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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies

Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies Gas Prices Should be a Lot Lower In the past whenever gas prices began to climb, whoever was president usually got the blame for it, but there never was anything he could do about it. The price at the pump was and is dependent on global factors. What can, however, be said about Barack Obama is that he has led the most anti-energy administration in the history of the nation. A nation’s economic stability and growth depends on affordable, abundant energy, especially hydrocarbon energy in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas. In the U.S. so-called “renewable” energy—wind and solar—has been a huge, costly bust as billions in loans during Obama’s first term were lost as one “green energy” company after another went belly up. At the same time, a war on coal closed mines and shut down plants using it to generate electricity. Look for it to continue. Production of coal, oil, and natural gas on federal lands is now the lowest in ten years according to data collected by the Energy Information Agency (EIA). It was four percent lower in fiscal years 2012 than the previous year. By contrast, fossil fuel production on state and privately owned lands rose twenty-six percent over the past decade. Without soliciting public comment, the White House recently raised its estimate of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), an estimate of the alleged economic damages associated with increasing carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is blamed for a global warming that is not happening. The growth of all vegetation on Earth is dependent on Co2 and, despite an increase in CO2, the Earth slipped into a cooling cycle seventeen years ago. There is NO connection between CO2 and the climate. The Institute for Energy Research points out that raising the SCC “could impose hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs on energy-intensive businesses and American consumers alike.” If you wonder why the economy seems unable to climb out of its slump, this is just one example of an administration bent to using bogus science to justify its war on consumers. At the gas pump, that war includes a law that requires U.S. refiners to blend 12.8 billion gallons of ethanol—made from corn—into the fuel they sell to domestic consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines. Refiners do not need all the ethanol the government forces them to purchase. They, in turn, must purchase Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) whose cost has jumped from seven cents a gallon at the beginning of the year to more than a dollar by March. The cost is passed along to consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines. Summertime is traditionally a time when Americans drive more, but thanks to the economy which did not respond to the “stimulus” and bailouts during Obama’s first term, they are driving less. Four and a half years after he took office, Obama continues to drive the economy into a ditch. On June 13, The Wall Street Journal’s page one lead article was “U.S. Oil Notches Record Growth.” Under the normal laws of supply and demand, the price of gas at the pump should be declining. “U.S. crude-oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in U.S. history.” You can thank “fracking”, a tested, safe technology—hydraulic fracturing—for the increase in oil and natural gas production. It is, of course, a target of major environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. After all, who wants affordable, abundant energy? “Indeed,” reported the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. crude-oil production has raced ahead of new pipeline infrastructure to move it from oil fields to refineries.” In the meantime, “railroads move more crude around the country.” Obama’s delay of the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline is just another example of his anti-energy agenda. The pipeline would connect to Texas refineries and provide an estimated 20,000 construction jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work. In March, Business Week reported that “For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will likely produce more oil than it imports. That’s great for the country’s trade balance, but the benefits of cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station…So far this year, gasoline prices have risen eleven percent nationwide, to $3.65 a gallon.” “Without realizing it, U.S. drivers are competing for American-made gasoline with consumers in Latin America and Asia, where demand is rising.” Thus, the global marketplace for oil is keeping gas prices high and U.S. refineries shipped a record 3.2 million barrels a day of refined fuel this year! Finally, on top of the Obama administration policies of denying access to drilling on federal land, you will continue to hear that Big Oil is making obscene profits and gauging customers at the pump. “At a time when oil companies are making more money than ever before, how can we justify giving them billions more in taxpayer subsidies every year?” Obama energy and environment adviser Heather Zichel recently asked. What you are not being told, however, is that the oil and gas industry paid an effective tax rate of almost forty-five percent according to the American Petroleum Institute while the healthcare industry paid about thirty-five percent and pharmaceuticals paid around twenty-one percent. In addition to federal taxes, oil companies pay state and local taxes as well. The “tax loopholes” Greens complain about are available to all other manufacturing and mining companies. Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and those directing the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies. When and if the obstacles to fossil fuel exploration and production are removed, the price of a gallon of gas will drop dramatically while, at the same time, the U.S. economy will gain from the sale of its fossil fuels around the world. Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies Gas Prices Should be a Lot Lower In the past whenever gas prices began to climb, whoever was president usually got the blame for it, but there never was anything he could do about it. The price at the pump was and is dependent on global factors. What can, however, be said about Barack Obama is that he has led the most anti-energy administration in the history of the nation. A nation’s economic stability and growth depends on affordable, abundant energy, especially hydrocarbon energy in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas. In the U.S. so-called “renewable” energy—wind and solar—has been a huge, costly bust as billions in loans during Obama’s first term were lost as one “green energy” company after another went belly up. At the same time, a war on coal closed mines and shut down plants using it to generate electricity. Look for it to continue. Production of coal, oil, and natural gas on federal lands is now the lowest in ten years according to data collected by the Energy Information Agency (EIA). It was four percent lower in fiscal years 2012 than the previous year. By contrast, fossil fuel production on state and privately owned lands rose twenty-six percent over the past decade. Without soliciting public comment, the White House recently raised its estimate of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), an estimate of the alleged economic damages associated with increasing carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is blamed for a global warming that is not happening. The growth of all vegetation on Earth is dependent on Co2 and, despite an increase in CO2, the Earth slipped into a cooling cycle seventeen years ago. There is NO connection between CO2 and the climate. The Institute for Energy Research points out that raising the SCC “could impose hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs on energy-intensive businesses and American consumers alike.” If you wonder why the economy seems unable to climb out of its slump, this is just one example of an administration bent to using bogus science to justify its war on consumers. At the gas pump, that war includes a law that requires U.S. refiners to blend 12.8 billion gallons of ethanol—made from corn—into the fuel they sell to domestic consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines. Refiners do not need all the ethanol the government forces them to purchase. They, in turn, must purchase Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) whose cost has jumped from seven cents a gallon at the beginning of the year to more than a dollar by March. The cost is passed along to consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines. Summertime is traditionally a time when Americans drive more, but thanks to the economy which did not respond to the “stimulus” and bailouts during Obama’s first term, they are driving less. Four and a half years after he took office, Obama continues to drive the economy into a ditch. On June 13, The Wall Street Journal’s page one lead article was “U.S. Oil Notches Record Growth.” Under the normal laws of supply and demand, the price of gas at the pump should be declining. “U.S. crude-oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in U.S. history.” You can thank “fracking”, a tested, safe technology—hydraulic fracturing—for the increase in oil and natural gas production. It is, of course, a target of major environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. After all, who wants affordable, abundant energy? “Indeed,” reported the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. crude-oil production has raced ahead of new pipeline infrastructure to move it from oil fields to refineries.” In the meantime, “railroads move more crude around the country.” Obama’s delay of the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline is just another example of his anti-energy agenda. The pipeline would connect to Texas refineries and provide an estimated 20,000 construction jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work. In March, Business Week reported that “For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will likely produce more oil than it imports. That’s great for the country’s trade balance, but the benefits of cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station…So far this year, gasoline prices have risen eleven percent nationwide, to $3.65 a gallon.” “Without realizing it, U.S. drivers are competing for American-made gasoline with consumers in Latin America and Asia, where demand is rising.” Thus, the global marketplace for oil is keeping gas prices high and U.S. refineries shipped a record 3.2 million barrels a day of refined fuel this year! Finally, on top of the Obama administration policies of denying access to drilling on federal land, you will continue to hear that Big Oil is making obscene profits and gauging customers at the pump. “At a time when oil companies are making more money than ever before, how can we justify giving them billions more in taxpayer subsidies every year?” Obama energy and environment adviser Heather Zichel recently asked. What you are not being told, however, is that the oil and gas industry paid an effective tax rate of almost forty-five percent according to the American Petroleum Institute while the healthcare industry paid about thirty-five percent and pharmaceuticals paid around twenty-one percent. In addition to federal taxes, oil companies pay state and local taxes as well. The “tax loopholes” Greens complain about are available to all other manufacturing and mining companies. Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and those directing the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies. When and if the obstacles to fossil fuel exploration and production are removed, the price of a gallon of gas will drop dramatically while, at the same time, the U.S. economy will gain from the sale of its fossil fuels around the world.

The Taliban, understanding that it is winning the political battle

Abandoning Vietnam, er, Afghanistan The Taliban carefully scripted the kerfluffle to embarrass the United States. Its not like we didn't know they were in Qatar. For eighteen months, Doha has been the scene of sometimes secret, sometimes leaked U.S. talks with the Taliban -- and without the Afghan government. But this week, Taliban representatives inaugurated a large and ornate building, complete with a flag and a banner proclaiming the diplomatic office of "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." The "Islamic Emirate" also released a statement that said, inter alia, that it "never wants to pose harms (sic) to other countries from its soil, nor will it allow anyone to cause a threat to the security of countries from the soil of Afghanistan," an apparent overture to the United States. There was an announcement then that the Obama Administration would open "peace and reconciliation" talks with the enemy of our presumed ally, Hamid Karzai. In a huff, the Karzai government broke off security talks with the U.S. and denounced the Obama administration for violating what it called "written assurances" that the Taliban would not be considered a diplomatic entity and its offices would not resemble an embassy. Without confirming the assurances (although the New York Times reported that an administration official acknowledged there was a letter from Obama to Karzai), the administration retreated quickly. State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said there were no U.S.-Taliban talks scheduled; Secretary of State Kerry said Karzai was "justifiably upset" over the "Islamic Emirate" sign; and the Taliban was induced to remove it. The Taliban, understanding that it is winning the political battle, followed last week's suicide attack that killed 17 Afghans in an attack on the Supreme Court in Kabul with one that killed four American soldiers at Baghram Air Base. Then it dangled trade-bait in the form of captured U.S. Marine Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level Gitmo detainees. The specter of Vietnam hangs over this moment as it becomes clear that the U.S. is running for the political exit even as our troops are slated to remain under deteriorating conditions until the end of 2014. If we're going to cut out and leave the place to whoever comes next, we should do it before any more American troops get killed. President Obama is no less anxious to end American involvement in Afghanistan than President Nixon was to end it in Vietnam, and having to consider the long-term interests of weaker allies just gets in the way. The Paris Peace Accords were negotiated mainly by the United States and North Vietnam; heavy pressure was put on the South to sign. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho received the Nobel Peace Prize; Nguyen Van Thieu received "assurances" from the United States. They were worth little in the face of the American determination, both presidential and in Congress, to be done with the war. Just over a year ago, I wrote: There were 540,000 Americans in Vietnam at the peak of the U.S. part of the war in January 1969. Precisely four years later, in January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, and the U.S. promised continuing support to South Vietnam, where nearly 2.6 million Americans had served and more than 58,000 had died. Eight months later, Congress voted to halt all combat operations, and by December, only 50 American military personnel were left in the South. President Nixon resigned in July 1974, and two weeks later Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam by one third. In late December, the North attacked positions in the South. In January 1975, the cross-border invasion began. The North Vietnamese military expected the war to take two years. On 21 January, President Ford told a press conference the U.S. was unwilling to re-enter the war. Three months and nine days later, Saigon fell. Not to put too fine a point on it, Taliban leader Mullah Omar told his supporters he would retake Kabul within a week of the American departure. If that's so -- and history is a pretty fair guide here -- why leave the troops there one day longer? Why not bring them home now and get on with the inevitable? Only, it seems, because President Obama sees the drawn-out American departure coupled with Nixonian "assurances" to President Karzai as a way to "end the wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) responsibly." The "responsible" end of the Iraq War looks a lot like the end of Vietnam. At Ft. Bliss last year, celebrating the second anniversary of the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq (an odd anniversary) Mr. Obama told the assembled troops, "Make no mistake, ending the wars responsibly makes us safer and our military even stronger, and ending these wars is letting us do something else; restoring American leadership." The soldiers gave him the most restrained reception possible commensurate with his status as Commander in Chief. As a result of the administration's failure to reach a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government, all U.S. troops except trainers and embassy guards were withdrawn at the end of 2011. Six months after the last troops left, Senate Democrats withdrew promised support for aid and police training. Nearly 1.5 million Americans served in Iraq from 2003-2011, and the troops understood that reneging on the promise of continued support wasted their service and the sacrifice oftheir 4,200 dead and 33,000 injured comrades. Since our departure, disaffected Sunnis, including a revived al Qaeda, have been attacking the pro-Iranian Shi'ite government in a simmering war that has claimed thousands of Iraqi lives, primarily civilians. More than 1,000 people died in May. From Iraq, the fighters have gone to Syria to sow carnage there. President Nixon and President Obama both learned that weak allies are pesky things. Weak governments abroad -- Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, where we trained the army that overthrew the democratic government, Libya -- learned painfully that the United States may be induced to come in, but their own requirements will always be secondary to those of the Americans. By itself, these lessons are neither a call for American intervention anywhere (read, Syria), nor one for isolation. But demands that the United States "do something" with its military in some other country are best tempered by the realization that the definition of American strategic interest has become conflated with the political interest of the president and the Congress. In that case, it is fair, whether in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, to ask as then-Senator Kerry did in 1971, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Abandoning Vietnam, er, Afghanistan The Taliban carefully scripted the kerfluffle to embarrass the United States. Its not like we didn't know they were in Qatar. For eighteen months, Doha has been the scene of sometimes secret, sometimes leaked U.S. talks with the Taliban -- and without the Afghan government. But this week, Taliban representatives inaugurated a large and ornate building, complete with a flag and a banner proclaiming the diplomatic office of "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." The "Islamic Emirate" also released a statement that said, inter alia, that it "never wants to pose harms (sic) to other countries from its soil, nor will it allow anyone to cause a threat to the security of countries from the soil of Afghanistan," an apparent overture to the United States. There was an announcement then that the Obama Administration would open "peace and reconciliation" talks with the enemy of our presumed ally, Hamid Karzai. In a huff, the Karzai government broke off security talks with the U.S. and denounced the Obama administration for violating what it called "written assurances" that the Taliban would not be considered a diplomatic entity and its offices would not resemble an embassy. Without confirming the assurances (although the New York Times reported that an administration official acknowledged there was a letter from Obama to Karzai), the administration retreated quickly. State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said there were no U.S.-Taliban talks scheduled; Secretary of State Kerry said Karzai was "justifiably upset" over the "Islamic Emirate" sign; and the Taliban was induced to remove it. The Taliban, understanding that it is winning the political battle, followed last week's suicide attack that killed 17 Afghans in an attack on the Supreme Court in Kabul with one that killed four American soldiers at Baghram Air Base. Then it dangled trade-bait in the form of captured U.S. Marine Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level Gitmo detainees. The specter of Vietnam hangs over this moment as it becomes clear that the U.S. is running for the political exit even as our troops are slated to remain under deteriorating conditions until the end of 2014. If we're going to cut out and leave the place to whoever comes next, we should do it before any more American troops get killed. President Obama is no less anxious to end American involvement in Afghanistan than President Nixon was to end it in Vietnam, and having to consider the long-term interests of weaker allies just gets in the way. The Paris Peace Accords were negotiated mainly by the United States and North Vietnam; heavy pressure was put on the South to sign. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho received the Nobel Peace Prize; Nguyen Van Thieu received "assurances" from the United States. They were worth little in the face of the American determination, both presidential and in Congress, to be done with the war. Just over a year ago, I wrote: There were 540,000 Americans in Vietnam at the peak of the U.S. part of the war in January 1969. Precisely four years later, in January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, and the U.S. promised continuing support to South Vietnam, where nearly 2.6 million Americans had served and more than 58,000 had died. Eight months later, Congress voted to halt all combat operations, and by December, only 50 American military personnel were left in the South. President Nixon resigned in July 1974, and two weeks later Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam by one third. In late December, the North attacked positions in the South. In January 1975, the cross-border invasion began. The North Vietnamese military expected the war to take two years. On 21 January, President Ford told a press conference the U.S. was unwilling to re-enter the war. Three months and nine days later, Saigon fell. Not to put too fine a point on it, Taliban leader Mullah Omar told his supporters he would retake Kabul within a week of the American departure. If that's so -- and history is a pretty fair guide here -- why leave the troops there one day longer? Why not bring them home now and get on with the inevitable? Only, it seems, because President Obama sees the drawn-out American departure coupled with Nixonian "assurances" to President Karzai as a way to "end the wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) responsibly." The "responsible" end of the Iraq War looks a lot like the end of Vietnam. At Ft. Bliss last year, celebrating the second anniversary of the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq (an odd anniversary) Mr. Obama told the assembled troops, "Make no mistake, ending the wars responsibly makes us safer and our military even stronger, and ending these wars is letting us do something else; restoring American leadership." The soldiers gave him the most restrained reception possible commensurate with his status as Commander in Chief. As a result of the administration's failure to reach a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government, all U.S. troops except trainers and embassy guards were withdrawn at the end of 2011. Six months after the last troops left, Senate Democrats withdrew promised support for aid and police training. Nearly 1.5 million Americans served in Iraq from 2003-2011, and the troops understood that reneging on the promise of continued support wasted their service and the sacrifice oftheir 4,200 dead and 33,000 injured comrades. Since our departure, disaffected Sunnis, including a revived al Qaeda, have been attacking the pro-Iranian Shi'ite government in a simmering war that has claimed thousands of Iraqi lives, primarily civilians. More than 1,000 people died in May. From Iraq, the fighters have gone to Syria to sow carnage there. President Nixon and President Obama both learned that weak allies are pesky things. Weak governments abroad -- Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, where we trained the army that overthrew the democratic government, Libya -- learned painfully that the United States may be induced to come in, but their own requirements will always be secondary to those of the Americans. By itself, these lessons are neither a call for American intervention anywhere (read, Syria), nor one for isolation. But demands that the United States "do something" with its military in some other country are best tempered by the realization that the definition of American strategic interest has become conflated with the political interest of the president and the Congress. In that case, it is fair, whether in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, to ask as then-Senator Kerry did in 1971, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

I am so sick and tired of Michelle Obama

Do as I say, not as I do America! I am so sick and tired of Michelle Obama going around telling Americans what to eat. For goodness sake, kids can’t even bring a PB&J to school now. I used to eat one every day for lunch when I was in middle school. I also used to bring my own utensils. Michelle Obama is part of the problem, not the solution. What right do you have to tell me how to feed my child? What right do you have to tell me on what to put in my body? Since when is it the job of the first lady to go prancing around telling people what to eat? Oh, and we are all the ones picking up the tab for it also. Think about the costs of food, armed guards, jets, jet fuel and I bet that is just the icing on the cake. Cake you can’t have or have your child bring to school. If you do, God forbid, send your kid to school with a piece of cake and some nasty killer coke a cola….you just dug your own grave. You might even make the national news. So what’s new? Telling you that your child has to have balanced diet and stay healthy and fit and active is not enough. Michelle Obama wants to make sure that American dogs have a “balanced diet” while keeping them active. ARE YOU KIDDING ME FLOTUS? REALLY?….REALLY? LEAVE, JUST LEAVE. Oh, and one thing Michelle, your husband smokes cigarettes and has eaten dog before. I bet Barack is just waiting for the day Bo is on his death bed so he can serve him up at Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t take advice from hypocrites and I hope all you American Patriots Blog followers will share this short rant with as many people as you can. This administration is a joke and it doesn’t stop with Barack(obviously) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DAs27naabOw Do as I say, not as I do America! I am so sick and tired of Michelle Obama going around telling Americans what to eat. For goodness sake, kids can’t even bring a PB&J to school now. I used to eat one every day for lunch when I was in middle school. I also used to bring my own utensils. Michelle Obama is part of the problem, not the solution. What right do you have to tell me how to feed my child? What right do you have to tell me on what to put in my body? Since when is it the job of the first lady to go prancing around telling people what to eat? Oh, and we are all the ones picking up the tab for it also. Think about the costs of food, armed guards, jets, jet fuel and I bet that is just the icing on the cake. Cake you can’t have or have your child bring to school. If you do, God forbid, send your kid to school with a piece of cake and some nasty killer coke a cola….you just dug your own grave. You might even make the national news. So what’s new? Telling you that your child has to have balanced diet and stay healthy and fit and active is not enough. Michelle Obama wants to make sure that American dogs have a “balanced diet” while keeping them active. ARE YOU KIDDING ME FLOTUS? REALLY?….REALLY? LEAVE, JUST LEAVE. Oh, and one thing Michelle, your husband smokes cigarettes and has eaten dog before. I bet Barack is just waiting for the day Bo is on his death bed so he can serve him up at Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t take advice from hypocrites and I hope all you American Patriots Blog followers will share this short rant with as many people as you can. This administration is a joke and it doesn’t stop with Barack(obviously) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DAs27naabOw

The New America,welcome home

The New America, welcome home The average American in the year 2005 lives a fragile existence, in a struggle for survival that can be ended by missing a few paychecks. The carrot at the end of the stick which was formerly known as "the American dream" has been replaced by a whip that can best be described as the American nightmare of homelessness, and slow, early death. You no longer work to achieve a better life for yourselves and your children. You work to keep a roof over your head, and you pray that you don't lose it. You became a slave when fear replaced incentive as your motivation to work, but I still suggest that you work while you can, because if the company you work for can't send your job overseas, the U.S. government is allowing 2000 people per day to enter this country illegally, because they're willing to do your job for less. It doesn't matter if you're a "white collar" or "blue collar" employee. If you're an American, you're too highly paid. There are billions of people who want your job, and your government is doing all they can to see that you lose it to them. You see, we're not really Americans anymore. Now we're just anonymous faces in the "global village," because our government has sold our nation to foreigners and international bankers, and the new bankruptcy law has doomed the American citizen to a life of debt slavery. They'll insist that illegal immigrants are only doing jobs that Americans refuse to do, and you'll probably believe it, because if you're watching the TV that shovels that crap, you probably still have your job. The illegal immigrants are doing jobs that Americans always did, and every unemployed American I talk to can't find a job anywhere. And just like the European immigrants that flooded this country before the economic depression of the 1930's, today's illegal immigrants also have no gripe with a government that has allowed them work for high wages in America, and send billions back to their homeland. Nor do they care very much about our constitution, bill of rights, or way of life. They're only here for what they can grab, and our government has welcomed them with open arms, because they're grabbing it from you. You're already working much longer, and much harder, to achieve a much lower standard of living than the previous generation, and 25 percent of working Americans no longer even get a vacation. The Social Security retirement age has been raised to match the life expectancy of American males, so apparently, you're also expected to work until you're dead. When you do finally get a vacation, they only trip you'll be taking will be in a pine box, and that's only if you're one of the lucky ones. Most of us will only get the state-issued canvas bag that gets tossed into the pit with all the others. If you don't mind the fact that you'll be working until you're dead, you might also want to consider the fact that you'll get nothing for your labor, because this nation's economy is about to crash like a freight train, and when it does, everything you've worked for will vanish. After the depression gets ugly, and your family has made the adjustment from three meals per day to three meals per week, the newspapers will blame your hunger on "the economy," as if it were some magical force that uncontrollably ruined a couple hundred million lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians and international bankers can manipulate national economies at will, much in the way the media manipulates your mind, and a decision has been made to impoverish Americans, because global government requires that everyone in the world have an equally low standard of living. Simply put, we're being robbed of all we've worked for, because our government wants us to be poor, hungry, and docile, dependant upon them for our existence, and in fear of them for our lives. The government of the United States is intentionally destroying the economy of the United States, because the politicians and the international bankers they work for have decided that the American way of life, and catering to the demands of the American constitution, is simply too expensive. Regardless of how wealthy you think you are, you actually have no real money at all. The "federal reserve notes" that are in your wallet, and your bank account, aren't really money, but are actually only paper on a debt that can never be paid, not even by combining all the assets and labor of every American alive today. Any loan-shark with a third grade education will tell you "the paper's no good," and naturally, the foreign investors who allow us to float this debt, have come to the same conclusion. What is commonly known as the "U.S. dollar," represents a debt that is owed by the U.S. federal government, to the federal reserve bank. The federal reserve bank happens to be the privately owned entity that lent the money that's represented by the paper in your wallet. The federal reserve act signed away everything you own, and the fruit of your labor as collateral on this debt, and as foreign investors are becoming increasingly unwilling to invest the $2 billion per day needed to cover the interest, our creditors will want to collect it. About 90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid.* Most Americans have taken advantage of low interest rates, and are now paying a mortgage on their homes. The booming real estate market has made every purchase profitable, because the price of a home always rises. The problem is that the price of a home today is incredibly over-inflated, and the real estate boom that's been keeping the American economy afloat, is about to bust. Interest rates are going to rise, and the price of your home is going to drop drastically, which will leave you stuck paying for a house that probably wouldn't pay the interest on your debt if you sold it. If you're lucky enough to remain employed, inflation will shred your paycheck until you can no longer make mortgage payments. This is when you need to remember that when a nation's economy collapses, the wealth of the nation doesn't disappear, it only changes hands. Millions of Americans are about to be tossed into the street, and because we're a kinder and gentler America, from the street they'll be tossed into shelters. Once in the shelter, they'll be wards of the social service system, which will make sure they all have food, and a bed to sleep in. In exchange for that food and shelter, the "welfare reform" act will put them to work at jobs where they will collect no additional salary. I guess the idea of "welfare reform" is a lot more acceptable to Americans than "forced labor" but regardless of what you call it, many Americans will soon experience slavery once again, and the slaves are not just sweeping public streets. Under the welfare reform act, many Americans are being put to work for private companies for no wages other than the cost of their food and shelter, both of which constitute the bare minimum requirements of survival. By causing the economy to collapse, and then "saving" the poor, our government can legally force millions of Americans into slavery. The new slavery will be blamed on "the economy," and it will employ a much larger percentage of the population than it did before the civil war. To understand how they're accomplishing this, we need to turn our thoughts back to our monetary system, because due to the fact that it is no longer based on the gold standard, our government is in control of the money supply, and that gives them the ability to cause rampant unemployment, which is exactly what they're doing. The framers of the U.S. constitution protected us from this brand of tyranny, but because Americans were foolish enough to ignore and/or trust their government, they will become slaves, but most of them will blame themselves for their plight. Article 1, Section 10, of the U.S. constitution clearly states that "no state shall... make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." The constitution's prohibition of "fiat money" (what's in your wallet) guarantees that the wealth of the nation remains in the hands of the people, which leaves the government incapable of stealing the population's wealth, as they're doing today. You can collect all the dollars that you like. Our government decides what they're worth, and by keeping the presses working overtime, they're insuring that the dollar will soon be worthless. The U.S. department of labor has also changed the way it collects data regarding unemployment, which allows for the fraudulent unemployment figures that are printed in the newspapers, and allows working Americans to believe that things aren't really that bad. Their new "household survey" system avoids counting most of the poor by basing unemployment figures on telephone surveys. A real estimate, based on population and payroll taxes, reveals that about 25 percent of the American workforce is presently unemployed, and that will eventually force them into the social service slavery system. Unless your mortgage and debts are completely paid off, and you can still pay your property taxes, there's a good chance you'll soon be joining them. Welcome to the third world, and to an American world, where slavery is legal once again. What are you going to do when your government forces you into slavery? You can't avoid it, because if you're homeless, you'll be rounded up and brought to a "shelter", where you'll be fed, and probably medicated if you're not happy to be there. With so many people becoming homeless, it will be easy for them to find an apartment for you, and social services will pay your rent, and give you food stamps. Soon after that they will find you a job, but naturally, you won't be taking home a paycheck because you're in debt to the social service system. They'll tell you that you're working your way back to independence, but since your salary will never be more than your expenses, you'll work for free until you're dead. If you refuse to work, the government "assistance" will be cut off, you'll be back out on the street, and you'll probably do your next job with a shackle around your ankle. I'm not asking that you waste the time or paper required to write your congressman, because they don't care what you think anyway. What I am asking you to do is to remember something. When the economy does crash, and you're forced into the street. I want you to remember that this isn't your fault, and it's not the result of a "bad economy." Please remember that you're poor, hungry and homeless, because that's where our government wants you to be, and they intentionally destroyed the U.S. economy because they want you to suffer, and beg. And regardless of how bad things get, never sell your rifle. -- Jolly Roger "Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens..... Lenin was certainly right." - John Maynard Keynes* *90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid. --- Rep. Traficant to U.S. Congress. **John Maynard Keynes is the economist for whom our present monetary system is named. Unlike this nation's wealth, anything written by Jolly Roger is the property of the American people, and the author hereby grants permission to anyone who so desires to post, copy, forward or distribute this letter as they see fit, and in fact, the author encourages you to do so. The New America, welcome home The average American in the year 2005 lives a fragile existence, in a struggle for survival that can be ended by missing a few paychecks. The carrot at the end of the stick which was formerly known as "the American dream" has been replaced by a whip that can best be described as the American nightmare of homelessness, and slow, early death. You no longer work to achieve a better life for yourselves and your children. You work to keep a roof over your head, and you pray that you don't lose it. You became a slave when fear replaced incentive as your motivation to work, but I still suggest that you work while you can, because if the company you work for can't send your job overseas, the U.S. government is allowing 2000 people per day to enter this country illegally, because they're willing to do your job for less. It doesn't matter if you're a "white collar" or "blue collar" employee. If you're an American, you're too highly paid. There are billions of people who want your job, and your government is doing all they can to see that you lose it to them. You see, we're not really Americans anymore. Now we're just anonymous faces in the "global village," because our government has sold our nation to foreigners and international bankers, and the new bankruptcy law has doomed the American citizen to a life of debt slavery. They'll insist that illegal immigrants are only doing jobs that Americans refuse to do, and you'll probably believe it, because if you're watching the TV that shovels that crap, you probably still have your job. The illegal immigrants are doing jobs that Americans always did, and every unemployed American I talk to can't find a job anywhere. And just like the European immigrants that flooded this country before the economic depression of the 1930's, today's illegal immigrants also have no gripe with a government that has allowed them work for high wages in America, and send billions back to their homeland. Nor do they care very much about our constitution, bill of rights, or way of life. They're only here for what they can grab, and our government has welcomed them with open arms, because they're grabbing it from you. You're already working much longer, and much harder, to achieve a much lower standard of living than the previous generation, and 25 percent of working Americans no longer even get a vacation. The Social Security retirement age has been raised to match the life expectancy of American males, so apparently, you're also expected to work until you're dead. When you do finally get a vacation, they only trip you'll be taking will be in a pine box, and that's only if you're one of the lucky ones. Most of us will only get the state-issued canvas bag that gets tossed into the pit with all the others. If you don't mind the fact that you'll be working until you're dead, you might also want to consider the fact that you'll get nothing for your labor, because this nation's economy is about to crash like a freight train, and when it does, everything you've worked for will vanish. After the depression gets ugly, and your family has made the adjustment from three meals per day to three meals per week, the newspapers will blame your hunger on "the economy," as if it were some magical force that uncontrollably ruined a couple hundred million lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians and international bankers can manipulate national economies at will, much in the way the media manipulates your mind, and a decision has been made to impoverish Americans, because global government requires that everyone in the world have an equally low standard of living. Simply put, we're being robbed of all we've worked for, because our government wants us to be poor, hungry, and docile, dependant upon them for our existence, and in fear of them for our lives. The government of the United States is intentionally destroying the economy of the United States, because the politicians and the international bankers they work for have decided that the American way of life, and catering to the demands of the American constitution, is simply too expensive. Regardless of how wealthy you think you are, you actually have no real money at all. The "federal reserve notes" that are in your wallet, and your bank account, aren't really money, but are actually only paper on a debt that can never be paid, not even by combining all the assets and labor of every American alive today. Any loan-shark with a third grade education will tell you "the paper's no good," and naturally, the foreign investors who allow us to float this debt, have come to the same conclusion. What is commonly known as the "U.S. dollar," represents a debt that is owed by the U.S. federal government, to the federal reserve bank. The federal reserve bank happens to be the privately owned entity that lent the money that's represented by the paper in your wallet. The federal reserve act signed away everything you own, and the fruit of your labor as collateral on this debt, and as foreign investors are becoming increasingly unwilling to invest the $2 billion per day needed to cover the interest, our creditors will want to collect it. About 90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid.* Most Americans have taken advantage of low interest rates, and are now paying a mortgage on their homes. The booming real estate market has made every purchase profitable, because the price of a home always rises. The problem is that the price of a home today is incredibly over-inflated, and the real estate boom that's been keeping the American economy afloat, is about to bust. Interest rates are going to rise, and the price of your home is going to drop drastically, which will leave you stuck paying for a house that probably wouldn't pay the interest on your debt if you sold it. If you're lucky enough to remain employed, inflation will shred your paycheck until you can no longer make mortgage payments. This is when you need to remember that when a nation's economy collapses, the wealth of the nation doesn't disappear, it only changes hands. Millions of Americans are about to be tossed into the street, and because we're a kinder and gentler America, from the street they'll be tossed into shelters. Once in the shelter, they'll be wards of the social service system, which will make sure they all have food, and a bed to sleep in. In exchange for that food and shelter, the "welfare reform" act will put them to work at jobs where they will collect no additional salary. I guess the idea of "welfare reform" is a lot more acceptable to Americans than "forced labor" but regardless of what you call it, many Americans will soon experience slavery once again, and the slaves are not just sweeping public streets. Under the welfare reform act, many Americans are being put to work for private companies for no wages other than the cost of their food and shelter, both of which constitute the bare minimum requirements of survival. By causing the economy to collapse, and then "saving" the poor, our government can legally force millions of Americans into slavery. The new slavery will be blamed on "the economy," and it will employ a much larger percentage of the population than it did before the civil war. To understand how they're accomplishing this, we need to turn our thoughts back to our monetary system, because due to the fact that it is no longer based on the gold standard, our government is in control of the money supply, and that gives them the ability to cause rampant unemployment, which is exactly what they're doing. The framers of the U.S. constitution protected us from this brand of tyranny, but because Americans were foolish enough to ignore and/or trust their government, they will become slaves, but most of them will blame themselves for their plight. Article 1, Section 10, of the U.S. constitution clearly states that "no state shall... make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." The constitution's prohibition of "fiat money" (what's in your wallet) guarantees that the wealth of the nation remains in the hands of the people, which leaves the government incapable of stealing the population's wealth, as they're doing today. You can collect all the dollars that you like. Our government decides what they're worth, and by keeping the presses working overtime, they're insuring that the dollar will soon be worthless. The U.S. department of labor has also changed the way it collects data regarding unemployment, which allows for the fraudulent unemployment figures that are printed in the newspapers, and allows working Americans to believe that things aren't really that bad. Their new "household survey" system avoids counting most of the poor by basing unemployment figures on telephone surveys. A real estimate, based on population and payroll taxes, reveals that about 25 percent of the American workforce is presently unemployed, and that will eventually force them into the social service slavery system. Unless your mortgage and debts are completely paid off, and you can still pay your property taxes, there's a good chance you'll soon be joining them. Welcome to the third world, and to an American world, where slavery is legal once again. What are you going to do when your government forces you into slavery? You can't avoid it, because if you're homeless, you'll be rounded up and brought to a "shelter", where you'll be fed, and probably medicated if you're not happy to be there. With so many people becoming homeless, it will be easy for them to find an apartment for you, and social services will pay your rent, and give you food stamps. Soon after that they will find you a job, but naturally, you won't be taking home a paycheck because you're in debt to the social service system. They'll tell you that you're working your way back to independence, but since your salary will never be more than your expenses, you'll work for free until you're dead. If you refuse to work, the government "assistance" will be cut off, you'll be back out on the street, and you'll probably do your next job with a shackle around your ankle. I'm not asking that you waste the time or paper required to write your congressman, because they don't care what you think anyway. What I am asking you to do is to remember something. When the economy does crash, and you're forced into the street. I want you to remember that this isn't your fault, and it's not the result of a "bad economy." Please remember that you're poor, hungry and homeless, because that's where our government wants you to be, and they intentionally destroyed the U.S. economy because they want you to suffer, and beg. And regardless of how bad things get, never sell your rifle. -- Jolly Roger "Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens..... Lenin was certainly right." - John Maynard Keynes* *90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid. --- Rep. Traficant to U.S. Congress. **John Maynard Keynes is the economist for whom our present monetary system is named. Unlike this nation's wealth, anything written by Jolly Roger is the property of the American people, and the author hereby grants permission to anyone who so desires to post, copy, forward or distribute this letter as they see fit, and in fact, the author encourages you to do so.

Why should we tolerate the Muslim Religion?

Why should we tolerate the Muslim Religion? They obviously don’t tolerate us(Americans/Christians). The Muslim brotherhood will not stop until all Christians are dead. They have no mercy. They will cut you up into pieces in the middle of the street. They will fly planes into buildings. They will suicide bomb innocent people. They will use pressure cooker bombs with nails and ball bearings to mass murder. They will decapitate you. So I ask, Why should we tolerate the Muslim Religion? I understand that not all of them(of course) are extremists, but the number of Muslims that are extremists is growing on a daily basis. They are global. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to tolerate or not tolerate them, but when I see a video like the one below… I finding it harder and harder for me to respect someone who is Muslim. When I meet someone for the first time, and then later find out they are Muslim I tend to have a different perspective of them than when I first met them. To be honest, I don’t even want to associate myself with them. It’s nothing personal against them, but I don’t know any other religion that has members killing innocent people to “get to god” and being greeted with virgins. I also understand we are all God’s children, and we are supposed to love even our enemies. How the heck am I supposed to do so when they have killed thousand of Americans and want to see us all burn? How the heck am I supposed to love them when I see them kicking down tombstones of British war victims? To be honest, I don’t think I ever will. In fact, I know I never will. So when someone says to you, “Who cares if Obama is a closet Muslim”, point them to this video and then tell them “That’s why”. I want to hear what you guys think about this video. Post you comments below. I watched this video this morning and I knew I had to write something about it. I had to do something.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RtgbvotqVFE Why should we tolerate the Muslim Religion? They obviously don’t tolerate us(Americans/Christians). The Muslim brotherhood will not stop until all Christians are dead. They have no mercy. They will cut you up into pieces in the middle of the street. They will fly planes into buildings. They will suicide bomb innocent people. They will use pressure cooker bombs with nails and ball bearings to mass murder. They will decapitate you. So I ask, Why should we tolerate the Muslim Religion? I understand that not all of them(of course) are extremists, but the number of Muslims that are extremists is growing on a daily basis. They are global. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to tolerate or not tolerate them, but when I see a video like the one below… I finding it harder and harder for me to respect someone who is Muslim. When I meet someone for the first time, and then later find out they are Muslim I tend to have a different perspective of them than when I first met them. To be honest, I don’t even want to associate myself with them. It’s nothing personal against them, but I don’t know any other religion that has members killing innocent people to “get to god” and being greeted with virgins. I also understand we are all God’s children, and we are supposed to love even our enemies. How the heck am I supposed to do so when they have killed thousand of Americans and want to see us all burn? How the heck am I supposed to love them when I see them kicking down tombstones of British war victims? To be honest, I don’t think I ever will. In fact, I know I never will. So when someone says to you, “Who cares if Obama is a closet Muslim”, point them to this video and then tell them “That’s why”. I want to hear what you guys think about this video. Post you comments below. I watched this video this morning and I knew I had to write something about it. I had to do something.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RtgbvotqVFE

Obama Lies Compilation - WAKE UP YOU SHEEPLE!

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA B laming others for his own failures, A lways with a need to defend himself, R eacting in a manner that begs to be questioned, A nswering only to those who pull his strings C reating one illusion after another, a master of deception, K nowing that unconditional loyalty allows his stealth mode, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- H olding tightly to those who will not oppose him, U sing them to promote his mapped out agenda, S taying close to those who will endlessly defend his words, S erving the people was never a part of his plan, E rasing doubt by additional deceptions, I nsisting that his intentions were always for a good cause, N ever admitting fault; the media covers his tracks, ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- O nly a few seem to see him for his true self, B egging others to simply wake up and observe, A lways met with resistance, even with factual proof, M oving forward with truth but stifled by his sheep, A doration to this man is all that seems to matter to them, WATCH THE VIDEO...IT SAYS IT ALL...
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA B laming others for his own failures, A lways with a need to defend himself, R eacting in a manner that begs to be questioned, A nswering only to those who pull his strings C reating one illusion after another, a master of deception, K nowing that unconditional loyalty allows his stealth mode, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- H olding tightly to those who will not oppose him, U sing them to promote his mapped out agenda, S taying close to those who will endlessly defend his words, S erving the people was never a part of his plan, E rasing doubt by additional deceptions, I nsisting that his intentions were always for a good cause, N ever admitting fault; the media covers his tracks, ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- O nly a few seem to see him for his true self, B egging others to simply wake up and observe, A lways met with resistance, even with factual proof, M oving forward with truth but stifled by his sheep, A doration to this man is all that seems to matter to them, WATCH THE VIDEO...IT SAYS IT ALL...


Welcome To America

Welcome To America…Home Of The Slave… In this day and time, we find ourselves governed by a collective body in Washington that seems to have evolved into an entity that has distanced themselves not only from the people of this nation, but from the original foundation of America. They no longer honor the United States Constitution, and there are many pieces of legislation, executive orders, the use of appointed czars, and questionable words, actions, and behaviors that demonstrate just how far they are willing to go in the opposite direction of the original path that was put in place by our Fore Fathers. The good of the nation or the people who call America home seems to be an afterthought, an insignificant commodity that is set aside as if nothing is more important than what appears to be a well mapped out agenda that includes a select elite group that will progress and prosper by trampling upon those who have been deemed insignificant. Yes, it seems that the only purpose or consideration for the common American people is to finance that agenda as we involuntarily give of the sweat and blood of our labor to those who consider us as pawns in their work in progress of transforming our nation into a controlled environment where we will find ourselves slaves to a government that has strayed from anything that even resembles the nation that we were at one time. Our government is much like a military establishment, whereas there are many bases, most of which have such a hidden existence that they cover ever corner of this land we call America. They move in a stealth mode and we, the people apparently are considered the enemy, as they have taken steps to control and monitor our every move with our daily lives. Our survival is not a concern, with the exception of our ability to provide funds to that government which will use our earned income to finance their movement to into a status where we will eventually be without any rights and freedoms. As I type this, pending legislation is in place that can literally take over every aspect of our lives by simply implementing that legislation. If it will happen is no longer my concern, but when it will happen is what now troubles me. There are many in this nation that are so weak, so thoughtless, and so lazy that they allow the government to think for them, to tell them how they should feel, and to make decisions for them, and much of it is done through the fear of “terrorism.” People are willing to give up their rights and freedoms because the government tells them to do so in order to protect them as they conduct a “war on terror.” What terrorism are they speaking of that is so profound that we should be willing to forfeit our rights and freedoms? The terrorists they speak of are invisible. No one knows who they are. No one knows where they are. No one knows if factual progress is being made because you cannot accurately measure a concept of this massive invisible terrorist group that cannot be identified or found, much less defeated. The true terrorism of America is a government that is willing to scare the entire population with the threat of an invisible presence that is so much a threat that in order to survive, we must be willing to give that government unconditional loyalty and to allow them to do whatever they wish, even if it means giving up our freedom to do so. Personally, I would rather live in fear and be free, than to give up my freedom based upon a false, fabricated fear. It is not that difficult of a decision to make. Look at the current poverty level in America. It is estimated that 47,000,000 people are now living in the poverty level. This should never have happened in this nation, and it could have easily been prevented from reaching that level. The truth is that the poverty level is not an accident. The government controls that 47,000,000 people, and that seems to be the goal. That is also the reason that the poverty level has grown in each of the last twenty years. These people are locked into this level of our society and most will remain within the holds of the government until they take their last breath. Poverty will breed poverty and the number will grow more each year, and in the very near future, in America, the majority of the population will fall into that poverty level. Those who do not possess life tools cannot pass that value to future generations, so future generations will be without those life tools, as well. Ignorance and blind loyalty will spread like wildfire and all will be dependent upon the ones who actually have placed them into this situation. Those people will continue to support a government that promises to provide them with what they need, as their very survival depends upon that mentality. Eventually, not only will the government control the majority of its citizens, but will do so in a manner where they then will be accepted as the provider of all that is needed to survive. Welcome to slavery. It is just a matter of time. Welcome To America…Home Of The Slave… In this day and time, we find ourselves governed by a collective body in Washington that seems to have evolved into an entity that has distanced themselves not only from the people of this nation, but from the original foundation of America. They no longer honor the United States Constitution, and there are many pieces of legislation, executive orders, the use of appointed czars, and questionable words, actions, and behaviors that demonstrate just how far they are willing to go in the opposite direction of the original path that was put in place by our Fore Fathers. The good of the nation or the people who call America home seems to be an afterthought, an insignificant commodity that is set aside as if nothing is more important than what appears to be a well mapped out agenda that includes a select elite group that will progress and prosper by trampling upon those who have been deemed insignificant. Yes, it seems that the only purpose or consideration for the common American people is to finance that agenda as we involuntarily give of the sweat and blood of our labor to those who consider us as pawns in their work in progress of transforming our nation into a controlled environment where we will find ourselves slaves to a government that has strayed from anything that even resembles the nation that we were at one time. Our government is much like a military establishment, whereas there are many bases, most of which have such a hidden existence that they cover ever corner of this land we call America. They move in a stealth mode and we, the people apparently are considered the enemy, as they have taken steps to control and monitor our every move with our daily lives. Our survival is not a concern, with the exception of our ability to provide funds to that government which will use our earned income to finance their movement to into a status where we will eventually be without any rights and freedoms. As I type this, pending legislation is in place that can literally take over every aspect of our lives by simply implementing that legislation. If it will happen is no longer my concern, but when it will happen is what now troubles me. There are many in this nation that are so weak, so thoughtless, and so lazy that they allow the government to think for them, to tell them how they should feel, and to make decisions for them, and much of it is done through the fear of “terrorism.” People are willing to give up their rights and freedoms because the government tells them to do so in order to protect them as they conduct a “war on terror.” What terrorism are they speaking of that is so profound that we should be willing to forfeit our rights and freedoms? The terrorists they speak of are invisible. No one knows who they are. No one knows where they are. No one knows if factual progress is being made because you cannot accurately measure a concept of this massive invisible terrorist group that cannot be identified or found, much less defeated. The true terrorism of America is a government that is willing to scare the entire population with the threat of an invisible presence that is so much a threat that in order to survive, we must be willing to give that government unconditional loyalty and to allow them to do whatever they wish, even if it means giving up our freedom to do so. Personally, I would rather live in fear and be free, than to give up my freedom based upon a false, fabricated fear. It is not that difficult of a decision to make. Look at the current poverty level in America. It is estimated that 47,000,000 people are now living in the poverty level. This should never have happened in this nation, and it could have easily been prevented from reaching that level. The truth is that the poverty level is not an accident. The government controls that 47,000,000 people, and that seems to be the goal. That is also the reason that the poverty level has grown in each of the last twenty years. These people are locked into this level of our society and most will remain within the holds of the government until they take their last breath. Poverty will breed poverty and the number will grow more each year, and in the very near future, in America, the majority of the population will fall into that poverty level. Those who do not possess life tools cannot pass that value to future generations, so future generations will be without those life tools, as well. Ignorance and blind loyalty will spread like wildfire and all will be dependent upon the ones who actually have placed them into this situation. Those people will continue to support a government that promises to provide them with what they need, as their very survival depends upon that mentality. Eventually, not only will the government control the majority of its citizens, but will do so in a manner where they then will be accepted as the provider of all that is needed to survive. Welcome to slavery. It is just a matter of time.

Goodbye America … it was nice knowing you.

Goodbye America Along a ridge at a cemetery, a stone wall marks the farthest advance of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett’s Charge at the battle of Gettysburg marked what historians call the high watermark of the Confederacy, the crowded moment when the war to preserve America’s constitutional system would prevail or die. Lincoln’s Army of the Potomac held the stone wall and stopped Lee’s attempt to preserve the South’s slaveocracy. Tuesday night, America’s political right and the Republican Party hit a stone wall and, like Lee’s army, they will never recover. In spite of extraordinary get-out-the-vote efforts by the Tea Party and Republican activists, President Obama sailed to an easy victory over his rival Mitt Romney. Election night analysis showed that access to free contraception and abortion-on-demand were key elements explaining Obama’s victory. Suburban women accomplished what King George III, the Kaiser, Hitler and Stalin failed to do – end America. Americans – who we were told opposed ObamaCare overwhelmingly – voted to sustain the monstrosity by re-electing the president who fathered it and will shield the malformed monster as its tentacles begin unfolding in the years to come. Government-run, well, everything is here to stay. Take the wife to that fancy restaurant for dinner and the kids to Disneyland – give them memories to cherish, because the country we know is done. President Obama has been given the “flexibility” to do to America’s nuclear deterrent what he promised his friends in Moscow … whatever that may be. And frightened establishment Republicans in Congress will work with the President to raise the debt ceiling, spending and taxes to remain relevant and “mainstream.” And the “payback,” as White House adviser Valerie Jarrett warned the president’s opponents, can begin in earnest. America’s Great Depression II will continue to deepen as the nation piles on more debt and the Federal Reserve prolongs its program of quantitative easing. Though you may be unemployed, with your children skipping meals, you can take comfort in media reports that detail the wonders of our “sluggish recovery.” Four years from now, it won’t matter if the reincarnated Ronald Reagan replaces Obama, the nation will have passed the event horizon of insolvency, falling into an inescapable and endless black hole. Goodbye America … it was nice knowing you. Goodbye America Along a ridge at a cemetery, a stone wall marks the farthest advance of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett’s Charge at the battle of Gettysburg marked what historians call the high watermark of the Confederacy, the crowded moment when the war to preserve America’s constitutional system would prevail or die. Lincoln’s Army of the Potomac held the stone wall and stopped Lee’s attempt to preserve the South’s slaveocracy. Tuesday night, America’s political right and the Republican Party hit a stone wall and, like Lee’s army, they will never recover. In spite of extraordinary get-out-the-vote efforts by the Tea Party and Republican activists, President Obama sailed to an easy victory over his rival Mitt Romney. Election night analysis showed that access to free contraception and abortion-on-demand were key elements explaining Obama’s victory. Suburban women accomplished what King George III, the Kaiser, Hitler and Stalin failed to do – end America. Americans – who we were told opposed ObamaCare overwhelmingly – voted to sustain the monstrosity by re-electing the president who fathered it and will shield the malformed monster as its tentacles begin unfolding in the years to come. Government-run, well, everything is here to stay. Take the wife to that fancy restaurant for dinner and the kids to Disneyland – give them memories to cherish, because the country we know is done. President Obama has been given the “flexibility” to do to America’s nuclear deterrent what he promised his friends in Moscow … whatever that may be. And frightened establishment Republicans in Congress will work with the President to raise the debt ceiling, spending and taxes to remain relevant and “mainstream.” And the “payback,” as White House adviser Valerie Jarrett warned the president’s opponents, can begin in earnest. America’s Great Depression II will continue to deepen as the nation piles on more debt and the Federal Reserve prolongs its program of quantitative easing. Though you may be unemployed, with your children skipping meals, you can take comfort in media reports that detail the wonders of our “sluggish recovery.” Four years from now, it won’t matter if the reincarnated Ronald Reagan replaces Obama, the nation will have passed the event horizon of insolvency, falling into an inescapable and endless black hole. Goodbye America … it was nice knowing you.

Weapons sent to radical Islamic nations likely will end up killing Americans and Israelis

Every new F-16 or tank delivered to Egypt is another weapon that can be used to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power Weapons sent to radical Islamic nations likely will end up killing Americans and Israelis The Obama Administration should stop sending taxpayer dollars to nations that embrace Islamic terrorism — nations that behave like adversaries, not allies. Case in point: Egypt and the radical Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama Administration recently agreed to spend an additional $250 million in taxpayer funds to send weapons to this increasingly unstable nation. That’s in addition to the more than one billion dollars annual taxpayer giveaway to Egypt. The U.S. is putting highly sophisticated tanks and warplanes in the hands of terrorists — terrorists who are hostile to America and to our longtime ally, Israel. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is a blatant and outspoken anti-Semite who calls Jews the “descendants of apes and pigs” and says that Egyptian children should be “nursed” on “hatred” for Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood, the governing political body in Egypt, is widely recognized as an organization that inspires and supports terrorism and is affiliated with the terrorist group, Hamas. Al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, even has direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is now becoming not just a source of terrorists but also a launching pad for terror attacks; including deadly ones launched against Israel from Egyptian soil. And Egyptian terrorists were present in the 2012 Benghazi attack and in the recent attack and violence in Algeria. There also are credible reports that Egyptian authorities denied the U.S. direct access to a Benghazi terrorist suspect, a disturbing act from an alleged “ally.” Egypt has passed a Shariah-based constitution that restricts religious freedom and provides a legal basis for continued persecution of Egypt’s embattled Christian minority. The government-backed persecution of Coptic Christians gets worse by the day. The reaction from the Obama Administration? Send Egypt hundreds of millions of dollars in high-tech weapons — 200 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and some 20 F-16 fighters. The most recent shipment of four warplanes was sent to Egypt just weeks ago. Eight more F-16’s will be delivered by the end of the year. The troubling fact is that the U.S. has become Egypt’s major arms supplier. This is not only dangerous to our national security, but represents an extremely significant threat to Israel. As Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) put it: “Friends don’t send U.S. taxpayer-funded F-16s and tanks to the enemies of their friends.” Every new F-16 or tank delivered to Egypt is another weapon that can be used to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power. Every new dollar of economic aid buys the Brotherhood more time. For President Morsi, this aid represents far more than a marginal increase in military and economic strength; it also represents an American seal of approval and a stamp of legitimacy on his repressive regime. Every F-16, every Abrams tank is a propaganda victory for the Morsi regime. Egypt still has a chance for moderation. After all, few things cure radical impulses better than the experience of radical rule and the country does have a long recent history of peace with Israel. But moderation will be infinitely more difficult to achieve if we arm and aid its most dangerous enemies. With Americans asked to tighten their financial belts because of the sequester, our government should withhold sending hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds to nations like Egypt, until we get proof — and that means actions, not just words — that they are a true ally. It’s time we sequester terrorists. As Egypt still struggles to determine its destiny, if we put our thumb on the scales at all, we must not do so in favor of jihadists. The Muslim Brotherhood needs our weapons and our money. We do not need the Muslim Brotherhood. And we don’t need U.S. taxpayers footing the bill. Every new F-16 or tank delivered to Egypt is another weapon that can be used to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power Weapons sent to radical Islamic nations likely will end up killing Americans and Israelis The Obama Administration should stop sending taxpayer dollars to nations that embrace Islamic terrorism — nations that behave like adversaries, not allies. Case in point: Egypt and the radical Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama Administration recently agreed to spend an additional $250 million in taxpayer funds to send weapons to this increasingly unstable nation. That’s in addition to the more than one billion dollars annual taxpayer giveaway to Egypt. The U.S. is putting highly sophisticated tanks and warplanes in the hands of terrorists — terrorists who are hostile to America and to our longtime ally, Israel. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is a blatant and outspoken anti-Semite who calls Jews the “descendants of apes and pigs” and says that Egyptian children should be “nursed” on “hatred” for Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood, the governing political body in Egypt, is widely recognized as an organization that inspires and supports terrorism and is affiliated with the terrorist group, Hamas. Al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, even has direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is now becoming not just a source of terrorists but also a launching pad for terror attacks; including deadly ones launched against Israel from Egyptian soil. And Egyptian terrorists were present in the 2012 Benghazi attack and in the recent attack and violence in Algeria. There also are credible reports that Egyptian authorities denied the U.S. direct access to a Benghazi terrorist suspect, a disturbing act from an alleged “ally.” Egypt has passed a Shariah-based constitution that restricts religious freedom and provides a legal basis for continued persecution of Egypt’s embattled Christian minority. The government-backed persecution of Coptic Christians gets worse by the day. The reaction from the Obama Administration? Send Egypt hundreds of millions of dollars in high-tech weapons — 200 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and some 20 F-16 fighters. The most recent shipment of four warplanes was sent to Egypt just weeks ago. Eight more F-16’s will be delivered by the end of the year. The troubling fact is that the U.S. has become Egypt’s major arms supplier. This is not only dangerous to our national security, but represents an extremely significant threat to Israel. As Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) put it: “Friends don’t send U.S. taxpayer-funded F-16s and tanks to the enemies of their friends.” Every new F-16 or tank delivered to Egypt is another weapon that can be used to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power. Every new dollar of economic aid buys the Brotherhood more time. For President Morsi, this aid represents far more than a marginal increase in military and economic strength; it also represents an American seal of approval and a stamp of legitimacy on his repressive regime. Every F-16, every Abrams tank is a propaganda victory for the Morsi regime. Egypt still has a chance for moderation. After all, few things cure radical impulses better than the experience of radical rule and the country does have a long recent history of peace with Israel. But moderation will be infinitely more difficult to achieve if we arm and aid its most dangerous enemies. With Americans asked to tighten their financial belts because of the sequester, our government should withhold sending hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds to nations like Egypt, until we get proof — and that means actions, not just words — that they are a true ally. It’s time we sequester terrorists. As Egypt still struggles to determine its destiny, if we put our thumb on the scales at all, we must not do so in favor of jihadists. The Muslim Brotherhood needs our weapons and our money. We do not need the Muslim Brotherhood. And we don’t need U.S. taxpayers footing the bill.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Time to Break the Silence

A Time to Break the Silence I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about the many wars . The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on. And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us. Over the past eight years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of war , many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Joseph barber?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from our Baptist Church - the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my awakening - leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight. As I looked out at the people my heart was bounding I think I could almost hear it sing I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Washington or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam Iraq or Afghanistan. Neither is it an attempt to make Islam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with the people of all nations and the National Liberation Front of America , but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on all continents. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Since I am a Soldier by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing wars into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the wars in our world and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor - both black and white - through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan and soon to be Seria continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such. Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in the Middle east which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem or any were else in this nation called America. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor. My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years - especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask - and rightly so - what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1990 when a group of us formed the Resistance, Southern Christian Leadership , we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier: O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath - America will be! Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam Iraq and Afghanistan. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land. As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1995; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission I have been seeking - a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men - for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the people of our world as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life? And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of son ship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers. And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula or nation of our world. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front or the Resistance, not of the junta at the United Nations or Washington, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries. They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Islamic people proclaimed their own independence Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support the people in its re-conquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China - for whom the people have no great love - but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives. My friends history teaches we the people My father served two tours In country this statement is for Him For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to re-colonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at re-colonization. After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States' influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace. The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers. What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones? We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only non-communist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers. Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists "or Islam? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of all people in these nations, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts. How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence? Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and non-violence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition. So, too, with .all nations, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In our world are the men who led the nation to independence against the British, Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. They remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands. the world remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, as well as the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. the people of our world has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the multiple nations. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humour and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred, or rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores. At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Wars is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among the people, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of our world. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in many nations . I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders . Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote: Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the the people and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism. If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in the people. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in of our world, that we have been detrimental to the life of the people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in the world, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict: Number one: End all bombing . Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation. Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in by curtailing our military build-up around the world and our interference in in other nations. Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support of the free people of our world and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future governments. Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from around the world in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement. Part of our ongoing part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. Meanwhile... meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible. As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation's role in wars and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in wars is a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war any were in our world. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan and soon to be Seria is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God. In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood. This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for coming to this house of worship and allowing me to speak tonight These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist or any other faith in our world belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: "Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us." Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. ************************************************************************************************************************************* We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word." We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood - it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on." We still have a choice today: non-violent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message - of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history. As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated: Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide, In the strife of Truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light. Though the cause of evil prosper, yet 'tis truth alone is strong Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. A Time to Break the Silence I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about the many wars . The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on. And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us. Over the past eight years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of war , many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Joseph barber?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from our Baptist Church - the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my awakening - leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight. As I looked out at the people my heart was bounding I think I could almost hear it sing I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Washington or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam Iraq or Afghanistan. Neither is it an attempt to make Islam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with the people of all nations and the National Liberation Front of America , but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on all continents. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Since I am a Soldier by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing wars into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the wars in our world and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor - both black and white - through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan and soon to be Seria continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such. Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in the Middle east which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem or any were else in this nation called America. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor. My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years - especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask - and rightly so - what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1990 when a group of us formed the Resistance, Southern Christian Leadership , we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier: O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath - America will be! Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam Iraq and Afghanistan. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land. As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1995; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission I have been seeking - a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men - for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the people of our world as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life? And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of son ship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers. And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula or nation of our world. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front or the Resistance, not of the junta at the United Nations or Washington, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries. They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Islamic people proclaimed their own independence Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support the people in its re-conquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China - for whom the people have no great love - but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives. My friends history teaches we the people My father served two tours In country this statement is for Him For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to re-colonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at re-colonization. After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States' influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace. The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers. What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones? We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only non-communist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers. Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists "or Islam? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of all people in these nations, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts. How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence? Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and non-violence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition. So, too, with .all nations, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In our world are the men who led the nation to independence against the British, Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. They remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands. the world remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, as well as the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. the people of our world has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the multiple nations. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humour and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred, or rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores. At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Wars is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among the people, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of our world. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in many nations . I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders . Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote: Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the the people and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism. If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in the people. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in of our world, that we have been detrimental to the life of the people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in the world, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict: Number one: End all bombing . Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation. Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in by curtailing our military build-up around the world and our interference in in other nations. Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support of the free people of our world and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future governments. Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from around the world in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement. Part of our ongoing part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. Meanwhile... meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible. As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation's role in wars and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in wars is a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war any were in our world. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan and soon to be Seria is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God. In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood. This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for coming to this house of worship and allowing me to speak tonight These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist or any other faith in our world belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: "Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us." Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. ************************************************************************************************************************************* We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word." We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood - it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on." We still have a choice today: non-violent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message - of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history. As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated: Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide, In the strife of Truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light. Though the cause of evil prosper, yet 'tis truth alone is strong Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.