, too few questioned the push to war by an oilman who was the son of former a CIA director turned President and the grandson of Nazi collaborator Senator Prescott Bush.

The campaign of "Shock and Awe" made for spectacular television, with nighttime shots of smart bombs raining down on Baghdad. The citizens who were thus murdered could not be seen from the vantage point of cameras in the bombers and on the bombs so did not detract from the thrill patriotic Americans felt at this aggressive "defense of freedom." These attacks were often staged for prime time and put CNN front and center of the media cheerleading the Iraq war. 

That President Obama has continued to follow the game plan of PNAC clearly indicates the extent to which the corporatocracy's reach has extended throughout the US government. It seems clear to me that he was warning us when he said repeatedly throughout the 2008 campaign “I can’t be the change, YOU have to be the change that we need.” Regardless of the meaning behind that sound bite, it is up to the people of the United States and the world to respond to that call.





1990 was another time and events proved that Americans were not yet ready to face reality. Without the aid of the internet, Soldiers For Peace never really caught on. After the Persian Gulf War ended the American dream at first slowly and then with precipitous speed transformed into the long national nightmare from which the nation and the western world are just beginning to awaken.

In 2009, the time had come to consider anew whether it was possible to launch a movement based on a simple idea: War is not inevitable. If enough people can be made to recognize that we have the collective power to end it if they understand why failing to do so will spell the end of civilization as we know it, we can together create a tectonic paradigm shift in human consciousness in which war will become unthinkable.

Soldiers for Peace started as many things do as just a good idea. What it lacked was the means to build the virtual Army that was needed to wrest control of the US government from corporate rule on behalf of the American people and ultimately, all the Peoples of a world civilization poised on the brink of self-destruction. The internet provided that means. 

Soldiers For Peace would have remained nothing but a good idea but for the fact that it is an idea whose time has now come. If you understand how the extension of the corporate power over the US government has made critical the state of America and the world and if you have pledged yourself to the nonviolent struggle for the survival of civilization as we understand it, then you already a member of our virtual Army, wherever you are.

We no longer have the luxury of waiting. America and the world stand poised on a precipice, reeling from the disorienting effects of 30 years of misuse of the power of the US government. With the support of citizens around the world, the American people must seize the reins of their own government to keep it from driving all of us relentlessly toward certain destruction through endless war and its effects on the environment, economy and collective psyche of Mankind.

Soldiers For Peace are compassionate realists. We are not “passionate idealists,” because passion blinds reason and idealism does not recognize the limits of reality. Compassion compels us to accept our duty despite the cynic within who tells us that victory is not possible against the power of the psychopaths who are the world’s economic elite. They are at war with us. We have no choice but to resist if we wish our children to live free.

True warriors will understand the importance of the mission know that surrender is not possible in this war. Though the odds against victory may seem insurmountable, every Empire has fallen before an implacable foe. Our goal is realistic if we realize and can convince enough of our fellow citizens that by acting according to our common ideals, we can demand and secure the right of self-determination of our nations and their peoples. The realist is after all in the end the one whose vision is realized. The cynic will be right only if his view prevails and we fail to try. It is our duty to those who have died in the belief that they were fighting for freedom to assure that the last, best hope for Mankind does not perish from the Earth and with it, our hopes for our children.

Freedom of thought is the one liberty that cannot be taken away. In freeing our minds from the trap of unquestioned assumptions we free ourselves. In sharing information and mutually supporting ideas for action, we can free each other from the Matrix of lies within which most of humanity is bound. This is how we build a united international front against fascism and war that will assure that our children thrive in a world free from want and war.   

There is a place in our Army for anyone dedicated to the ideal that free Peoples can and should rule themselves. We must learn to think of ourselves first as citizens of the planet, abandoning the idea that we can identify ourselves first as citizens of a nation, members of a political faction or even of a religion. Such ultimately artificial distinctions obscure the fact that it is what we share in common that makes us human. At this time in history, we must fight together for the survival of human civilization.

If you find yourself subject to doubt and cynicism, know that you are not alone but do not submit to these demons. It is often said there are no atheists in foxholes. Desperation is sometimes the only way to inspire faith in the frightened and hopeless. We must find that faith in ourselves that allows us to believe that together, we can accomplish what faith alone cannot. We must pledge our lives and sacred honor to this cause. Together we will advance to victory, leaving no man, woman or child behind.





Soldiers For Peace International was first established by veterans of the US military. However, our intent was never to reject any supporter of our efforts who did not choose to serve in the military. We honor those who have made that choice. All who agree with our mission and understand the importance of working for unity among those striving for peace, freedom and democracy in the world are by definition Soldiers For Peace and are invited to join our  group on Facebook. The more we achieve a common identity, the louder our collective voice will become.


Although military service is not a prerequisite to service in our virtual Army, we remain interested in recruiting within the ranks of current and former active duty service members. Their knowledge, skill sets and contacts within the military community will prove indispensable in the Revolution that is surely coming, whether or not we realize our goal of keeping it nonviolent.

If  you  are  a veteran  or  active  duty  service member in the military of any nation, find out  more about  how you can uniquely contribute to our efforts by emailing me at: staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com.


Rick Staggenborg, MD
Founder, Soldiers For Peace International
Captain, U.S. Army (retired)
Coos Bay, Oregon

Note: This essay was extensively rewritten in 2012 for clarity to those who are reading it out of the context of the rest of the online book of essays Stop the Madness: The Diary of a Soldier For Peace in the War to Take Back America.

14 comments:

  1. When I originally conceived of writing a book online outlining the threat of corporate domination of America, I approached Thom Hartmann to see if he would do so with We the People. Although he told me that he didn't own the copyright, he announced today on his national talk show that he was serializing his latest book.

    Soldiers For Peace predates the idea for this book by 20 years. The impetus for writing the book was my belief that until more Americans understand the problem of corporate personhood, there is no real hope to address it. It appeared to me after my belated recognition of the danger to democracy that it represented that time is running out to organize.

    Increasingly coordinated and sophisticated methods of control having been developed by the corproatocracy along with their nearly complete control of Congress spurred me to do all that I could to sound the alarm. This book is but one such effort.

    It is critical that all advocates of social justice understand that the entire effort to restore America to its former trajectory toward a more perfect democracy depends on the general public understanding this clear and present danger to the Republic.

    The point of putting this book online was to reach the largest audience possible, particularly young Americans who are more inclined to get their information from the Internet than to study from books what is happening as they live it.I am hoping that the book will spur interest in Soldiers For Peace International and vice-versa.

    The underlying point of this essay is that it is possible to build a world-wide grassroots effort to end war by challenging the corporatocracy around the world. You may think this grandiose and you would not be the first. However, as I point out in a later essay, you have to believe that a thing is possible before you can visualize how to make it a reality.

    As Kurt Vonnegut argued in Mother Night, you become what you pretend to be. I believe that most of us aspire to be what I have called Soldiers For Peace. If we can overcome our own egos and fight the evil of corporate domination of the planet, we can see the end of war and all the social injustice it creates and from which it springs.

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  2. Great work, my awesome Friend Rick!!.. is a honor to read all of this and to be Your Friend!!.. big big wishes for a great success and God Blessings to You, all soldiers of the world and Your Family and Friends!!
    Happy Easter and much Love to You!

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  3. Thank you, my dear sister Monia. I hope that you will share the essay with others and thereby become a recruiter for our virtual Army of those working for social justice as the means to end war: http://takebackamericaforthepeople.blogspot.com/2009/11/chapter-forty-one-soldiers-for-peace.html

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  4. I should add as a postscript that evidence now suggests that a primary motivation for the second Iraq invasion was to show the Arab world that the Anglo-American Empire would not tolerate any oil producing country attempting to switch from the petrodollar to the Euro or God forbid, a gold-backed currency.

    For further details, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukpsdzjl9jc&feature=related

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  5. just now joined & grateful to share your well-written essay to recruit our global virtual army of people who believe our inalienable rights include universal healthcare for all people, not warfare. aloha omm marina

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  6. Thank you, Whole Wide World. (It sure sounds nice when I say that to myself!).

    I am very glad that we have become friends and that you have an interest in reading this book of essays. Please share it with others.

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  7. Thank you so much for inviting me here. I will tell others. :) <3

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  8. Thanks Atomic for checking out this book of essays and thank you for encouraging others to do the same!

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  9. Excellent, Rick. Thanks for inviting me.

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    1. Thanks Mary for joining and for all that you do for justice.

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  10. Divide and conquer is how they work ... they feed off of negative energy , ...... KNOW THE TRUTH, YOU CANT SERVE TWO MASTERS . These occult familys have been bred since Babylon, Atlantis and beyond, controlling the planet in cycles. Part of the grand design and the entire point of soul growth Is to recognize you want no part in hurting others .....http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=BNNZmwl4578 PLZ HELP HUMANITY AWAKEN ,COPY PASTE ,TAG & SHARE WITH ONLY LOVE FOR ALL

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    1. I agree completely that we have to evolve as a species, Sylvia. Since we will not evolve biologically unless the "occult families" succeed in destroying civilization and making human "society" become one based on survival of the fittest, that means evolving spiritually and psychologically along just the lines you say.

      I think this will happen rapidly after a critical point is reached, and sooner than most think. I call it the Tectonic Paradigm Shift:

      http://takebackamericaforthepeople.blogspot.com/2009/09/chapter-seventy-seven-tectonic-paradigm.html

      PS: I am not sure how occult these families are-We can name them and they can't hide from us!

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  11. Rick,

    I have an idea that I don't know where to go with.

    If we had unlimited resources and unlimited people how could we take America back?

    I know how to get the unlimited resources and unlimited people but collectively everyone in the group would have their own ideas and agendas so how could we use this power without just becoming what we can't stand for in the first place?

    James

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    1. Sorry for the delay in responding, James. If you see this, please send me an email at staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com so we can discuss it in more detail.

      What you are asking is the basic questions we need to answer if we are going to Take Back America for the People and keep it a government of ALL the people.

      The answer is very involved and depends on how you look at the question. To fully understand it you must consider it from many points of view.

      In the one sense, it involves creating a Tectonic Paradigm Shift in human consciousness such that the vast majority of people implicitly recognize our interdependence requires that we consider what is best for all in every decision that affects everyone (or any given subset, if they are the only ones affected). I describe this in The Tectonic Paradigm Shift, "Chapter" 77.

      In another sense, it requires building a united international front against fascism and war at the grassroots level (Chapter 89). The exact strategy can be debated, and that is what I am doing in my latest blogs on the website of Soldiers For Peace International and on SFPI Radio on BlogTalk. I hope you will join the conversation every Saturday at 9 AM PST/ 12 PM EST. The link to the show is on the website.

      In general, if the objective is to end war, the corollary is to establish democracy worldwide. That will require first getting it in the US, since it has the most powerful military and the economic muscle to push around any nation that Americans allow it to.

      To get democracy in the US requires ending the power of an economic elite to choose who we can vote for in elections for Congress and the President. This is the essential task: Ending their power to corrupt our government and using it to corrupt other governments, for the benefit of a small oligarchy with the immense wealth to dictate domestic and foreign policy to any nation, including the US.

      The two tools the oligarch has then are the economic and military power of the US. The task in defeating them is to awaken Americans to the connection between their declining standard of living and that of the rest of the world. Our common enemy is the international financiers who are at the top of the corporate food chain. They profit from war, banking bailouts (and bail-ins), private health care, weapons manufacture, control of the media and privatizing government assets.

      If people around the world CHOOSE to make this their focus in every nation, we can defeat the Empire. What will the Masters of the Universe do without a slave population?

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