* * * * *


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 sisters.

–Martin Luther King



* * * * *

THE RIGHT WING COUP CONTINUES

In This Issue:

  • David’s Notes
  • A Letter to George Bush from a Canadian Who Lives in Egypt (an Emailite Exclusive)
  • Bombs Not Bread: How We’d Rather Ruin than Create
  • How Generous We Are: A Foreign Aid Fact
  • A Bloodthirsty Animal by Harold Pinter
  • Bill Moyers Socks It To ‘Em
  • Cheryl Hanna on John Poindexter
  • A Last Word from David Dellinger
  • * * * * *

    DAVID’S NOTES:
    33 Years Ago and Now

     


    New Epigraph
    Beginning with this issue of THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE, a new epigraph, a quote from Martin Luther King, adorns our masthead. We think it is particularly fitting for these days.

    33 Years Ago and Now
    I came here to this remote mountainside in northern Vermont in the summer of 1969, 33 years ago. I had had it with America. I had had it with wars, riots, assassinations, racism and mere anarchy loosed upon the streets. I wanted to get as far away from America, without actually leaving it, as I possibly could. This out-of-the-way, poverty-stricken, forgotten slab of mountainside and valley thirty miles from the Canadian border seemed like a good spot. It was and still is. What I see today from here is more disturbing than what I knew in 1969.

    The situation in America since the election of 2002 is far more desperate than it was in the late 1960s, even given the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and the utter chaos on the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention there. At least in the late 1960s the streets were full of people enraged by the misuse of governmental power.

    Today the Right Wing Coup marching forward daily in Washington, DC, proceeds apace essentially unopposed. The politicians and the news media, including NPR, have rolled over and are playing dead.

    We can hear the rumblings of protest and revolt off there in the distance, but the out and out turning-around necessary if we are to save this so-called Democracy from the bullies and thugs now controlling the government is far from hitting the streets.

    If there ever was a time to be a rabble-rouser now is the time. If there ever was a time to stand up and shout: RESIST! REBEL! REVOLT! now is the time.

     

    * * * * *

    A Judevine Mountain Emailite Exclusive

    A LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
    FROM A CANADIAN LIVING IN EGYPT

    by
    Carol Ann Clouston


    To: US President, George W. Bush

    For the past 22 years I have experienced Egyptians–with very few exceptions– as extremely peaceful people, very forgiving of the westerners’ penchant for arrogant attitudes and behaviours. However, thanks to your administration’s unfailing moral and material support of Israel’s atrocities and blatant flouting of all international treaties (including UN Resolutions), the people of this entire region are psychologically primed for massive civil disobedience. The various Governments here will undoubtedly be destabilized beyond repair for quite awhile to come, with the inevitable suffering that chaos will entail.

    As your Canadian neighbour, I fully sympathize with you over the dreadful loss of life on 9/11 and the despicable manner in which that took place. However, your repeated seemingly revengeful behaviours since that time are miring the US in a quagmire from which it will take generations for the citizens of your great country to extricate themselves. You must recognize in your heart of hearts that a war on Iraq will not give the US any long-term satisfaction in terms of either revenge or security. It may, however, give you unlimited access to Iraq’s oil, but at what a diabolical price!

    As a Canadian citizen, living in Egypt for the past 22 years, I can assure you that if you do attack Iraq, you and your administration will go down in history as the demons who “opened the gates of hell” for the people of this region–not to mention being held responsible for an enormous loss of life: of US military personnel, of innocent Iraqis, in the North American and European ex-pat community and the lives of untold thousands more in Palestinian refugee camps which will be lost in the massacre which Israel is bound to perpetrate under cover of both the war on terrorism and the Iraqi war.

    Further, you will be held personally responsible for the inevitable increase in terrorist attacks within the US itself, no matter how big or efficient your Homeland Security Dept. You will be reviled by future generations of Americans and world citizens at least as much as Hitler, Stalin and other mass murderers of history.

    Since you took office, by means of your many reprehensible behaviours in the international arena, you’ve sacrificed America’s former, long standing and well-deserved reputation for holding the moral high ground–not the least of these being the inhuman treatment of the prisoners of the Afghan war. The bottom line here, Mr. Bush, is that if you do go to war unilaterally you will be seen as having acted in the same fundamentalist vein as Osama bin Laden. DON’T DO IT–for your own and for everyone else’s sake!

    Sincerely,

    Carol Ann Clouston,
    Adham Center for TV Journalism
    The American University in Cairo

    * * * * *

    BOMBS NOT BREAD:

    HOW WE’D RATHER RUIN THAN CREATE:
    13 Billion for War, 10 Million for Humanitarian Aid


    EDITOR’S NOTE: OAF, Our Anonymous Friend, hipped us to the following article “Iraq: The Economic Consequences of War” by the Yale economist William D. Nordhaus. It appeared in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS for December 5, 2002. Read the whole article at:http://www.nybooks.com/articles/15850

    “Will the US actually undertake the extensive effort required to rebuild and democratize Iraq? In virtually every country where the US intervened militarily over the last four decades, it has followed a ‘hit and run’ philosophy by which bombing runs have seldom been followed by construction crews. The latest war in Afghanistan is a striking example. In the year ending September 2002, the US spent $13 billion on the war effort. By contrast, the total Pentagon effort committed to civil works or humanitarian aid has totaled only $10 million.

    “The disproportion between military destruction and civilian construction in Afghanistan and elsewhere does not augur well for an ambitious rebuilding effort in Iraq. Is it plausible that Congress will appropriate funds for such a large civilian effort when the US today spends only $15 billion annually on foreign aid for the entire world?”

     

    * * * * *

    HOW GENEROUS WE ARE:
    A Foreign Aid Fact


    The Foreign Aid Budget in the United States is 1/10th of 1% of our Gross National Product. Of the 22 richest nations in the world, that ranks us 22nd.*

     

    * * * * *

    A BLOODTHIRSTY WILD ANIMAL

    excerpts from a speech by Harold Pinter


    EDITOR’S NOTE: The excerpts that follow are taken from an address given by playwright Harold Pinter on receiving an honorary degree at the University of Turin in Italy. To read Pinter’s entire speech go to: http://www.rense.com/general32/sdbi.htm orhttp://alt.venus.co.uk/weed/current/pinter2.htm

    “If you are not with us, you are against us,” President George W. Bush has said. He has also said: “We will not allow the world’s worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world’s worst leaders.” Quite right. Look in the mirror, chum. That’s you.
    . . .
    “America believes that the 3,000 deaths in New York are the only deaths that count, the only deaths that matter. They are American deaths. Other deaths are unreal, abstract, of no consequence.
    . . .
    “People do not forget. They do not forget the death of their fellows, they do not forget torture and mutilation, they do not forget injustice, they do not forget oppression, they do not forget the terrorism of mighty powers. They not only don’t forget: they also strike back.

    “The atrocity in New York was predictable and inevitable. It was an act of retaliation against constant and systematic manifestations of state terrorism on the part of America over many years, in all parts of the world.
    . . .
    “The planned war against Iraq is in fact a plan for premeditated murder of thousands of civilians in order, apparently, to rescue them from their dictator.

    “America and Britain are pursuing a course that can lead only to an escalation of violence throughout the world and finally to catastrophe. It is obvious, however, that America is bursting at the seams to attack Iraq.

    “I believe that it will do this not only to take control of Iraqi oil, but also because the American administration is now a bloodthirsty wild animal. Bombs are its only vocabulary.”

     

    * * * * *

    BILL MOYERS SOCKS IT TO ‘EM


    EDITOR’S NOTE: If we were to make a list of left wing radicals active in the U.S. right now, Bill Moyers would not be on that list. This man who began his career as press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson and went on to become a regular and favorite host on Public Television and presently heads a weekly news magazine on PBS called NOW, came out in a powerful and definite way against the Bush Administration recently. Here are Moyers’s closing remarks on the show that aired on November 8th. There’s more on Moyers and NOW at:http://www.pbs.org/now/commentary/moyers15.html
    —–

    ON THE 2002 ELECTION

    by
    Bill Moyers


    Way back in the 1950’s when I first tasted politics and journalism, Republicans briefly controlled the White House and Congress. With the exception of Joseph McCarthy and his vicious ilk, they were a reasonable lot, presided over by that giant war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, who was conservative by temperament and moderate in the use of power.

    That brand of Republican is gone. And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government – the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary – is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.

    That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives.

    It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich.

    It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable.

    And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming.

    And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture. These folks don’t even mind you referring to the GOP as the party of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty is using him to promote ‘a Biblical worldview’ in American politics?

    So it is a heady time in Washington – a heady time for piety, profits, and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money.

    Don’t forget the money. It came pouring into this election, to both parties, from corporate America and others who expect the payback. Republicans outraised democrats by $184 million dollars. And came up with the big prize – monopoly control of the American government, and the power of the state to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.

    That’s it for this week. For NOW, I’m Bill Moyers.

     

     

    * * * * *

    JOHN POINDEXTER
    AND “TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS”

    by
    Cheryl Hanna


    I never believed that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA, or that the moon-landing was staged. But lately, I’ve begun to reconsider just how much trust any of us should have in the federal government.

    A few weeks ago, the New York Times broke a story about the Pentagon’s proposal to build a giant computer system capable of mining thousands of databases containing private information about foreigners and Americans, including you and me. It’s called “Total Information Awareness,” or TIA, and it’s incredible in an Orwellian sort of way.

    The super-computer will be used to access your phone records and bank accounts, read your email, discover where you’ve traveled, and where you plan to go. It’ll be able to track your credit card activity, review your online purchases, and even check what prescriptions you’re taking. Think about what that means. The government will be able to spy on us, its own citizens, without a search warrant, and without our knowledge.

    Pentagon officials have said that TIA is meant to be used as a tool in the war against terrorism; that if you re not a terrorist, you don’t have to worry. But consider this worrisome fact: the person who first developed TIA and who is in charge of the program is Vice-Admiral John Poindexter. Poindexter was President Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He was eventually convicted of five felonies, including destroying evidence and lying to Congress about the Iran Contra affair. However, an appeals court eventually overturned his convictions because Congress had granted Poindexter immunity in exchange for his congressional testimony.

    Nevertheless, Poindexter’s violations of the public trust were so outrageous that he became a symbol of what can happen when government officials disregard the rule of law in the quest for their own power. Even some of the president’s most conservative supporters, like columnist William Safire, have called Poindexter’s project a sweeping theft of privacy rights, and have suggested that TIA would be far less controversial if someone besides Poindexter was in charge.

    But the president and his men remain adamant that Poindexter is the best man for the job (not just because he was the Vice President of Syntek Technologies, a government contractor that helped develop other surveillance technologies) but also because he’s an exemplary American.

    Are they joking? Most Americans would probably agree that some information gathering system to identify terrorists is necessary, and a lot of us are willing to sacrifice some privacy rights, I think, in the name of national security. But the fact that the president insists that Poindexter be America’s top-ranking spy makes me wonder what’s really going on.

    All right. Maybe there’s no conspiracy here. But to paraphrase Henry Kissenger: just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean people aren’t watching.
    —–
    EDITOR’S NOTE: This commentary was written for Vermont Public Radio and aired on December 4, 2002. © Copyright 2002, VPR. Cheryl Hanna is a professor at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont.

     

     

    * * * * *

    A LAST WORD FROM DAVID DELLINGER


    EDITOR’S NOTE: Hate is a curious thing. If you get everything you want and have all the power in the world it can create hate. If you never get what you want and you have no power at all it can create hate.

    I don’t think of myself as someone who has anything at all in common with George W. Bush, but I do. We both share a remarkable capacity to hate.

    It’s especially important for those of us who seek solutions to the world’s problems–other than solutions supposedly achieved with guns and bombs–to confront our hatred for our enemies. I’m talking about enemies like George Bush, John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and so on. Here then, we offer an excerpt from a few words penned by David Dellinger as an “Afterword” for the 2002 War Resisters League Calendar.
    —–
    PERSONAL NOTE: Our friends Dave Dellinger, who is now 88 years old, and his wife, Elizabeth Peterson, 82, recently moved into assisted living in Montpelier, Vermont. Anyone reading this who remembers Dave and Elizabeth and who would like to drop them a line to say hello, here’s their new address:
    David Dellinger & Elizabeth Peterson
    Heaton Woods
    10 Heaton Street, #7
    Montpelier, VT 05602

    For those of you too young to remember who David Dellinger is: he is a life long radical peace activist. He was a conscientious objector during World War Two and every war since then. He is perhaps best known as one of the Chicago Seven who were arrested and tried—for . . . for what?—during the riots in the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention there in 1968. If you don’t know Dave’s autobiography, FROM YALE TO JAIL: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter (Pantheon Books, 1993) we recommend it.

    Again, we urge those of you out there who would like to drop a line to Dave and Elizabeth to do so.

    —–

    LOVE FOR THOSE WHO DEFEND THE SYSTEM

    by
    David Dellinger


    Our nonviolent activism would be more positive if we stressed reaching out with love for our fellow human beings—love not only for the victims, but also for those who defend the existing system, including those who think they benefit from it, even toward the police and other security forces.

    Love for those who defend the system, including the police who harass and arrest us? Is that unrealistic?

    Let me testify that this kind of love makes a difference. In 1987, twenty of us invaded the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, protesting against U.S. sponsorship of the terrorist Nicaraguan Contras. When we were arrested and taken downstairs to be fingerprinted, an officer recognized me and introduced me to the other officers. He said, “This is Dave Dellinger, who I want you to meet because his actions are based on love for everyone, including us.”

    I also recognized him: The second time he had arrested me he had grabbed the arm of another officer, who was about to hit me on the head with a club, and said, “Stop. This is a good guy who doesn’t need to be hit like that.”

    Love for every human being is necessary for our individual growth and fulfillment. Those who practice this love benefit spiritually as they help others. While there are still badly needed changes in our anti-democratic society, I see positive signs that acting with love for other people and their needs does succeed.

    * * * * *

    *EDITOR’S NOTE: Source for A Foreign Aid Fact: NPR’s Morning Edition, 12/12/2002

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