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Sunday, August 30, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on May 30, 2010 5:10 PM PDT

This chapter is dedicated to Captain Paul Chappell, author of Waging Peace and Will War Ever End? Paul is a true Soldier For Peace. Like many of us, he has studied the human causes and effects of war in the belief that we can end the senseless slaughter of our youth in the vain pursuit of world domination.

We can end war in our lifetime if we believe it is possible. All we have to do is understand how each of us contributes to a collective reality in which war is considered inevitable, refuse to accept that vision and challenge anyone who does, especially our political leaders. When enough people reject the self-fulfilling prophecy that war is inevitable, it will inevitably become unthinkable.

Thank God, war has become an obsolete concept. We need only convince the American people of the simple truth that it exists only to further the interests of a network of international corporate terrorists. The self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe think that they can impose a fascist New World Order with the support of an unsuspecting American public. We can and must prove them wrong.

There is a dispute among those who understand that war is inherently evil about whether it is ever appropriate to violate the first commandment that we shall not kill. I have complete respect for those who believe that it is better to sacrifice their own life rather than take another, but I myself cannot accept that there are no circumstances under which it could be morally justified to commit war. When the lives of millions of people are at stake and only when force can end the threat of mass enslavement, we must fight. When we willingly give up freedom for a false sense of security, we will neither have nor deserve either.

There have been a number of times in human history when the freedom of individual nations and even the world was at stake. In some cases, only mass conflict could have ended the threat. The results of these wars has been to temporarily gain ground in the battle to finish the American Revolution and spread the blessings of freedom and democracy to every man, woman and child on the planet.

From the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord to the Civil War and the Second World War, we have periodically been forced to resort to violence to preserve the freedom that allows us to learn from our mistakes and strive toward the ideal society that men like Jefferson envisioned we could become.

The Revolutionary War began at a time when there had never been a truly democratic Republic in the world. Our Founders understood that to give in to the tyranny of the corporatists of the 18th century would be tantamount to accepting enslavement by a few rich and inbred men who believed that they had a God-given right to rule others.

Just as Mohammed chose to fight for the survival of the Islamic movement when given no choice but to fight or submit to men who would enslave or kill him, the colonists decided that they could not in good conscience allow the American dream to die.

They did not create an ideal democratic Republic, since only white male property owners were allowed to vote, but they laid the groundwork for a means to pursue the perfection of democracy. If the American people are good enough to operate a democratic society, they will work toward the goal of a truly free and just society. In such a nation, every person has equal rights under the law and equal opportunity to succeed within a just economic system that the United States government was formed in part to foster.

The Constitution includes two means of altering it in order to create a more perfect Union. Unfortunately, the branch that is supposed to safeguard our liberty by interpreting its meaning has taken the activist stance that they can not only interpret law but create entire new law in the form of legal fictions such the logically flawed doctrine of corporate personhood.

Deliberately ignoring a century of precedent that distinguished between the natural personhood of humans and the artificial persons that are corporations, the activist Supreme Court of Theodore Roosevelt’s day set into motion a chain of events that has led us to a moment in our history where we must choose to fight the enslavement of the entire planet by the international corporations who have been given free rein to purchase our Senators by financing their obscenely expensive campaigns.

In a democracy, the people decide who will lead them. Our friend Jim Hightower jokingly wrote If the Gods had Wanted us to Vote, They Would Have Given us Candidates, but the truth is that there are many good men and women who offer their service to the public but who are not listened to because they do not have the blessing to run of the power elite in the two “major” Parties. The old-boy network uses a seniority system to make sure that anyone put in a position of real power by those Parties has paid his dues, made deals with the right people and can be trusted to do what they are told by the ones who really pick our leaders.

Until we reject the self-serving two-Party system, we cannot expect to enjoy the blessings of democracy. The leadership of the Democratic and Republican Parties are both too deeply into the pockets of their corporate Puppetmasters.  They do not seem to realize that they have a choice to act on behalf of the people even if it conflicts with the desires of the corporatists who pull the strings.

It is unsurprising that in this political climate the average American has given up on electoral politics. Even progressives fighting for their pet causes often fail to understand that faxes and phone calls to Senators are of little use when they are more interested in keeping their jobs than doing them .

Until the average American turns off the corporate media, tunes into the alternative media where the truth is being told and gets involved at every level in an effort to reform politics and restore democracy to America, they are wasting their breath. If we cannot talk to our neighbors for fear that they might be “the enemy,” then there is no hope for the emergence of a truly democratic Republic.

It is time for progressive activists to sit down with Tea Party supporters and try to understand their point of view. Even if each thinks that he already understands the other, they probably don’t if they haven’t tried to talk to each other. The pundits of the Right do not speak for the average thinking conservative any more than the average “progressive” pundit in the corporate media represents the views of the vanguard of the Left. If we must use labels to divide ourselves from others, then let us call ourselves Americans and talk to each other about what that means.

I grew up in a nation where we wanted to be a beacon of freedom to the world. John F. Kennedy epitomized this spirit when he asked us to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” As we march toward the shining city on the mountaintop of which Martin Luther King, Junior spoke so eloquently, we must remember that we are all in this together. Freedom is not free, and we if we will not even pay the price of risking attack by those who might disagree with us, then we dishonor those who have fought and died in the name of democracy.

The veterans who we honor this weekend are men and women who fought when their government told them it was necessary. They have been betrayed time and again. It is our duty to be ever vigilant for the stench of fascism so that this nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal, shall not perish from the Earth. Our grandfathers did not fight and die on foreign beaches so that we could lick Hitler just to let convicted war criminal Prescott Bush and his cronies use the OSS as the nucleus of a shadow government that would place his son and grandson into the office of the Presidency.

The Vietnam war ripped at the fabric of American society in ways from which we have not fully recovered. As we ripped, so shall we sew. Old Glory is tattered but the star spangled banner yet waves. We can mend it and with it the American soul. Let the banner of freedom be flown from every mountain so that it can be seen throughout the world for the symbol that it was meant to be, a simple declaration that all humans are created free and are equal in the eyes of God and the hearts of every free man and woman.

In the immortal words of Jackson Browne:

Oh people, look around you.
The signs are everywhere.
You've left it for somebody other than you
to be the one to care.

You're lost inside your houses.
There's no time to find you now.
Your walls are burning and your towers are turning.
I'm going to leave you here and try to get down to the sea somehow.

The road is filled with homeless souls.
Every woman, child and man
who have no idea where they will go,
but they'll help you if they can.

Now everyone must have some thought
that's going to pull them through somehow.
Well, the fires are raging hotter and hotter
but the sisters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now.

Rock me on the water,
sister will you soothe my fevered brow?
Rock me on the water,
I'll get down to the sea somehow.

Oh people, look among you.
It's there your hope must lie.
There's a sea bird above you
gliding in one place, like Jesus in the sky.

We all must do the best we can
and then hang on to that Gospel plow.
When my life is over I'm going to stand before the Father,
but the sisters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now.

Rock me on the water,
sister will you soothe my fevered brow?
Rock me on the water, maybe I'll remember.
Maybe I'll remember how.

Rock me on the water,
the wind is with me now.
So rock me on the water,
I'll get down to the sea somehow.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Coos Bay, Oregon


  1. This essay was written on Veterans Day. It encompasses a lot of my thinking about the role of war in society. Although I make the point that freedom is worth killing for if there is no other choice, I beleive that at this point in history, war is obselete.

    We no longer have leaders responsible for making this decsion, unless they are inclined to agree with the corporatocracy or willing to die to make a point that so far most Americans have missed.

    If President Obama tried to unilaterally stop the wars, he would be takenout quicker than you can say "Jack Kennedy." How much wiggle room he has otherwise is something he has to judge for himself.

    Most of us are not the ones taking the risks. We are not even getting away from our computers enough to participate in the real world struggles that are taking place in the streets unnoticed by most. We need to be in the streets and looking out for those who are there through no fault of their own.

    Men and women throughout American history have died for their ideals. Are we going to be the generation that gave up on our ideals and quit fighting for real change while human society was under the threat of endless war, environmental catastrophe, pandemic and mass starvation? Not if I can help it.

  2. comuniprobable que no lo hacen si no han tratado de hablar el uno al otro. Los expertos de la derecha no hablan por el pensamiento conservador media más que la media "progresista" experto en los medios corporativos representa los puntos de vista de la vanguardia de la izquierda. Si tenemos que usar las etiquetas para dividir a nosotros mismos a los demás, entonces vamos a llamarnos americanos y hablar unos con otros acerca de lo que significa.

    Yo crecí en un país en el que queríamos ser un faro de libertad para el mundo. John F. Kennedy personificó este espíritu cuando nos pide que "No preguntes qué puede hacer tu país por ti, sino lo que tú puedes hacer por tu país." A medida que marcha hacia la ciudad brillante en la cima de la montaña de la que Martin Luther King, Junior habló tan elocuentemente, debemos recordar que todos estamos juntos en esto. La libertad no es gratis, y si ni siquiera va a pagar el precio del ataque arriesgando por los que no esté de acuerdo con nosotros, entonces nos deshonran a los que han luchado y muerto en nombre de la democracia.

    Los veteranos que nos honran este fin de semana son hombres y mujeres que lucharon cuando el gobierno les dijo que era necesario. Se les ha traicionado una y otra vez. Es nuestro deber de estar siempre vigilantes para que el hedor del fascismo a fin de que esta nación, concebida en libertad y dedicada a la proposición de que todos los hombres y mujeres son creados iguales, no desaparecerá de la Tierra. Nuestros abuelos no luchar y morir en playas extranjeras para que pudiéramos lamer Hitler sólo para que el criminal de guerra convicto Prescott Bush y sus compinches utilizar el OSS como el núcleo de un gobierno en la sombra que pondría a su hijo y su nieto a la oficina de la Presidencia .

    La guerra de Vietnam rasgó el tejido de la sociedad americana de una manera de la que no se han recuperado totalmente. Como hemos arrancado, así que vamos a coser. Old Glory está hecha jirones, pero el Star Spangled Banner todavía olas. Podemos arreglar y con ella el alma americana. Deje que la bandera de la libertad puede volar por todo monte para que pueda ser visto en todo el mundo por el símbolo que estaba destinado a ser, una simple declaración de que todos los seres humanos son creados libres y son iguales a los ojos de Dios y el corazón de todo hombre libre y una mujer.


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