Saturday, October 01, 2005

History Of The War Machine: From NSC 68 to 2005

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ZNet | Foreign Policy

History Of The War Machine:
From NSC 68 to 2005

by Brian Bogart; September 29, 2005

(Transcribed from the audio presentation)


This presentation comes from a wealth of sources, but I want to acknowledge the outstanding contribution by David Callahan, author of Dangerous Capabilities.  For the sake of audio recordings, some of what I say will undoubtedly paraphrase his work, and -- lest there be any misunderstanding -- whatever overlap occurs between his work and my notes is to his credit and not mine.


Today's presentation provides information surrounding the co-opting of Cold War policies by post-Cold War neoconservatives to plan and carry out the war on terror.  You're about to experience what I call HyperEducation, which my independent Peace Studies program drives me to do at home for some twelve hours a day -- and something that I hope you find motivating and useful in your peace work.


Our main topic is the document -- and the man who wrote the document -- that launched the Cold War.  Called United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, it is better known as NSC68.  After NSC68 was signed, it needed the approval of Congress.  Post-Cold War documents show that the Korean War was used by Americans for this purpose. 


Section 3 of Article 3 of the Constitution states that initiating war against the US is an act of treason when there is evidence that a US citizen took part.  Thus, using the Korean civil war and/or using 9-11 to initiate international conflict with any foreknowledge could be considered acts of treason.


Let's go back now to the birth of our crisis.


On July 14, 1949, the Soviet Union conducted its first test of an atomic bomb.  At this time, the United States possessed some 250 atomic bombs, each with a yield far greater than the bombs used on Japan in August 1945.  Rather than at any time sit down with Soviet diplomats and actually discuss the matter, a paranoia quickly took root in Washington under President Harry Truman.  And when Secretary of State Dean Acheson assigned three advisors to a committee to study the notion of building the hydrogen bomb, he made two errors that set the world on a deadly course: He told the committee to focus not on the moral questions of being the first to build such a weapon, but on the technological and budgetary challenges it would pose -- and he appointed three hard-line, anti-Soviet men to that committee.  One of these men was Paul Henry Nitze.


Paul Nitze was raised in moderately wealthy surroundings, in a family that embraced its German heritage.  In his frequent trips to Germany, as a youth and later as a Wall Street investment banker before, during, and after the Depression, Nitze had seen the transformation from a country in ruins to one with a strong economy and a meticulous populace.  He took pride in that transformation, and, up until Pearl Harbor, is said to have to defended Hitler in conversations at upper-class social functions.  He admired the way facts and figures and harsh discipline had remade Germany, and thought little of the moral issues surrounding its reemergence.  Nitze's view until Pearl Harbor was that the US should not enter into the war in Europe.


In 1929, Nitze began working in a high position on Wall Street, high enough to insulate him from the effects of the growing Depression.  In his first year, he had little contact with people downstairs who did the so-called dirty work.  Then, in 1930, Nitze made a business deal that he thought would make him famous.  Instead, it cost the firm over a million dollars, and Nitze was banished from his boss's presence.  Downstairs among the people doing the dirty work, Nitze met many who would later be influential in his career.  Among them was James Forrestal.


Ten years later -- on the day that France surrendered to Germany -- James Forrestal was appointed as an assistant to President Roosevelt in the White House.  Forrestal in turn needed help managing his new position, and hired Paul Nitze as his aide.  By September 1944, Nitze had become a prominent member of the US Strategic Bombing Survey, assigned to study damage to the German war machine.


A key moment in this part of Nitze's career came just after the German surrender, when he interviewed Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and mobilization planner.  Nitze was fascinated by Speer's account of how and why Nazi Germany failed.  "Unlike Britain and the United States," Nitze later said, "Germany suffered no critical defeat early in the war -- no Dunkirk or Pearl Harbor -- to focus attention on the problem or galvanize the country."  Or as Speer put it, "The soft men and the weak were never sorted out and discarded as they were in Britain and the US.  The weak remained in positions of responsibility to the last."


As Nitze's biographer, David Callahan, said so well in 1989:


"The implications of Speer's statements were disturbingly clear: If Adolf Hitler had been more rational and methodical, if he had purged his inner circle of reprobates like Goering and Bormann and relied solely on men like Speer, and if he had fully mobilized the country in 1941 instead of 1944, Germany might have won World War II."


What a fine lesson for students of foreign policy.  Keep this in mind when we turn to Nitze's disciple, Paul Wolfowitz, and his disciples, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Perle.


Paul Nitze finished his work in Germany and moved on to Japan, where he assessed the damage caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "less than overwhelming."  He noted with his usual cool deliberation that Hiroshima was recovering quickly; trains had begun functioning within two days of the attack; electrical power was restored in some areas after one day; and though some 80,000 had died in the initial blast and another 80,000 would die later from its effects, Nitze noted that many industrial plants on the outskirts of Hiroshima had survived.  Nitze also noticed that people hiding in tunnels had survived the blast at Nagasaki, and made a point in his report of emphasizing that air-raid precautions there had saved some 400 people from the effects of the initial explosion.


As 1946 came around, Nitze began to fear the powerful Soviet army of Joseph Stalin that now occupied half of Europe.  Although Russia had suffered well over 20 million dead after the German attack on 1941, and much of the country lay in ruins, many American leaders shared the same fear.  In 1944, Nitze had met a man in the dining car of a train on the way from Washington to New York.  They fell into a conversation on the postwar period and the USSR.  The man's name was George Kennan, and he was on his way to serve in the American embassy in Moscow.


George Kennan, it must be said, grew up insecure.  By his own admission, he was not popular in schools in the Midwest where he was raised, and when he began training as a Russian specialist in 1928, he had no better luck in the elite circles of Washington society.  By 1931, he was serving with the American legation in Riga, Latvia, and after two years in the harsh cold, 100 miles from the Soviet border, Kennan's insecurities had manifested into anti-Soviet sentiments that were as hard as ice.  "Its system is unalterably opposed to our traditional system," he wrote then.  "There can be no compromise between the two."


In 1933 Kennan was moved to the new embassy in Moscow where his hostile feelings grew, and by 1946, living in war-torn conditions, he was a firm skeptic about postwar ties between the US and USSR -- and, he noticed, his views were quite popular, even fashionable, back home in Washington.


In February of that year, 1946, Kennan sent a letter from Moscow to Washington; a telegram of 8000 words that became known as the Long Telegram (which is now often required study for foreign policy students in the US).  In that telegram Kennan discussed the question of Soviet intentions and concluded that: "World communism is like a malignant parasite which feeds only on diseased tissue," and which must be opposed by western efforts.


Kennan's Long Telegram galvanized the emerging paranoia in Washington circles, most strongly voiced by James Forrestal, now the Navy Secretary.  Forrestal immediately sent copies of Kennan's telegram to everyone he knew, flooding the capital with anti-Soviet assumptions.  Later that year, George Kennan returned to the United States as a celebrity and a prophet.  Truman made him a top advisor, and Kennan quickly drafted a wealth of policy statements that influenced the highest levels of government.


But then, around 1948, Kennan noticeably began a deep reflection about the simplistic thinking that dominated US policy toward the Soviet Union.  He felt he had -- as Callahan puts it -- created a monster that distorted true Soviet intentions beyond recognition.  He had conceived economic containment of communism, but had fostered a massive military buildup.  He later explained that he'd hoped Moscow would adjust and transform as time went on, and he saw that America's military buildup would not allow this to occur.  Time and dialogue were not strategic elements in the arsenal of US diplomacy, and by the 1949 Soviet blockade of Berlin, Kennan lost any hope that US policymakers would show patience -- and by offering such unpopular advice, his influence quickly faded.


The new Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, sealed Kennan's fate by setting new guidelines that prevented Kennan or anyone else, no matter how qualified they were, from submitting independent opinions on policy.  In November 1949, at the height of the debate over whether to build the hydrogen bomb, Acheson replaced George Kennan -- the most qualified expert on Soviet affairs in Truman's administration -- with Paul Nitze.  It is worth noting here that, also in 1949, James Forrestal, who had become the first Secretary of Defense, and who had so strongly advocated the harshest anti-Soviet policies, committed suicide.


It must be mentioned that there was an acute fear in Washington of a second Depression during this period from 1947 to 1950, largely due to reduced demand for military production and the reduction of non-military industries that had occurred during the war as a result of men going overseas to fight.  In the secluded chambers of Truman's Cabinet members, as Noam Chomsky has said, there was no real discussion about how to address this: "It wasn't really a debate because it was settled before it started, but the issue was at least raised -- should the government pursue military spending or social spending?"  And that was it -- a private question of public importance, asked and answered, over and done.  No public knowledge, no public debate, no public consent.


In the years following the war, Nitze had assessed conditions in Europe and decided that the only way to keep America's economy healthy was to lend money to European countries while offering the protection of a strong military.  For those of you who may have studied organized crime, this is known as one of the two oldest professions in the world: offering protection at a price, and quite often from an invented adversary or from the protector himself.  If you look at the world today, the United States is the greatest godfather in history, providing weapons, fostering conflict, spreading fear, demanding tribute, threatening any peaceful progress, dictating conditions, and owning everything and everyone through constant surveillance and political and financial coercion.  Nitze was called the master of the game, but in truth, we are masters of the game -- not we the people, but the Wolfowitz's among us who have studied and taken Nitze's example as a blueprint for the ultimate in organized crime.


George Kennan's early anti-Soviet views had set the course for Nitze's own paranoia, and had melded with Nitze's penchant for cold solutions to human problems.  As Kennan was nurturing a more enlightened perspective, Nitze was traveling in the opposite direction at the head of an America entering the period of McCarthyism and J. Edgar Hoover's Red Scare.  George Kennan knew that Soviet leaders were not stupid, that the US possessed the greatest industrial base in the world, that Stalin would have no desire for a long battle with the United States, that Stalin had enough trouble maintaining his own borders.


As David Callahan puts it, Kennan also believed that an atomic arms race would be a disaster, assuming a momentum that would be unstoppable and produce dangers unrelated to the political views that launched it.  (This is, in fact, where we stand today.)  On October 11, 1949, Kennan suggested that there would be a great advantage in "agreeing with the Russians that neither of us would use (the bombs) at all."  His advice came 30 years before the idea of détente would again enter into mainstream political discussion in Washington -- and he was, essentially, fired for it.


On October 11, the same day Kennan's advice on détente was rejected, Nitze announced that it would be "necessary to lower rather than raise civilian standards of living in order to produce arms."  He advocated construction of civil defense bomb shelters in the US -- not to protect citizens, but to show the Soviets that the US was prepared for atomic war and thus, he said, deter an attack, calling this tactic enhanced credibility.


This is where and when Kennan and Nitze parted ways: Kennan knew the Kremlin had no plans to attack, and that historically, Russia had been the victim of aggressors.  Under Bolshevism, this defensive posture and mentality had grown even more pronounced.  Kennan made one last appeal to Acheson before leaving, saying the USSR should bear the moral responsibility of creating or not creating the hydrogen bomb.  Acheson replied by suggesting that Kennan retire to preach his Quaker gospel outside the State Department.  And once outside, George Kennan became Nitze's greatest adversary, but Nitze got his wish: the Cold War.


Before he wrote NSC68, Paul Nitze summoned experts who had built the atomic bombs.  He brought Robert Oppenheimer to Washington, and listened to lengthy appeals for consideration of the moral implications and to prevent the development of the hydrogen bomb, but Nitze was not impressed.  Next, he summoned Edward Teller, and was fascinated by Teller's energetic calculations on how the hydrogen bomb would work.  Though Teller's calculations were completely wrong and were never used in the actual building of the bomb, Nitze was sold, as if he understood physics.  He made his decision at that moment -- if it was possible to build it, it was better to try and fail than to not try and never know the results of such an idea.  "After listening to Teller," he said, "I was persuaded it was possible."  Nitze saw no moral crisis at all, but a world in which idealism had no value.  Just months later, the US would have in its arsenal 500 atomic bombs, the Soviets perhaps a dozen.  But Nitze declared, "the lesser risk was for us to go forward with the development of the thermonuclear weapon hoping that it wouldn't work."


In December 1949, Acheson made final, fatal decisions by appointing Nitze and two other anti-Soviet-minded men to a development committee, and instructing them to ignore the moral implications and focus on expenditures, capabilities, and Soviet responses.  This opened the door for a future of technical justifications by the Pentagon, and closed the door on all discussions of morality.  The machine was born.


On January 30, 1950, Truman approved the development plan and called for a policy statement on military strategy, and Nitze already had it.  Outside of the White House, the Department of State's Office of Intelligence Research found no increased threat or change in military capabilities of the USSR as a result of its atomic bomb test.  US superiority was not in danger.  But Nitze had quantified the bomb test by calculating the cost of stopping the Soviet army at Germany's Rhine River -- the cost would be triple that of the Marshall Plan, so he also calculated that the only way to secure congressional approval of NSC68 was to exaggerate the threat.  (By the way, you can read NSC68 online; it was declassified in the 1970s, but it could vanish again at the rate documents are disappearing under this administration.)


Nitze now emerged at the top of the game, and on April 12, 1950, NSC68 was approved.  He had been a principle author of the Marshall Plan, offering participation to the Soviets knowing that they would refuse (the plan would have died in Congress had the USSR accepted), and he had sharpened his skills in the rhetoric of fear.  NSC68 would be his legacy and his crowning achievement.  But NSC68 was born of human weaknesses, a general paranoia, and the cold economic ambition of a man with little understanding of Russian history in an environment that lacked any balance of sanity among his peers.


NSC68 was fear-mongering at its highest peak, and some students of foreign policy learned this all too well for America and the world.  In NSC68 Nitze advised that superiority was the key to security, that the US pursue unbridled military research and development to stay ahead of any potential aggressor.  The lesson of World War II, he said, was that western weakness leads to aggression.  (Today, our strength and freedom are cited as causes of aggression.)  "The US must have the will and strength to be a force for peace," he wrote.  His strategy, in NSC68, was to make the most out of anti-Soviet sentiments of the postwar period.


A few years later, President Eisenhower saw through all of this and had his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, remove Paul Nitze from the State Department.


Dean Acheson later wrote in his memoir, Present at the Creation, that the language of NSC68 was "clearer than the truth."  And Nitze later remarked, "The purpose of NSC68 was to so bludgeon the mass mind of top government that not only could the president make a decision but that the decision could be carried out."  Nitze also indicated that it was the unacceptability of peaceful overtures among his peers that, almost throughout his career, kept him from reaching out to the Soviets.  Peer pressure.


John Kenneth Galbraith said of Nitze, that he was "a Teutonic martinet happiest in a military hierarchy."  Nitze wielded influence in Washington adeptly from 1950 to 1989, opposing arms-control efforts and, to the frustration of some, at times supporting them.  But whenever Nitze found himself not in a position of power during the six presidential administrations subsequent to Truman's, he did all he could to influence (positive or negative) those who were in power.


After Richard Nixon's election in 1968, Nitze found himself out of power, and rather than retire to his wife's side and manage the family fortune, he took an office at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  In 1967 Robert McNamara had announced plans to develop the Safeguard Anti-Ballistic Missile system, to defend against a perceived emerging threat posed by China -- and now in 1969, with antiwar sentiments flowing in Congress as a result of being misled on Vietnam by the Johnson administration, the Safeguard system was in jeopardy.  The Johnson administration had portrayed Safeguard as a domestic missile defense system, but, while development costs continued to soar, Congress grew skeptical and delayed its deployment.  By 1969, the Nixon administration was requesting $490 million to deploy Safeguard as a system that would protect domestic missile silos from a Soviet first strike, a weak argument that again failed to persuade Congress -- and for the first time in the postwar era, it appeared that a major weapons project would be cancelled.


Paul Nitze rushed in to help, arguing that without an anti-missile system in development, the US would not be able to bargain with the Soviets to ban such systems.  To further lobby for the system, Nitze called Dean Acheson, and together they assembled a so-called citizen's group named the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy, enlisting the help of another cold warrior, Albert Wohlstetter.  Recruited to assist them were three of Wohlstetters' protégés, Pete Wilson, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle, who came to be known as the three musketeers.  This is quite possibly the moment of birth for today's neoconservative movement, as the committee set about connecting people who were, in Nitze's words, willing to "stand up and be counted."


Many of these connected people formed the foundation of think tanks in Washington, most prominent among these today is the Project for the New American Century, founded in 1997 to ensure American supremacy by Wolfowitz, Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney.  The Project for the New American Century has issued more than 700 policy briefs to the White House and other government institutions.


In 1976, George H.W. Bush as head of the CIA created a contest to upset the agency's dominant view that the Soviet threat had been contained.  Bush ordered a team of existing CIA members to debate with an outside team on the issue.  The outside team was led by Paul Nitze, and included Richard Pipes and other experienced hard-liners, and they easily embarrassed the CIA team.  As a result, it is believed that Bush ordered the agency to adopt the views of the outside team, which asserted that the Soviets were planning a first strike.  (Henry Kissinger, by the way, fought against this assertion.)  This handed the incoming President Carter a heightened state of paranoia to deal with.


During the Reagan years, Nitze teamed with George Shultz to work for arms treaties, and against Caspar Weinberger, Kenneth Adelman, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle (the latter three are members of the Project for the New American Century).  In the end those three were forced out of the treaty discussions, and Nitze, Shultz, and Gorbachev forged the START Treaty.


This shows the complexity of Nitze's legacy.  During the Carter years, he was an ally of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch conservative, when both opposed the SALT II Treaty, but later they became adversaries.  Nitze had trained Paul Wolfowitz, Perle, and many other current neoconservatives in national security and foreign policy, and later fought against them.  What occurred toward the end of Nitze's career in 1989 and near the end of his life in 2004, was nothing less than the co-option of his harshest statements of fear to justify the maintenance of the military industry in the wake of the Cold War, and ultimately to manufacture and justify a permanent war on terror.


In 1945, both Nitze and George Kennan had strongly believed that a massive buildup of conventional weapons and forces, despite the advent of atomic bombs, was necessary to prevent another Pearl Harbor.  This fear of peace -- that if the US began any kind of peaceful existence it would suffer a new Pearl Harbor -- would thrive in the minds of some Americans all the way to September 11, 2001.


NSC68 was not a document specifically written to take or keep power from America's common people; the people have been isolated from power throughout our history.  But NSC68 was the blueprint for shifting from social concerns to military-industrial profit, further elevating corporations to -- and further distancing the people from -- power.  It is the abuse of NSC68 after the Cold War -- in the hands of those in power today -- that has made this distance insurmountable without revolutionary change.


NSC68 further excluded the people from power by making issues more complex than they should have been -- paving the way so that only those among a new breed of so-called foreign policy experts (or wealthy elite) would appear intelligent enough to rule.  But our concern today is with removing those who have abused the fear-mongering of NSC68 to invent a new threat and perpetuate this unequal and unjust system.  Our concern is with changing this set of values that favors the few and taxes the rest of us to death.  Why was NSC68 used as a blueprint for the war on terror?  For the same reason Paul Wolfowitz gave for invading Iraq: "It was doable."  In other words, there was no one around to stop them, to figure out their plan and to accuse them.


Most of you are by now familiar with the origins of the war on terror: that it was planned by Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby under orders from Dick Cheney while Papa Bush was pulling out of the Gulf War in 1992.


In 1997, Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Cheney founded the Project for the New American Century to refine those plans and pass them along to the White House and Pentagon.  In September 2000, they wrote the 90-page policy paper -- Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century -- every part of which has since been integrated into the Pentagon's strategy for the future -- calling for transformation to outpace all nations militarily, no questions asked.


In that report of September 2000, they wrote that this process of transformation was "likely to be a long one absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."  Four months later, they took power and began implementing their plans for the systematic looting of Iraq.  That's what Cheney's Energy Task Force meetings were all about, and why he refused to release any details on those meetings.  Months later, America suffered a new Pearl Harbor.  Why did Cheney stonewall an investigation into 9-11?  Why refuse to give testimony?  Why refuse to organize a committee?  And once a committee was commissioned, witness the nature of its objectivity as told by Paul Wolfowitz in an April 2004 speech honoring Paul Nitze:


"When Don Rumsfeld and I had lunch with members of the 9/11 commission recently (??) one member asked what could they do to ensure that their report would make a real difference, that it would be read five or 10 years from now, instead of just filed away on a dusty shelf.  I realize now that I gave them a pretty tall order.  What I told them, basically, was to write something similar to George Kennan's Long Telegram or Paul Nitze's NSC68.


"I told them that, rarely to my knowledge, has anyone other than historians with a specific interest in the subject, gone back to read the report of the Pearl Harbor Commission.  NSC68, on the other hand, is still studied in colleges and universities, including the war colleges of our military services or our National Defense University.  As every student of security policy must know, NSC68 which was signed by President Truman in 1950, was Nitze's strategic blueprint for the Cold War.  Although written before North Korea rolled south, it was a document that people quickly took up in the wake of the Korean invasion.  Paul recognized the Soviet ideology as an inherent evil."


(By people, Wolfowitz obviously was referring to Congress.)  Why refuse and resist an investigation into 9-11?  Article 3 Section 3 of the Constitution: treason.


Ben Franklin said, "make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you," and that's precisely where we find ourselves today.  We are marching toward inevitable radical change -- good or very bad -- and it is important to explore and embrace our options, not as sheep but as a part of Earth's system of life -- as natural caretakers instead of killers.


Our point of unity today and in the coming weeks is to raise these issues and discuss how we officially became history's greatest peddler of arms rather than its best example of peace and freedom -- and how we can prepare to institute fundamental corrections into what was a revolutionary vision to separate people from such tyranny.  We are excluded from government decisions when a few men can change a nation's priority -- or, today, perpetuate it -- and initiate indefinite war.  We are taught that America is a peaceful, peace-loving country; that we are free and are guaranteed rights to prosperity and equality -- but the hypocrisy is boiling over into the fire.


When millions of people come together and want to remake their government, can they?  The Declaration of Independence repeatedly states that power is derived from the consent of the governed, and that it is our right and our duty to alter or abolish a government that becomes destructive of our future security.  Where and how is this expressed in the Constitution?  How do we proceed?  What best do we say in one message to our government when we gather?


This is not about humankind's difficult past or about absolving America's sins, but about identifying a strategic point around which the people today can and must take control of America through the common concept of Founding principles, to redirect its priority for a last chance at world peace.  This is no longer about America: appropriately for the times, it is about resource sharing and the abolition of war, and that means a wholesale change in American priorities.  We can either be overwhelmed with despair or overjoyed at the opportunity -- as if we are here for a purpose together.  One path follows fear and leads nowhere; one path follows hope and leads to a legacy of peaceful triumph.


When Congressman John Conyers led a meeting to discuss the Downing Street memo (forced into a basement closet, with the opposition filling the day with congressional voting to make things almost impossible), he expressed sentiments on the legal inadequacies for balanced government.  And in a previous hearing with independent media members, he and others on the committee asked for public assistance, saying they were being ignored by media and marginalized by higher republican and democrat leaders.  Asking us for help is a wonderful thing; it shows how bad things are, but also that they recognize the need for major modifications to the current process involving the people.  It says that they are waiting for us to act.


Paul Nitze denounced the war on terror before he died in 2004, but Paul Wolfowitz never talks about that statement, because the warriors on terror have co-opted Nitze's Cold War policy to perpetuate America's war industry.  All the better to neocontrol the world and keep "lesser" Americans from power.  Our condition is not about political parties, but about a deadly national priority.


Today the Pentagon is pressuring Japan to rescind Article 9 of its Constitution as part of our National Defense Strategy (drafted by guess who -- it's a mirror of the 90-page Project for the New American Century report of 2000).  The first nation on Earth to use weapons of mass destruction, the United States, is urging the only nation to suffer nuclear attacks, Japan, to re-establish a military and arm itself with nuclear weapons.  Why?  War is our business, so we make it everyone else's too.  On Wall Street, war is damn good for business.


But America's business should be its people's prosperity; our global business should be life's prosperity.  That's where the Constitution should come into play.  According to the Declaration of Independence, the highest office in the land may be the presidency, but the greatest power rests with the people.  People is a title above that of President or Secretary of Defense or Attorney General or Doctor or Professor.  What was the purpose of the Declaration, to break from one land of tyranny to build another?  Our Founding documents should be the manual for correcting an America in progress, for the correction of stolen priorities.  And I think we can sell this point to a war-torn world and an increasingly frustrated American populace.


Foreign policy is what a few men make it, and that is terribly wrong.  NSC68 is where America -- officially -- took the wrong road.  It represents the cause of our myriad symptoms today.


In my campaign outreach, students are invariably shocked and disturbed by the depth of the war-industry in our lives -- they recognize the need to address this to have a future, to use their degrees.  A moment of change is approaching and we must prepare as best we can together.  To borrow words from the men who currently own the planet: "the process of transformation is likely to be a long one absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event," like an oil-price rebellion, a market crash, and peaceful revolution.  And you and I and the children of the world will lead that revolution.



Masters degree candidate Brian Bogart is University of Oregon's only graduate in Peace Studies and founder of the nationwide CampU.S. Strike for Peace Campaign, which seeks to broaden awareness of America's disordered priorites.


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