Monday, November 27, 2006

PLEASE, PLEASE Take The Time To Learn Our History.

Howard Zinn on The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism
Friday, November 24th, 2006


Howard Zinn is one of this country's most celebrated historians. His classic work "A People's History of the United States" changed the way we look at history in America. First published a quarter of a century ago, the book has sold over a million copies and is a phenomenon in the world of publishing - selling more copies each successive year.

After serving as a bombardier in World War II, Howard Zinn went on to become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. He was active in the civil rights movement and many of the struggles for social justice over the past 40 years.

He taught at Spelman College, the historically black college for women, and was fired for insubordination for standing up for the students. He was recently invited back to give the commencement address.

Howard Zinn has written numerous books and is professor emeritus at Boston University. He recently spoke in Madison, Wisconsin where he was receiving the Haven Center's Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship. We bring you his lecture, "The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism."


HOWARD ZINN: Madison is a very special place. I always have a special feeling when I come here. I have a feeling I am in a different country. And I'm glad, you know. Some people get disgusted of the American policy, and they go to live in some other country. No. Go to Madison.

So, now I'm supposed to say something. I am glad you're there, whoever you are, and this light is shining in my eyes to wake me up.

Well, do you get the feeling sometime that you're living in an occupied country? Very often that's a feeling I get when I wake up in the morning. I think, "I'm living in an occupied country. A small group of aliens have taken over the country and are trying to do with it what they will, you know, and really are." I mean, they are alien to me. I mean, those people who are coming across the border from Mexico, they are not alien to me, you see. You know, Muslims who come to this country to live, they are not alien to me, you see. These demonstrations, these wonderful demonstrations that we have seen very recently on behalf of immigrant rights, say, and you've seen those signs saying, you know, "No human being is alien." And I think that's true. Except for the people in Washington, you see.

They've taken over the country. They've taken over the policy. They've driven us into two disastrous wars, disastrous for our country and even more disastrous for people in the Middle East. And they have sucked up the wealth of this country and given it to the rich, and given it to the multinationals, given it to Halliburton, given it to the makers of weapons. They're ruining the environment. And they're holding on to 10,000 nuclear weapons, while they want us to worry about the fact that Iran may, in ten years, get one nuclear weapon. You see, really, how mad can you be?

And the question is, how has this been allowed to happen? How have they gotten away with it? They're not following the will of the people. I mean, they manufactured a will of the people for a very short time right after the war started, as governments are able to do right after the beginning of an armed conflict, in order to able to create an atmosphere of war hysteria. And so for a short time, they captivated the minds of the American people. That's not true anymore. The American people have begun to understand what is going on and have turned against the policies in Washington, but of course they are still there. They are still in power. The question is, you know, how did they get away with that?

So, in trying to answer the question, I looked a little at the history of Nazi Germany. No, it's not that we are Nazi Germany, but you can learn lessons from everybody and from anybody's history. In this case, I was interested in the ideas of Hermann Goring, who, you may know, was second in command to Hitler, head of the Luftwaffe. And at the end of World War II, when the Nazi leaders were put on trial in Nuremberg, Hermann Goring was in prison along with other of the leaders of the Nazi regime. And he was visited in prison by a psychologist who was given the job of interviewing the defendants at Nuremberg.

And this psychologist took notes and, in fact, a couple of years after the war, wrote a book called Nuremberg Diary, in which he recorded -- put his notes in that book, and he recorded his conversation with Hermann Goring. And he asked Goring, how come that Hitler, the Nazis were able to get the German people to go along with such absurd and ruinous policies of war and aggression? And I happen to have those notes with me. We always say"We happen to have these things just, you know, by chance."

And Goring said, "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same way in any country."

I was interested in that last line: "It works the same way in any country." I mean, here, these are the Nazis. That's the fascist regime. We are a democracy. But it works the same way in any country, whatever you call yourself. Whether you call yourself a totalitarian state or you call yourself a democracy, it works the same way, and that is, the leaders of the country are able to cajole or coerce and entice the people into war by scaring them, telling them they're in danger, and threatening them and coercing them, that if they don't go along, they will be considered unpatriotic. And this is what really happened in this country right after 9/11. And this is happened right after Bush raised the specter of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and got for a while the American people to go along with this.

But the question is, how did they get away with it? What about the press? What about the media? Isn't it the job of the press, isn't it the job of the media, isn't it the job of journalism to expose what governments do? Don't journalists learn from I.F. Stone, who said, "Just remember two words," he said to young people who were studying journalism, he said, "Just remember two words: governments lie"? Well, but the media have not picked up on that. The media have gone along, and they embraced the idea of weapons of mass destruction. You remember when Colin Powell appeared before the United Nations just before the onset of the Iraq war and laid out to the UN this litany of weaponry that Iraq possessed, according to him, and gave great details in how many canisters of this and how many tons of this, and so on and so forth. And the next day, the press was just aglow with praise. They didn't do their job of questioning. They didn't do their job of asking, "Where? What is your evidence? Where did you get this intelligence? Who did you talk to? What are your sources?"

Isn't this what you learn as a freshman in college? "Hey, what are your sources? Where are your footnotes?" No, no. They were just -- the Washington Post said, "It is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction." And the New York Times, you know, it was just beside themselves with admiration for Colin Powell. Of course, it all turned out to be untrue, all turned out to be lies. But the press did not do its job, and as a result, the American people, watching television, reading the newspapers, had no alternative source of information, no alternative opinion, no alternative critical analysis of what was going on.

And the question is, why still did the people believe what they read in the press, and why did they believe what they saw on television? And I would argue that it has something to do with a loss of history, has something to do with, well, what Studs Terkel called "national amnesia," either the forgetting of history or the learning of bad history, the learning of the kind of history that you do get, of Columbus was a hero, and Teddy Roosevelt is a hero, and Andrew Jackson is a hero, and all these guys who were presidents and generals and industrialists, and so on. They are the great -- they are the people who made America great, and America has always done good things in the world. And we have had our little problems, of course -- like slavery, for instance, you know -- but we overcome them, you know, and, you know. No, not that kind of history.

If the American people really knew history, if they learned history, if the educational institutions did their job, if the press did its job in giving people historical perspective, then a people would understand. When the President gets up before the microphone, says we must go to war for this or for that, for liberty or for democracy, or because we're in danger, and so on, if people had some history behind them, they would know how many times presidents have announced to the nation, we must go to war for this reason or that reason. They would know that President Polk said, "Oh, we must go to war against Mexico, because, well, there was an incident that took place on the border there, and our honor demands that we go to war."

They would know, if they knew some history, how President McKinley took the nation into war against Spain and Cuba, saying, "Oh, we're going in to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control." And in fact, there was a little bit of truth to that: we did go in, we fought against Spain, we got Spain out of Cuba, we liberated them from Spain, but not from ourselves. And so, Spain was out, and United Fruit was in, and then the American banks and the American corporations were in.

And if people knew their history, they would know, you know, that President McKinley said, when -- as the American army was already in the Philippines and the American navy was already in the Philippines, and Theodore Roosevelt, one of our great presidential heroes, was lusting for war, then people would know that McKinley, who did not know where the Philippines were, but very often now presidents need to be briefed and told where something is. You know, George Bush, "This is Iraq is," you know. Lyndon Johnson, "This is where the Gulf of Tonkin is." You know, they need it.

And president -- they would know, if they knew history, that President McKinley said, "We're going into the Philippines to civilize and Christianize the Filipinos." And if they knew their history, if the history books spent some time on the war in the Philippines in the early part of the 20th century, instead of, as history books do -- they spend a lot of time on the Spanish-American War, which just lasted three months -- they spend virtually no time on the war on the Philippines, a bloody war which lasted, oh, seven years, and which involved massacres and the extermination of populations. That history doesn't appear. You know, we had civilized and Christianized the Filipinos and established our control.

They would know, if they heard the President say, "We are going to bring democracy to the Middle East," they would know how many times we brought democracy to other countries that we invaded. They would know if we brought democracy to Chile, when we overthrew a democratically elected government in Chile in 1973. They would know how we brought democracy to Guatemala when we overthrew, again, a democratically elected -- oh, we love democratic elections, we love free elections, except when they go the wrong way. And then we send either our army in or the CIA in or secret agents in to overthrow the government.

If people knew that history, they would never for a moment believe President Bush, when he says, oh, we're going into Iraq, you know, because of this reason and that reason and liberty and democracy, and they're a threat, you know. I mean, it takes -- yeah, it takes some historical understanding to be skeptical of the things that authorities tell you.

When you know history, you know that governments lie, as I.F. Stone said. Governments lie all the time. Well, not just the American government. It's just in the nature of governments. Well, they have to lie. I mean, governments in general do not represent the people of the societies that they govern. And since they don't represent the people and since they act against the interest of the people, the only way they can hold power is if they lie to the people. If they told people the truth, they wouldn't last very long. So history can help in understanding deception and being skeptical and not rushing to embrace whatever the government tells you.

And if you know some history, you would understand something which is even more basic, perhaps, than the question of lying about this war or lying about this invasion, lying about this intervention, something more basic, if you knew some history: you would understand a sort of fundamental fact about society, and including our society, that the interests of the government and the interests of the people are not the same.

It's very important to know this, because the culture tries very hard to persuade us that we all have a common interest. If they use the language "national interest" -- there's no national interest. There's their interest and our interest. National security -- now, whose security? National defense, whose defense? All these words and phrases are used to try to encircle us all into a nice big bond, so that we will assume that the people who are the leaders of our country have our interests at heart. Very important to understand: no, they do not have our interests at heart.

You will hear a young fellow who is going off to Iraq. I remember hearing the same thing when a young fellow went off to Vietnam. And a reporter goes up to the young fellow and says, "You know, young man, you're going off, and what are your thoughts and why are you doing this?" And the young man says, "I'm doing this for my country." No, he's not doing it for his country. And now, she's not doing it for her country. The people who go off to war are not doing fighting for their country. No, they're not doing their country any good. They're not doing their families any good. They're certainly not doing the people over there any good. But they're not doing it for their country. They're doing it for their government. They're doing it for Bush. That would be a more accurate thing to say: "I'm going off to fight for George Bush. I'm going off to fight for Cheney. I'm going off to fight for Rumsfeld. I'm going off to fight for Halliburton." Yeah, that would be telling the truth.

And, in fact, you know, to know the history of this country is to know that we have had conflict of interest in this country from the very beginning between the people in authority and the ordinary people. We were not one big happy family that fought the American Revolution against England. I remember, you know, in school, that's how it seemed, you know: they're the patriots, and there's all of us, working, fighting together at Valley Forge and Bunker Hill, and so on, against the Redcoats and the British, and so on. It wasn't that way at all. It wasn't a united country.

Washington had to send generals down south to use violence against young people to force them into military service. Soldiers in the revolutionary army mutinied against Washington, against officers, because there was class conflict in the army, just as there had been class conflict all through the colonies before the Revolutionary War. Well, anybody who knows the military, anybody who's been in the military, knows that the military is a class society. There are the privates, and there are the officers. And in the Revolutionary War, the privates were not getting shoes, and they were not getting clothes and not getting food, and they were not getting paid. And the officers were living high in resplendence. And so, they mutinied, thousands of them.

I don't remember ever learning about that when I studied history in school, because the myth comes down: oh, we're all one big happy family. You mean, including the black slaves? You mean, including the Native Americans, whose land we were taking from them, mile by mile by mile by mile? We're all one big happy family? The women, who were left out of all of this, were -- no, very important to understand that fundamental fact: those people who run the country and we, our interests are not the same.

So, yes, history is useful for that, for understanding -- understanding that we are a nation like other nations, for understanding that we are not, as again we are taught from early on, we are the greatest, we are number one, we are the best. And what -- it's called American exceptionalism in the social sciences. The United States is an exception to the rule of nations. That is, the general rule of nations is they're pretty bad. But the United States, our country, we are good. We do good in the world.

Not long ago, I was on a radio program, interviewed by -- this was sort of a regular commercial station. I like to be interviewed on regular commercial stations, where the guy really doesn't know who he's invited, you see. And he says, "Professor Zinn, don't you think America has, in general, been a force for good in the world?" "No, no, no." Why not ask me, "Do you think the British Empire was a force for good in Africa, or the Belgians were a force for good in the Congo, or the French were a force for good in Indochina? You think the United States was a force for good when they sent the Marines into Central America again and again and" -- no.

But there's this notion of, you know, we are different. We are the great -- I mean, sure, there are very great things about America, but that's not what we did to other countries, not what we did to black people, not what we did to Native Americans, not what we did to working people in this country who suffered twelve-hour days until they organized and rebelled and rose up. No, we have to be honest with ourselves.

This is a very hard thing to do: be honest about ourselves. I mean, but, you know, you're brought up and you say, "I pledge allegiance," you know, etc., etc., "liberty and justice for all," "God bless America." Why us? Why does God blessing us? I mean, why is He singling us out for blessing? You know. Why not, "God bless everybody"? If indeed, you know -- but, you know, we're brought up -- if we were brought up to understand our history, we would know, no, we're like other nations, only more so, because we are bigger and have more guns and more bombs, and therefore are capable of more violence. We can do what other empires were not able to do to such an extent. You know, we are rich. Well, not all of us. Some of us are, you see? But, no, we have to be honest.

Don't people join Alcoholics Anonymous so that they can stand up and be honest about themselves? Maybe we ought to have an organization called Imperialists Anonymous, you know, and have the leaders of the country get up there on national television and say, "Well, it's time, you know -- time to tell the truth." It would be -- I don't expect it to happen, but it would be refreshing.

And then, if we knew this history, we would understand how often fear has been used as a way of getting people to act against their own interests to work up hysteria and to get people to do terrible things to other people, because they've been made afraid. Wasn't it fear and hysteria that motivated lynch mobs in the South? Wasn't there created fear of black people, hysteria about black people, that led white people to do some of the most atrocious things that have been done in our history? And isn't it today -- isn't it fear, fear of Muslims, not just terrorists, in general? Of course, fear of terrorists, especially fear of Muslims, you see? A very ugly kind of sentiment to inculcate on the American people, and creating a kind of hysteria, which then enables them to control the population and enable them to send us into war after war and to threaten, you know, still another war.

And if we knew some history, we would know about the hysteria that accompanied the Cold War, the hysteria about communism. It's not that communism didn't exist, just as terrorism does exist, yes. It's not that communism -- communism existed, and there was a Soviet Union, and it was repressive to its own people, and it did control Eastern Europe, but there was an enormous exaggeration of the Soviet threat to the point where -- oh, it's not just that they're in Eastern Europe. It's, they're going to invade Western Europe.

By the way, no evidence of that. CIA analysts who were specialists in the Soviet Union in recent years came forth and said there was never any evidence that the Soviet Union were going to invade Western Europe. But against that, NATO was created. Against that, the United States built up an enormous nuclear arsenal.

The Soviets were always behind the United States. They built up the Soviets as a threat, but after all, who had the atom bomb first? And who had more atom bombs than anybody? And who was the only country that actually dropped atomic bombs on ordinary people in two cities in Japan? And so, we who use the atomic bomb, we who accumulate the atomic bomb, we create a hysteria about countries that are desperately trying to catch up. Of course, Iran will never catch up, and North Korea will never catch up. The Soviet Union tried to catch up. But in creating this monster threat, we took trillions of dollars of the wealth of this country and expended it on military budgets.

And the hysteria about communism reached the point where -- and I'm not just talking about school kids hiding under their desks, you know, because the Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. There was no evidence the Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. By the way, there is evidence that the joint chiefs of staff, the people high up in the American government, at various, various times proposed preventive war, dropping nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. But we created a threat so ominous, so omnipresent, that kids were, yeah, hiding under their desks, and also so that anything that happened anywhere in the world that was not to the liking of the United States became part of the world communist threat.

And so, to deal with that, we could go into any country in Latin America that we wanted. And because it was a communist threat, we would send an army over to Vietnam, and several million people would die, because Vietnam became the symbol of the communist threat in the world. When you think about how absurd it was to worry that Vietnam, already divided into a communist north and anti-communist south, to worry that, oh, now half of this tiny country is going to become communist, and just to the north a billion people had turned to communism. And there's something a little bizarre.

But, you know, bizarre thinking is possible when you create fear and hysteria. And we're facing, of course, that situation today with this whole business of terrorism. And if you added up all the times in speeches of George Bush and his Cabinet and all the times they used the word "terrorism" and "terror," it's a mantra they have created to frighten the American people.

I think it's wearing off. You know, when you -- I think there's beginning to be some recognition, and that accounts for the fact that public opinion has turned against the war. People no longer believe that we're fighting in Iraq in order to get rid of terrorism, you know, because the evidence has become so overwhelming that even the mainstream media has reported it -- you know, the National Intelligence Estimate. And this is the government's own intelligence agencies saying that the war in Iraq has caused a growth of terrorist groups, has increased militancy and radicalism among Islamic groups in the Middle East.

But terrorism has supplanted communism as an attempt to get people to do things against their own interests, to do things that will send their own young people to war, to do things that will cause the depletion of the country's wealth for the purposes of war and for the enrichment of the super-rich. It doesn't take much thought about terrorism to realize that when somebody talks about a war on terrorism, they're dealing with a contradiction in terms. How can you make war on terrorism, if war itself is terrorism? Because -- so you respond to terrorism with terrorism, and you multiply the terrorism in the world.

And, of course, the terrorism that governments are capable of by going to war is on a far, far greater scale than the terrorism of al-Qaeda or this group or that group or another group. Governments are terrorists on an enormously large scale. The United States has been engaging in terrorism against Afghanistan, against Iraq, and now they're threatening to extend their terrorism to other places in the Middle East.

And some history of the use of fear and hysteria and some history of the Cold War and of the anti-communist hysteria would be very useful in alerting people to what we are going through today. I mean, with Iran, for instance, it's shameful, and the media have played such a part in this, of the Iran nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. They don't say they have a nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. So do I. Yeah, it's easy to want a nuclear weapon. And small countries that face enormous military powers and who cannot possibly match the military power of these enormous countries, they are following what was the strategy of the United States: the United States said, "We must have a deterrent." How many times have you heard, when you ask, "Why do we have 10,000 nuclear weapons?" "We must have a deterrent." Well, they want a deterrent: one nuclear weapon. You know.

Not that situation with Iraq. I mean, you know, Condoleezza Rice: "a mushroom cloud." We were the only ones who created mushroom clouds, over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Iraq was in no position to create a mushroom cloud. All the experts on the Middle East and atomic weapons said, you know, Iraq was five-ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon, but we were creating, you know, hysteria about nuclear weapons.

Now we're doing the same thing with Iran. And the International Atomic Energy group of the UN flatly contradicts a congressional report which talks about the danger of Iran's nuclear weapons, and the international group, which has conducted many, many inspections in Iran, says, well, you know, you need to -- and they give the American people a kind of half-education. That is, they say, they use the phrase, "They're enriching uranium." Well, that scares me. You know, they're enriching uranium. I don't really know what it means, you see, but it's scary. And then you read the report of the International Atomic Energy group, and you see, well, yes, they are. They've enriched uranium to the point of 3.5%. In order to have one nuclear weapon, they have to enrich it to 90%. They're very, very far from even developing one nuclear weapon, but the phrase "enriched uranium" is, you know, repeated again and again, you know.

And so, yes, we need some historical understanding, yeah, just remembering back to Iraq, just remembering back to the hysteria around Vietnam. My god, a communist might take over South Vietnam! And then what? Just a short hop to San Francisco. No, some of you may remember that when Reagan was supporting the Contras in Nicaragua, he was saying, "You know, you see where Nicaragua is? It wouldn't take much for them to get to Texas." I wondered about that, you see? And then I wondered, why would the Nicaraguans want to get to Texas? And this is no slur on Texas, but -- and once they got to Texas, what would they do? Take a United Airlines flight to Washington. What would they -- but really, it's very important to know some of that history to see how hysteria absolutely cripples consciousness about what is going on.

I would suggest something else. I'm getting worried about how much time I have taken. Well, actually, I'm not getting worried about how much time I've taken. I don't care. I'm looking at my watch to pretend that I care. And since I don't know when I started, I can't figure out how long I've been talking.

But at some point the war in Iraq will come to an end. At some point, the United States will do in Iraq what it did in Vietnam, after saying, "We will never leave. We will never leave. We will win. We will stay the course. We will not cut and run." At some point, the United States is going to have to cut and run from Iraq, you see. And they're going to do it because the sentiment is going to grow and grow and grow in this country and because more and more GIs are going to come back from Iraq and say, "We're not going back again," and because they're going to have more and more trouble supplying the armed forces in Iraq, and because the parents of young people are going to say more and more, "We are not going to allow our young people to go to war for Bechtel, you know, and Halliburton. We're not going to do that." So at some point, yes, at some point we are going to do what they say we mustn't do: cut and run.

We don't have to cut and run. Cut and walk. Cut and swim. Cut, but get out, as fast as you can, because we're not doing any good there. We're not helping the situation. We're not bringing peace. We're not bringing a democracy. We're not bringing stability. We're bringing violence and chaos. We're provoking all of that, and people are dying every day. When a Democratic leader says, "Well, I think we ought to withdraw by May 14th, 2000-and-whatever." You know, yeah, every day from now until then more people will die, and more people will lose arms or legs or become blinded. And so, that is intolerable. And so, we have to do everything we can.

And in the case of Vietnam, at a certain point the government realized it could not carry on the war. The GIs were coming back from Vietnam and turning against the war. They couldn't bring people to join the ROTC. Too many people were running to Canada. Too many people were not signing up for the draft. Finally, it had to do away with the draft. They were losing the support of the population. They were losing support of the military. And at a certain point, no.

And something like that is going to happen. And the sooner we help it happen, of course, the better. The more we go into the high schools -- you know, there's a very practical thing, very practical thing that everybody can do, and that is, go to their local high schools and make sure that all the parents and all the kids in high schools understand that they don't have to give their information to the military recruiters, you see, as, you know. And more and more have teams of people who will counter the propaganda of the military recruiters.

You know, they are having trouble. They're getting desperate about recruiting for the military, going to all sorts of lengths and, of course, they're concentrating -- they send their military recruiters into the poorest schools, because they know that the working class kids are the most vulnerable, the most needy, the ones who, you know -- they need an education, they need a skill, and so. And so, they're trying to prey on the working class. Eugene Debs said -- if you don't mind my quoting Eugene Debs -- but Eugene Debs said in a speech during World War I, which landed him in jail, "The master class has always started the wars. The working class has always fought the wars." And, of course, that has been true all the way. So we will at some point get out of Iraq.

But I want to suggest one thing: we have to think beyond Iraq and even beyond Iran. We don't want to have to struggle against this war and then against that war and then against the next war. We don't want to have an endless succession of antiwar movements. It gets tiring. And we need to think and talk and educate about the abolition of war itself, you see.

I was talking to my barber the other day, because we always discuss world politics. And he's totally politically unpredictable, as most barbers are, you see. He said, "Howard," he said, "you know, you and I disagree on many things, but on one thing we agree: war solves nothing." And I thought, "Yeah." It's not hard for people to grasp that.

And there again, history is useful. We've had a history of war after war after war after war. What have they solved? What have they done? Even World War II, the "good war," the war in which I volunteered, the war in which I dropped bombs, the war after which, you know, I received a letter from General Marshall, general of generals, a letter addressed personally to me, and to 16 million others, in which he said, "We've won the war. It will be a new world." Well, of course, it wasn't a new world. It hasn't been a new world. War after war after war.

There are certain -- I came out of that war, the war in which I had volunteered, the war in which I was an enthusiastic bombardier, I came out of that war with certain ideas, which just developed gradually at the end of the war, ideas about war. One, that war corrupts everybody who engages in it. War poisons everybody who engages in it. You start off as the good guys, as we did in World War II. They're the bad guys. They're the fascists. What could be worse? So, they're the bad guys, we're the good guys. And as the war goes on, the good guys begin behaving like the bad guys. You can trace this back to the Peloponnesian War. You can trace it back to the good guy, the Athenians, and the bad guys, the Spartans. And after a while, the Athenians become ruthless and cruel, like the Spartans.

And we did that in World War II. We, after Hitler committed his atrocities, we committed our atrocities. You know, our killing of 600,000 civilians in Japan, our killing of probably an equal number of civilians in Germany. These, they weren't Hitler, they weren't Tojo. They weren't -- no, they were just ordinary people, like we are ordinary people living in a country that is a marauding country, and they were living in countries that were marauding countries, and they were caught up in whatever it was and afraid to speak up. And I don't know, I came to the conclusion, yes, war poisons everybody.

And war -- this is an important thing to keep in mind -- that when you go to war against a tyrant -- and this was one of the claims: "Oh, we're going to get rid of Saddam Hussein," which was, of course, nonsense. They didn't -- did our government care that Saddam Hussein tyrannized his own people? We helped him tyrannize his people. We helped him gas the Kurds. We helped him accumulate weapons of mass destruction, really.

And the people you kill in a war are the victims of the tyrant. The people we killed in Germany were the victims of Hitler. The people we killed in Japan were the victims of the Japan Imperial Army, you know. And the people who die in wars are more and more and more people who are not in the military. You may know this about the different ratio of civilian-to-military deaths in war, how in World War I, ten military dead for one civilian dead; in World War II, it was 50-50, half military, half civilian; in Vietnam, it was 70% civilian and 30% military; and in the wars since then, it's 80% and 85% civilian.

I became friends a few years ago with an Italian war surgeon named Gino Strada. He spent ten years, fifteen years doing surgery on war victims all over the world. And he wrote a book about it, Green Parrots: Diary of a War Surgeon. He said in all the patients that he operated on in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere, 85% of them were civilians, one-third of them, children. If you understand, and if people understand, and if you spread the word of this understanding, that whatever is told to you about war and how we must go to war, and whatever the threat is or whatever the goal is -- a democracy or liberty -- it will always be a war against children. They're the ones who will die in large numbers.

So, war -- well, Einstein said this after World War I. He said, "War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished." War has to be abolished, you know. And it's -- I know it's a long shot. I understand that, but you have to -- when something's a long shot, but it has to be done, you have to start doing it. Just as the ending of slavery in this country in the 1830s was a really long shot, but people stuck at it, and it took 30 years, but slavery was done away with. And we can see this again and again. So, we have a job to do. We have lots of things to do.

One of the things we can learn from history is that history is not only a history of things inflicted on us by the powers that be. History is also a history of resistance. It's a history of people who endure tyranny for decades, but who ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator. We've seen this in country after country, surprise after surprise. Rulers who seem to have total control, they suddenly wake up one day, and there are a million people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. This has happened in the Philippines, in Yemen, all over, in Nepal. Million people in the streets, and then the ruler has to get out of the way. So, this is what we're aiming for in this country.

Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because that's how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and then something good and something important happens.

Thank you.

Standing in the Shadows With My Heart Right in My Hand....

I Find It Everywhere

O SERVANT, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."

Translated by Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Who is Amma?

I'm off to a retreat with Amma for the rest of the week. Following is a brief description of who she is. You can find out more at


On the morning of the 27th of September 1953, in a small poor fishing village, Parayakadavu in the Quilon district of Kerala, a baby girl was born. Her parents gave her the name Sudhamani. She came into this world not in tears as babies usually do, but with a beaming smile on her face, as if prophesying the joy and bliss she was to bring to the world.

Sudhamani spent the years of her childhood and teens immersed in intense spiritual practices in order to present a living example for the world. Even as a small child, she could often be found absorbed in deep meditation, totally oblivious of her surroundings. By the age of five, she had already begun composing devotional songs laden with deep mystical insight.

Another quality that was clearly manifest in Sudhamani from this tender age was her love and compassion toward her fellow human beings. Though only a child, Sudhamani did whatever she could to ease the suffering of her elderly neighbors. She washed their clothes, bathed them and even brought them food and clothing from her own home. This habit of giving away things from her family’s house landed her in deep trouble. However, no amount physical abuse or punishment could stop the expression of her inborn compassion. She later said, " An unbroken stream of Love flows from me towards all beings in the cosmos. That is my inborn nature."

‘Amma’ as she is known all over the world today, has inspired and started innumerable humanitarian services. She has earned international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the world community. She is recognized as an extraordinary spiritual leader by the United Nations and by the people all over the world.

Though Amma makes no claims herself, those who watch her closely notice that she is the greatest example of her teaching. Her disciples and believers imbibe her teachings by just watching her.

For the past 35 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 25 million people throughout the world.

When someone asked Amma why she receives every person who comes to her in a loving embrace Amma replied, “ If you ask the river,' why do you flow?' what can it say?”

Amma spends most of her waking hours receiving the distressed and all who come to her for comfort, day after day without a break.

Once a press reporter asked Amma how was it possible for her to embrace each and every one in the same loving way, even if they were diseased or unpleasant. Amma replied, “ When a bee hovers over a garden of varied flowers, what it beholds is not the difference between the flowers but the honey within them. Similarly Amma sees the same Supreme Self in each and every one.”
As Dr. Jane Goodall, while presenting Amma with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence said, " She stands here in front of us. God's love in a human body."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Clues to Why You Might Feel You Don't Fit In

The Post-Larval Must Be Very Cautious in Communicating with Larval Humans

by Dr. Timothy Leary

Exo-psychology holds that the human larval exists in a reality defined by the four survival imprints. Although the brain receives 100 million impulses a second, mundane consciousness is limited to signals which have been conditioned to one of the four imprinted game-boards.

Unconditioned sensations, the raw swirl of an unfiltered reality, exist as background noise.

In communicating with larvals the following points must, therefore, be remembered:

The larval has no interest in you, you do not exist, unless you can hook into Hir limited reality-island, transmit on Hir narrow mind-band, unless your behavior offers meaning in terms of possible benefit or threat to Hir:

cellular well being

emotional-hierarchical status

artifact manipulation game

socio-sexual security; domestic reassurance

All larval interactions are instrumental to one of the four survival attitudes. Larvals are comfortably adapted to this limited four-channel communication, scan automatically for the survival meaning of each stimulus and scuttle by each other like ants, each intent on Hir own "reality" - reacting automaticallly to relevant cues from others.

Larval communication occurs in terms of four systems, some of which are comprehensible to the entire species, some of which are limited to members of the same cultural-imprint group.

Larvals do not like to receive information unless the facts fit into their 3rd Circuit reality net and immediately reward their emotional status. Democrats were delighted to hear the facts about Nixon, but Republicans were irritated and resistant.

Larvals submit themselves to learn new symbols only under special motivational circumstances where the new connections build on and confirm established systems or give promise of future emotional rewards of which the teacher is model.

Larvals fervently resist new symbols which require a change in their network of associations. This resistance to learning is not psychological; it is neurological and biochemical. New ideas require a change in the wiring of associations and literally cause a "headache."

Communicating with a larval involves building onto the net of associations. You must literally wire each new idea to an existing neural connection. Larvals learn almost no new symbol systems after childhood. They simply add on or translate into symbols closely connected to the imprint. This accounts for the fact that it takes at least one generation for a new idea to be understood.

It is especially important in communicating with larvals to remember that few symbols now exist for post-larval processes.

You cannot use butterfly language
to communicate with caterpillars.

Circuit 4 language involves domestic-moral and social values. Here we discover that there are great cultural differences. The basic sperm-egg invitations to orgasm are, of course, global, but the semantics of displacement, inhibition and sublimation become subtle. Indeed, the individuality, intimacy, specificity, inconsistency and volatility of value symbols requires the greatest caution on the part of post-larvals communicating with yokels.

Most larvals live in terror of being seen as sinful or "bad." Constant reassurance is required to maintain the feeling of being socially approved.

In communicating with larvals about sexual, philosophic, or ethical matters, one enters very dangerous terrain. It is almost impossible to discuss philosophy with yokels. Hypocrisy, unconscious motivation, irrational paradox, need for approval and fear-of-shame dominate every discussion of philosophy-religion.

Larvals may be bored by and may tune-out Circuit 3 symbols which do not fit their imprints and conditioned networks. But Circuit 4 moral symbols or behaviors which are sensed as different trigger off responses of passion and even violence. Because of this philosophic sensitivity, yokel humans tend to avoid philosophic discussions.

This phobia can cause painful reactions when a post-larval attempts to discuss exo-psychology with a mundane.

The reasons for this philosophic phobia:

1. Yokels are ignorant about where life came from, where it is going and why. They are thus terrified by their mortality. Each larval has accepted a flimsy philosophy of life-and-death which SHe does not really believe. Thus the irritation and panic when this basic hypocrisy is threatened by a scientific discussion about life-origin and life destination.

"The Lutheran church has always been based on the Bible," explains Phil Beck, Production Manager of a local paint company and the superintendent of the Church's Sunday School. "If you start questioning it, where do you stop? If I have to have that much education to sit down and understand Genesis, then why did God let Luther put it in the people's language? At what point do I throw the whole mad mess out the door?" Time magazine

2. Yokels are robot-slaves to DNA. They blindly labor to perpetuate the species, to breed, to establish domestic arrangements for rearing young and to transmit cultural survival patterns. Any discussion which threatens to expose or question this robothood is extremely painful. The larval cannot tolerate the insight into uneasy areas of uncertainty.

3. Expression and inhibition of sexual behavior is charged with terror, because orgasm and sperm-egg transfer must be domesticated to provide for stable child rearing.

In communicating with larvals one must realize that discussions about life, death, philosophic ultimates, child-rearing, sexuality - are highly individualistic. Reactions to these topics are unpredictable, depending on the intimacy and safety of the situation.

Hypocrisy and violent defensiveness is endemic.

Post-terrestrials, of course, think of little else except what happens after larval imprints are retracted. They are fascinated by communications with their body, their brain, their DNA.

Post-larvals emit vibrations which sometimes disturb yokels and other times seduce them into a temporary abandonment of philosophic repressions.

Post-terrestrials are usually funny, erotic, relativistic and philosophically provocative. Yokels can unconsciously sense the difference in a post-terrestrial. It is therefore advisable to be accurate and sensitive when interacting with larvals.

One must be careful not to seduce the yokel into betraying too much truth.

During a philosophic discussion with post-terrestrials, larvals will often get carried away in temporary enthusiasm, confess doubt about their cosmologies, admit ethical relativities and even accept post-larval strivings to leave the planet and escape death.

The post-terrestrial is urged to act with delicacy to avoid any overt or implied criticism of yokel values. It must be remembered that, to the larval, astronomy and genetics involve 4th Circuit ethical issues, which threaten loss of moral approval.

Discussing exo-psychology with a yokel is like discussing sexual experiences with a pre-adolescent. SHe just can't understand the new reality because Hir neural circuits have not been turned-on. And SHe may turn you in for philosophic child-molesting.

Sooner or later the larval is going to realize that, after the exciting flight conversation, SHe is going to remain grounded. At this point the yokel can become passionately moralistic, attacking the post-terrestrial for being elitist, callous to human suffering, anti-human, escapist, or even diabolical.

Immortals must be careful not to wound the sensibilities of mortals.

In particular, one must be diplomatic in discussing the future evolution of the human species. Larval humans naturally believe that evolution has already reached its highest stage with homo sapiens!

Circuit 7 discussions which suggest that evolution is just half-completed, that the human species is fetal and not yet born, that many new superior species will evolve from the present gene pool - are especially wounding to yokel hubris.

Science fiction writers and astronomers have often speculated on the problem of communication between human and interstellar entities. This problem is no longer academic. It is happening. This book is an example.

Post-terrestrials Must Also Be Cautious In Communicating with Premature Post-larvals

"The Hippy" and the "Yogi-Body Engineer" represent the first two of twelve post-terrestrial stages, transitional stages of "wingless butterflies," evolved beyond terrestrial attachments, no longer hooked to mundane symbols. The one-G earth and its survival routines are no longer "real." The Hippie-Zen adept is no longer reflexively reactive to emotional status cues, is unmotivated for dexterous success and unmoved by the virtue-shame systems by which society domesticates its workers; but has not yet evolved to the mastery of the newly activated circuits. The true post-terrestrial is shame-less.

The word "Hippy" is a generic term for the first post-larval stages describing those who genetically (Zodiac type) , neurologically (imprint) or historically (hedonic/sub-cultures) get trapped in passive-receptive hedonic life styles. Transcendental masturbation.

The first post-Hiroshima generation has produced millions of Zen "Hippies" who have evolved from the mundane but do not realize that they are extra-terrestrial.

The problem is, in part, one of historical linguistics. The only languages, the only symbols provided by primitive psychology for extramundane experiences were "larval religious." The new reality of the Hippy is symbolized by vague, mystical terms.

A communication vacuum develops. On the one hand, The Hippy, Yogi and Tantric relaizes that SHe has evolved somehow. On the other hand, the five-brained person, detached from larval symbols, lurches around grasping at any transcendental straw - magic, occultism, chanting, witchcraft, telepathy, guru-ism, mystical Christianity, Hassidism, experimental evangelism, the endless varieties of oriental charlatanism.

The trap of body-consciousness and sensory consumerism has been well summarized by Federico Fellini:

"People are losing faith in the future. Our [larval] education, unfortunately, molded us for a life that was always tensed towards a series of achievements - school, military service, a career and, as a grand finale, the encounter with the heavenly father. But now that our tomorrows no longer appear in that optimistic perspective, we are left with a feeling of impotence and fear. People who can no longer believe in a "better tomorrow" logically tend to behave with a desperate egotism. They are preoccupied with protecting, brutally if necessary, those little personal gains, one's little body, one's little sensual appetites. To me this is the most dangerous feature of the '70's"

Five-brained persons flopping around sporadically detached from mundane imprints, lacking a vocabulary and a methedology for extra-terrestrial movement, fall back on larval concepts of transcendence. Caterpillar fantasies about what post-larval life will be like.

A warning is in order. Many five-brained Hippies and Yogis are the most vehement opponents of extra-terrestrial evolution. They use three bland sets of criteria to resist practical plans for interstellar migration:

Look within. Astral travel, passive changing of consciousness will transport us to the promised land.

Return to nature. Back to the paleolithic! Simplify, avoid technology, stalk the wild asparagus, rely on body wisdom, organic purity, sensory pleasure.

All is one. The cosmos is a homogenous mist of flavorless cotton-candy. Exo-psychology and neurogenetics are attacked as unnatural, elitist attempts to differentiate the vanilla-pudding unity of simplistic Hinduism, Buddhism, u.s.w.

Underlying all three of these occult postures is a revulsion against science, technology, evolution and intellectual competence. Implicit in the occultist theory is the assumption that there is nothing left to learn except to rote-memorize some Hindu chants, to rote-recite some glib theosophical dogmas, to quiet the restless inquiring mind.

The three stages of the neurosomatic circuit - 13. Hippy, 14. Yogi, 15. Tantric - are body-oriented and involve a deliberate symbol-stupidity. It is understandable that the five-brained person reacts against the insectoid-cyborg materialism of larval technology, the scientism that produces plastic consumerism, military-industrialism, assembly-line anonomie, and polluted over-population. But the rejection of scientific inquiry becomes a know-nothing smugness. Occultists become long-haired rednecks.

The evidence from astronomy, bio-chemistry, genetics, nuclear-physics, defines the true frontier of philosophy and religion. Scientific American is more "far-out" than any occult magazine, the Periodic Table of Elements more prophetic than the Tarot deck. The nucleus of the atom is a realm more mysterious and omnicient than any theological fantasy. The cosmology of an expanding-universe-riddled-with-Black-Holes more bizarre than the eschatologies of Dante, Homer and Ramayana.

Despite this noble rejection of the artificial, the Hippie-Yogi-Tantric establishment is an entrenched, self-indulgent block to evolution - a transitional stage preparatory to planetary migration.

We see the limitations of neurosomatic contelligence most clearly in the teachings of don Juan. Castaneda's warrior-sorcerers are admirable in their dignified, humorous, disciplined attempts to retract social imprints. Don Juan has worked out an accurate, metaphorical neurologic. He precisely defines the larval-imprint reality-island (tonal) and the direct experience of the nagual.

But don Juan's philosophy is pessimistic: "There are no survivors on this earth." It fails to evolve to Stage 15 neurosomatic linkage: "And then I was alone," is the bleak conclusion.

The first post-Hiroshima generation was truly a lost generation. Liberated from yokel imprints but with no place to go beyond body geography. The cynicism and malaise of the 1970's is the result of this disillusion.

For these reasons the exo-psychologist must speak with caution in communicating with the members of the "Woodstock" generation. They have imprinted their bodies but are too old and set in their ways to receive the neurophysical signals for extra-terrestrial migration.

. . .

This [information] is not for Every Body. The human species is now at a point of genetic fission. Assume that ninety-three percent of the species is going to adapt to life on the planet. Ecology is the seductive dinosaur science that will lead most of the post-human species to conform to terrestrial conditions, become reasonably comfortable, passive, robot-conditioned cyborg insectoids directed by centralized (ABC, NBC, CIA, CNN, MAO, KGB) broadcasting systems. For terrestrial readers this manual outlines the neurological steps necessary to adapt harmoniously to hedonic, five-brained cyborg existence.

This transmission flashes a different signal for the seven percent who we assume are DNA-designed to attain biological immortality, leave the womb-planet, become galactic citizens and fuse with superior interstellar entities.

This manual is not designed for conventional
author-reader games.

It is a signal for mutation.

A test of intelligence.

A scan for personal power.

by Dr. Timothy Leary Ph.D
The Eightfold Model of Human Consciousness

Friday, November 17, 2006

Subzero: Now it's a size?

I didn't have to dig too deep for this one:

Experts worry it could cause eating disorders as some women try to shrink to fit into the fashions

By Melissa Dahl - Sacramento Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Friday, November 17, 2006

Could subzero become the next status symbol for size-conscious women?

The ideal women's size has been shrinking for years, and now more designers and retailers are introducing a less-than-zero size, sometimes called "subzero" or 00.

Designer Nicole Miller plans to introduce the size in next fall's line, and last spring, Banana Republic started selling size 00 online.

The subzero sizes are intended for the naturally slender -- women who find they are swimming in the waist of a size zero or 2. But some experts worry that the proliferation of such a tiny size could cause eating disorders as some women aspire to shrink to subzero.

As one character from the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" quips, "2 is the new 4 and zero is the new 2."

Could subzero now be the new zero?

"They love the size zero," Tony Paulson, clinical director for Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Programs in Sacramento, says of some of the women he treats. "For some reason, that's almost a badge of honor to them, to reach a size zero. Now they have another goal, to reach this sub-size zero."

Take a minute to size up today's reigning fashionistas (think Mischa Barton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and Kate Bosworth) and one common trait is obvious: They're all itty-bitty, even bordering on scary-thin. Today, models weigh about 23 percent less than the average woman, according to the Social Issues Research Centre.

"If those are the people that our young girls want to emulate, that is terrifying," says Nichole Zidenberg, director of the teen clinic at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Roseville.

If this decade's ideal body type is superskinny, a glance down the fashion timeline is a reminder that it wasn't always this way.

• In the 1950s, a size 12 Marilyn Monroe wrote the body-type rules.

• The 1960s shifted to a shape more familiar to today's runway -- Twiggy's long and lanky frame.

• Contestants in the Miss America pageant from 1960 to 1978 increasingly shrank, and winners of the pageant were consistently tinier than the other entrants, according to a 1980 study by psychologist David Garner.

• In the 1980s, the beauty ideal stayed slim, but also fit and toned.

• And in the 1990s, Pamela Anderson summed up the ideal: impossibly slender with impossibly large breasts.

"What happens is that the beauty ideal keeps on changing, and you have a lot of adolescent girls who are striving for that," Paulson says. "Unfortunately, for most of the girls, it's completely unrealistic; it's impossible for them to reach these goals they've put out there."

It's impossible because most women just aren't built that way. The average American woman is 5-foot-4, weighs about 155 pounds and wears size 14.

The average model?

She stands at 5-foot-9, weighs 110 pounds and wears a zero or a 2, according to the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, England.

"Why "double zero" scares me is I don't want to see any more 00 models," Zidenberg says. "The more that (are) out there, the more our young girls think that's realistic."

Of course, not all girls are starving themselves to subzero status. Those who are naturally tiny welcome the new lines of clothes because subzero sizes have been difficult to find.

At 5-foot-5 and 95 pounds, 15-year-old Julia Hethcoat and her sister Stephanie are grateful to find pants in tiny sizes such as 00.

"We really love it, 'cause we need it," says Julia, a sophomore at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento.

But body image remains a big issue for many women and teenage girls. Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Johnson often hears girls at her school complain about their weight.

"Everyone wants to be size zero, and I think that's kind of stupid," says Johnson, a freshman at Health Professions High School in Sacramento. Her classmate Robbie Ginther agrees, and he wonders if girls realize the skeletal look is something most guys aren't into.

"I mean, I like girls that are thin, but not so much that their ribs are showing," says Ginther, who's 15 and a sophomore.

Zidenberg and Paulson tell the teen girls they treat that shrinking celebs such as Nicole Richie and Kate Bosworth aren't normal -- no matter if magazines insist they're "just like us." Zidenberg says constantly seeing such images can be very destructive to girls and women.

"If I see one more picture of Nicole Richie, I'll scream," Zidenberg says.

Zidenberg would rather have the perception of beauty be the "healthy at any size" image she tries to promote. And there is evidence the attitude in fashion may be heading that way, says fashion expert Sam Saboura, former host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover" and author of "Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies" (Clarkson Potter, $12.21, 192 pages).

During Madrid's fashion week in September, Spanish officials banned severely underweight models from participating in the shows, blaming the super-thin models for helping spur eating disorders in young women.

And Dove, already running print ads featuring "real" women of all sizes, this fall launched a viral video ad campaign called "Evolution." A YouTube favorite, the video shows a normal-looking young woman with limp hair and acne scars getting made up into a flawless supermodel, with the video sped up to show the entire process in a minute and 15 seconds.

It's encouraging, Saboura says, but it's not enough.

"I think what's happening is it's becoming in vogue to protest against all these things, but it's really not catching on," says Saboura.

"It really has to come from the top of the fashion industry, and I don't think that we're ever going to give up that lean, tall model look, because the clothes look best on those types of bodies," Saboura says.

Still, health care providers hope for a positive change in the ideal women's body type.

"I really hope so," Paulson says, " 'cause my business would go away, and I would love that."

Copyright © The Sacramento Bee

Sunday, November 12, 2006

How Would the Buddha Date?

By Lama Surya Das

Certainly primary among life's lessons is how to love and to love well, and to BE love, as well to give and receive it. I believe love is central to happiness, growth and fulfillment.

How would Buddha love? By seeing every single being, human and otherwise, as fundamentally like himself, and thus able to treat them and love them in the way he would be treated. We call this infinitely benevolent, selfless love, Bodhicitta or the Awakened Heart, the very spirit of enlightenment.

Each relationship and every single encounter can be a vehicle for meaningful spiritual connection, through the transformative magic of Bodhicitta, or spiritual love. This is how we love, Buddha-style: impartial to all, free from excessive attachment or false hope and expectation; accepting, tolerant, and forgiving. Buddhist nonattachment doesn't imply complacence or indifference, or not having committed relationships or being passionately engaged with society, but rather has to do with our effort to defy change and resist the fact of impermanence and our mortality. By holding on to that which in any case is forever slipping through our fingers, we just get rope burn.

Buddhist love is based on recognizing our fundamental interconnectedness and knowing that all beings are like ourselves in wanting and needing happiness, safety, fulfillment, and not wanting suffering and misery. The Dalai Lama says, "If you want to be wisely selfish, care for others." All the happiness and virtue in this world comes from selflessness and generosity, all the sorrow from egotism, selfishness, and greed.

Four Boundless Attitudes
The immaculate image of Buddhist love is the four-armed Avalokitsevara, known as Chenrayzig in Tibet and Kuan Yin in China. Each of his/her four arms represent one of the Four Boundless Attitudes, and each one of her four radiant faces or aspects - peaceful, magnetizing, powerful, and fierce-express one of the four styles or modes of active compassion.

The first arm of Buddhist love is maitri or lovingkindness, a boundless feeling of friendliness and wishing well for others. Maitri, or metta in the Pali language, implies friendliness: befriending and accepting yourself, your body and mind, and the world.

The second is karuna, or compassion, empathy, being moved by feeling what others feel. The third arm is upeksha, equanimity, recognizing the equality of all that lives. This recognition leads to the wisdom of detachment but not indifference or complacence, which are its near enemies.

The fourth arm is mudita, spiritual joy and satisfaction. This includes rejoicing in the virtue and success of others, -- the antidote to envy and jealousy.

Cultivate the cling-free relationship
The essence of Buddhist relationship is to cultivate the cling-free relationship, enriched with caring and equanimity. It is helpful in intimate relationships to communicate honestly, stay present, tell the truth of your experience using I-statements rather than accusations and judgments, and honor the other enough to show up with an open heart and mind and really listen.

Passion becomes compassion when we bring it into the path, when we recognize every moment in life as a possibility of awakening. Human love and sexual consummation can be like the tip of the iceberg of divine love, an ecstatic intimation of eternity, a portal to infinite depths of the groundlessness and boundarylessness that transports us beyond our limited, ego selves. People often ask me how to find their Soul Mate, or even if I believe in such a concept. I think that rather than focusing on past lives or on finding the perfect mate in this world, we would generally do better to work on improving and developing ourselves. Make yourself the "perfect" mate, without being too perfectionistic about it, and you will be a good mate with almost anyone. When your heart is pure, your life and the entire world is pure.

We all feel the desire to possess and be possessed, to love and be loved, to connect and be embraced and to belong. However, I think that the most important thing in being together is the tenderness of a good heart. If our relationships aren't nurturing the growth and development of goodness of heart, openness, generosity, authenticity and intimate connection, they are not serving us or furthering a better world. I notice that children let go of anger and would rather be happy than right, unlike so many of us adults. Like them, my dog reminds me that love is a verb, not a noun. Staying present in this very moment, through mindful awareness and paying attention to what is -- rather than dwelling on the past or the future, or on who I think I am and who I imagine others are -- helps free me from excess baggage, anxiety and neurosis - and opens me to love.

Lama Surya Das has spent more than 30 years studying with the great spiritual masters of Asia. He is a leading spokesman for Buddhism and contemporary spirituality, as well as a poet, translator, spiritual teacher, and a lama in the Tibetan Buddhist order. Lama Surya Das is the founder and spiritual director of the Dzogchen Foundation in Massachusetts and California and the author of several books, including the national best-seller "Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World," and is active in interfaith dialogue. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reality before the Spin.....Something Stinks

The Secret World of Robert Gates

By Robert Parry
from Consortium News
November 9, 2006

Robert Gates, George W. Bush’s choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, is a trusted figure within the Bush Family’s inner circle, but there are lingering questions about whether Gates is a trustworthy public official.

The 63-year-old Gates has long faced accusations of collaborating with Islamic extremists in Iran, arming Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, and politicizing U.S. intelligence to conform with the desires of policymakers – three key areas that relate to his future job.

Gates skated past some of these controversies during his 1991 confirmation hearings to be CIA director – and the current Bush administration is seeking to slip Gates through the congressional approval process again, this time by pressing for a quick confirmation by the end of the year, before the new Democratic-controlled Senate is seated.

If Bush’s timetable is met, there will be no time for a serious investigation into Gates’s past.

Fifteen years ago, Gates got a similar pass when leading Democrats agreed to put “bipartisanship” ahead of careful oversight when Gates was nominated for the CIA job by President George H.W. Bush.

In 1991, despite doubts about Gates’s honesty over Iran-Contra and other scandals, the career intelligence officer brushed aside accusations that he played secret roles in arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, however, documents have surfaced that raise new questions about Gates’s sweeping denials.

For instance, the Russian government sent an intelligence report to a House investigative task force in early 1993 stating that Gates participated in secret contacts with Iranian officials in 1980 to delay release of 52 U.S. hostages then held in Iran, a move to benefit the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

“R[obert] Gates, at that time a staffer of the National Security Council in the administration of Jimmy Carter, and former CIA Director George Bush also took part” in a meeting in Paris in October 1980, according to the Russian report, which meshed with information from witnesses who have alleged Gates’s involvement in the Iranian gambit.

Once in office, the Reagan administration did permit weapons to flow to Iran via Israel. One of the planes carrying an arms shipment was shot down over the Soviet Union on July 18, 1981, after straying off course, but the incident drew little attention at the time.

The arms flow continued, on and off, until 1986 when the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal broke. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege. For text of the Russian report, click here. To view the actual U.S. embassy cable that includes the Russian report, click here.]

Iraqgate Scandal

Gates also was implicated in a secret operation to funnel military assistance to Iraq in the 1980s, as the Reagan administration played off the two countries battling each other in the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War.

Middle Eastern witnesses alleged that Gates worked on the secret Iraqi initiative, which included Saddam Hussein’s procurement of cluster bombs and chemicals used to produce chemical weapons for the war against Iran.

Gates denied those Iran-Iraq accusations in 1991 and the Senate Intelligence Committee – then headed by Gates’s personal friend, Sen. David Boren, D-Oklahoma – failed to fully check out the claims before recommending Gates for confirmation.

However, four years later – in early January 1995 – Howard Teicher, one of Reagan’s National Security Council officials, added more details about Gates’s alleged role in the Iraq shipments.

In a sworn affidavit submitted in a Florida criminal case, Teicher stated that the covert arming of Iraq dated back to spring 1982 when Iran had gained the upper hand in the war, leading President Reagan to authorize a U.S. tilt toward Saddam Hussein.

The effort to arm the Iraqis was “spearheaded” by CIA Director William Casey and involved his deputy, Robert Gates, according to Teicher’s affidavit. “The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq,” Teicher wrote.

Ironically, that same pro-Iraq initiative involved Donald Rumsfeld, then Reagan’s special emissary to the Middle East. An infamous photograph from 1983 shows a smiling Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein.

Teicher described Gates’s role as far more substantive than Rumsfeld’s. “Under CIA Director [William] Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA authorized, approved and assisted [Chilean arms dealer Carlos] Cardoen in the manufacture and sale of cluster bombs and other munitions to Iraq,” Teicher wrote.

Like the Russian report, the Teicher affidavit has never been never seriously examined. After Teicher submitted it to a federal court in Miami, the affidavit was classified and then attacked by Clinton administration prosecutors. They saw Teicher’s account as disruptive to their prosecution of a private company, Teledyne Industries, and one of its salesmen, Ed Johnson.

But the questions about Gates’s participation in dubious schemes involving hotspots such as Iran and Iraq are relevant again today because they reflect on Gates’s judgment, his honesty and his relationship with two countries at the top of U.S. military concerns.

About 140,000 U.S. troops are now bogged down in Iraq, 3 ½ years after President George W. Bush ordered an invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power and eliminate his supposed WMD stockpiles. One reason the United States knew that Hussein once had those stockpiles was because the Reagan administration helped him procure the material needed for the WMD production in the 1980s.

The United States also is facing down Iran’s Islamic government over its nuclear ambitions. Though Bush has so far emphasized diplomatic pressure on Iran, he has pointedly left open the possibility of a military option.

Political Intelligence

Beyond the secret schemes to aid Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, Gates also stands accused of playing a central role in politicizing the CIA intelligence product, tailoring it to fit the interests of his political superiors, a legacy that some Gates critics say contributed to the botched CIA’s analysis of Iraqi WMD in 2002.

Before Gates’s rapid rise through the CIA’s ranks in the 1980s, the CIA’s tradition was to zealously protect the objectivity and scholarship of the intelligence. However, during the Reagan administration, that ethos collapsed.

At Gates’s confirmation hearings in 1991, former CIA analysts, including renowned Kremlinologist Mel Goodman, took the extraordinary step of coming out of the shadows to accuse Gates of politicizing the intelligence while he was chief of the analytical division and then deputy director.

The former intelligence officers said the ambitious Gates pressured the CIA’s analytical division to exaggerate the Soviet menace to fit the ideological perspective of the Reagan administration. Analysts who took a more nuanced view of Soviet power and Moscow’s behavior in the world faced pressure and career reprisals.

In 1981, Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl of the CIA’s Soviet office was the unfortunate analyst who was handed the assignment to prepare an analysis on the Soviet Union’s alleged support and direction of international terrorism.

Contrary to the desired White House take on Soviet-backed terrorism, Ekedahl said the consensus of the intelligence community was that the Soviets discouraged acts of terrorism by groups getting support from Moscow for practical, not moral, reasons.

“We agreed that the Soviets consistently stated, publicly and privately, that they considered international terrorist activities counterproductive and advised groups they supported not to use such tactics,” Ekedahl said. “We had hard evidence to support this conclusion.”

But Gates took the analysts to task, accusing them of trying to “stick our finger in the policy maker’s eye,” Ekedahl testified

Ekedahl said Gates, dissatisfied with the terrorism assessment, joined in rewriting the draft “to suggest greater Soviet support for terrorism and the text was altered by pulling up from the annex reports that overstated Soviet involvement.”

In his memoirs, From the Shadows, Gates denied politicizing the CIA’s intelligence product, though acknowledging that he was aware of Casey’s hostile reaction to the analysts’ disagreement with right-wing theories about Soviet-directed terrorism.

Soon, the hammer fell on the analysts who had prepared the Soviet-terrorism report. Ekedahl said many analysts were “replaced by people new to the subject who insisted on language emphasizing Soviet control of international terrorist activities.”

A donnybrook ensued inside the U.S. intelligence community. Some senior officials responsible for analysis pushed back against Casey’s dictates, warning that acts of politicization would undermine the integrity of the process and risk policy disasters in the future.

Working with Gates, Casey also undertook a series of institutional changes that gave him fuller control of the analytical process. Casey required that drafts needed clearance from his office before they could go out to other intelligence agencies.

Casey appointed Gates to be director of the Directorate of Intelligence [DI] and consolidated Gates’s control over analysis by also making him chairman of the National Intelligence Council, another key analytical body.

“Casey and Gates used various management tactics to get the line of intelligence they desired and to suppress unwanted intelligence,” Ekedahl said.

Career Reprisals

With Gates using top-down management techniques, CIA analysts sensitive to their career paths intuitively grasped that they could rarely go wrong by backing the “company line” and presenting the worst-case scenario about Soviet capabilities and intentions, Ekedahl and other CIA analysts said.

Largely outside public view, the CIA’s proud Soviet analytical office underwent a purge of its most senior people. “Nearly every senior analyst on Soviet foreign policy eventually left the Office of Soviet Analysis,” Goodman said.

Gates made clear he intended to shake up the DI’s culture, demanding greater responsiveness to the needs of the White House and other policymakers.

In a speech to the DI’s analysts and managers on Jan. 7, 1982, Gates berated the division for producing shoddy analysis that administration officials didn’t find helpful.

Gates unveiled an 11-point management plan to whip the DI into shape. His plan included rotating division chiefs through one-year stints in policy agencies and requiring CIA analysts to “refresh their substantive knowledge and broaden their perspective” by taking courses at Washington-area think tanks and universities.

Gates declared that a new Production Evaluation Staff would aggressively review their analytical products and serve as his “junkyard dog.”

Gates’s message was that the DI, which had long operated as an “ivory tower” for academically oriented analysts committed to an ethos of objectivity, would take on more of a corporate culture with a product designed to fit the needs of those up the ladder both inside and outside the CIA.

“It was a kind of chilling speech,” recalled Peter Dickson, an analyst who concentrated on proliferation issues. “One of the things he wanted to do, he was going to shake up the DI. He was going to read every paper that came out. What that did was that everybody between the analyst and him had to get involved in the paper to a greater extent because their careers were going to be at stake.”

A chief Casey-Gates tactic for exerting tighter control over the analysis was to express concern about “the editorial process,” Dickson said.

“You can jerk people around in the editorial process and hide behind your editorial mandate to intimidate people,” Dickson said.

Gates soon was salting the analytical division with his allies, a group of managers who became known as the “Gates clones.” Some of those who rose with Gates were David Cohen, David Carey, George Kolt, Jim Lynch, Winston Wiley, John Gannon and John McLaughlin.

Though Dickson’s area of expertise – nuclear proliferation – was on the fringes of the Reagan-Bush primary concerns, it ended up getting him into trouble anyway. In 1983, he clashed with his superiors over his conclusion that the Soviet Union was more committed to controlling proliferation of nuclear weapons than the administration wanted to hear.

When Dickson stood by his evidence, he soon found himself facing accusations about his psychological fitness and other pressures that eventually caused him to leave the CIA.

Dickson also was among the analysts who raised alarms about Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons, another sore point because the Reagan-Bush administration wanted Pakistan’s assistance in funneling weapons to Islamic fundamentalists fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.

One of the effects from the exaggerated intelligence about Soviet power and intentions was to make other potential risks – such as allowing development of a nuclear bomb in the Islamic world or training Islamic fundamentalists in techniques of sabotage – paled in comparison.

While worst-case scenarios were in order for the Soviet Union and other communist enemies, best-case scenarios were the order of the day for Reagan-Bush allies, including Osama bin Laden and other Arab extremists rushing to Afghanistan to wage a holy war against European invaders, in this case, the Russians.

As for the Pakistani drive to get a nuclear bomb, the Reagan-Bush administration turned to word games to avoid triggering anti-proliferation penalties that otherwise would be imposed on Pakistan.

“There was a distinction made to say that the possession of the device is not the same as developing it,” Dickson told me. “They got into the argument that they don’t quite possess it yet because they haven’t turned the last screw into the warhead.”

Finally, the intelligence on the Pakistan Bomb grew too strong to continue denying the reality. But the delay in confronting Pakistan ultimately allowed the Muslim government in Islamabad to produce nuclear weapons. Pakistani scientists also shared their know-how with “rogue” states, such as North Korea and Libya.

“The politicization that took place during the Casey-Gates era is directly responsible for the CIA’s loss of its ethical compass and the erosion of its credibility,” Goodman told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1991. “The fact that the CIA missed the most important historical development in its history – the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the Soviet Union itself – is due in large measure to the culture and process that Gates established in his directorate.”

Confirmation Battle

To push through Gates’s nomination to be CIA director in 1991, the elder George Bush lined up solid Republican backing for Gates and enough accommodating Democrats – particularly Sen. Boren, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman.

In his memoirs, Gates credited his friend, Boren, for clearing away any obstacles. “David took it as a personal challenge to get me confirmed,” Gates wrote.

Part of running interference for Gates included rejecting the testimony of witnesses who implicated Gates in scandals beginning with the alleged back-channel negotiations with Iran in 1980 through the arming of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the mid-1980s.

Boren’s Intelligence Committee brushed aside two witnesses connecting Gates to the alleged schemes, former Israeli intelligence official Ari Ben-Menashe and Iranian businessman Richard Babayan. Both offered detailed accounts about Gates’s alleged connections to the schemes.

Ben-Menashe, who worked for Israeli military intelligence from 1977-87, first fingered Gates as an operative in the secret Iraq arms pipeline in August 1990 during an interview that I conducted with him for PBS Frontline.

At the time, Ben-Menashe was in jail in New York on charges of trying to sell cargo planes to Iran (charges which were later dismissed). When the interview took place, Gates was in a relatively obscure position, as deputy national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush and not yet a candidate for the top CIA job.

In that interview and later under oath to Congress, Ben-Menashe said Gates joined in meetings between Republicans and senior Iranians in October 1980. Ben-Menashe said he also arranged Gates’s personal help in bringing a suitcase full of cash into Miami in early 1981 to pay off some of the participants in the hostage gambit.

Ben-Menashe also placed Gates in a 1986 meeting with Chilean arms manufacturer Cardoen, who allegedly was supplying cluster bombs and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein’s army. Babayan, an Iranian exile working with Iraq, also connected Gates to the Iraqi supply lines and to Cardoen.
Gates has steadfastly denied involvement in either the Iran-hostage caper or the Iraqgate arms deals.

“I was accused on television and in the print media by people I had never spoken to or met of selling weapons to Iraq, or walking through Miami airport with suitcases full of cash, of being with Bush in Paris in October 1980 to meet with Iranians, and on and on,” Gates wrote in his memoirs. “The allegations of meetings with me around the world were easily disproved for the committee by my travel records, calendars, and countless witnesses.”

But none of Gates’s supposedly supportive evidence was ever made public by either the Senate Intelligence Committee or the later inquiries into either the Iran hostage initiative or Iraqgate.
Not one of Gates’s “countless witnesses” who could vouch for Gates’s whereabouts was identified. Though Boren pledged publicly to have his investigators question Babayan, they never did.

Perhaps most galling for those of us who tried to assess Ben-Menashe’s credibility was the Intelligence Committee’s failure to test Ben-Menashe’s claim that he met with Gates in Paramus, New Jersey, on the afternoon of April 20, 1989.
The date was pinned down by the fact that Ben-Menashe had been under Customs surveillance in the morning. So it was a perfect test for whether Ben-Menashe – or Gates – was lying.

When I first asked about this claim, congressional investigators told me that Gates had a perfect alibi for that day. They said Gates had been with Senator Boren at a speech in Oklahoma. But when we checked that out, we discovered that Gates’s Oklahoma speech had been on April 19, a day earlier. Gates also had not been with Boren and had returned to Washington by that evening.

So where was Gates the next day? Could he have taken a quick trip to northern New Jersey? Since senior White House national security advisers keep detailed notes on their daily meetings, it should have been easy for Boren’s investigators to interview someone who could vouch for Gates’s whereabouts on the afternoon of April 20.

But the committee chose not to nail down an alibi for Gates. The committee said further investigation wasn’t needed because Gates denied going to New Jersey and his personal calendar made no reference to the trip.

But the investigators couldn’t tell me where Gates was that afternoon or with whom he may have met. Essentially, the alibi came down to Gates’s word.

Ironically, Boren’s key aide who helped limit the investigation of Gates was George Tenet, whose behind-the-scenes maneuvering on Gates’s behalf won the personal appreciation of the senior George Bush. Tenet later became President Bill Clinton’s last CIA director and was kept on in 2001 by the younger George Bush partly on his father’s advice.

Now, as the Bush Family grapples with the disaster in Iraq, it is turning to an even more trusted hand to run the Defense Department. The appointment of Robert Gates suggests that the Bush Family is circling the wagons to save the embattled presidency of George W. Bush.

To determine whether Gates can be counted on to do what’s in the interest of the larger American public is another question altogether.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

Iraq Wins the Election, What Now?

Published on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 by

by Tom Hayden

As the campaign began, consultants and bigwigs of both parties sought to keep Iraq from becoming an election issue. To their credit, the American voters disagreed, insisted on changing course, and let Iraq become the critical factor in overthrowing a rigged Republican majority.

Now what?

For sure, Rep. Henry Waxman will hold the gavel and subpoena power for hearings into war profiteering by corporate contractors. The issues surfacing in civil society, for example through distribution of Robert Greenwald's fiilm "Iraq for Sale", will suddenly be exposed under the glare of Congressional hearings.

This is not a scandal at the margins but a mortal threat to one of the pillars of the war. In recent days, both Kroll and Bechtel have quit Iraq. Others will follow, according to a strategic forecasting report available to insiders in the security business. That Nov. 3 memo memo says other contractors will "leave the theatre of operations when the risks get too great." The strategic threat is that the "combat capability of the US army is breaking" because the "contractor support it relies on won't be there." In short, the Pentagon does not have the military capability of filling in for its private contractors, who are profit-oriented.

Some Democrats will join Republicans in trying to rein Waxman in, but it appears that the contractors have lost much of their previous bipartisan immunity. Indeed, the contractors may wish to avoid the negative publicity and possible subpoenas that are sure to result from any serious Waxman hearings.

In addition, the Democrats are sure to hold hearings, and use subpoena power, to get to the bottom of other ugly truths of the Iraq war, like the Administration fixing the "facts" to go to war.

The airing of these issues is welcome and overdue.

But the Iraq War will not end.

The Administration will continue the conflict into the 2008 election year. The Democrats refuse to end it. The national security elites believe America's image as a superpower is at stake. We've heard it all before. No one is willing to lose a war even when they know the war is unwinnable.

It is possible, of course, that the bottom will drop out of the military effort, resulting in a military defeat and debacle. But the Administration will avoid that outcome at all costs.

The anti-war movement, and their supporters in Congress, therefore will need to pursue an "inside-outside" strategy. On the inside they will have to mobilize the "Out of Iraq" caucus around an exit strategy alternative, including such proposals as:

1) the appointment of a peace envoy to begin a process of conflict resolution instead of military occupation.

2) setting a deadline for bringing our troops home within one year.

3) at the same time, ending the formal occupation and requesting the United Nations to appoint an international consortium to work with the Iraqis on security, economics and reconciliation.

The White House may wish to lure the Democrats into a "bipartisan", or no-fault, approach to Iraq in order to extend the war while defusing it as an issue with voters. They may even have to sacrifice Donald Rumsfeld as a gesture to gain time for "new leadership." It is almost certain that they will replace the current Iraqi regime with a strongman to go after the Madhi army of Moktada al-Sadr, the main Shiite leader who wants the US to withdraw its troops. Finally, both parties will hide behind the recommendations of the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton study group, which is likely to propose a partial "redeployment." The Democrats' successful House campaign strategist Rahm Emanuel, who never wanted to make Iraq an issue, already is suggesting such a new bipartisanship even as the polls show that tonight's new American majority believes the Democratic Party will end the war sooner than the Republicans.

These are steps in the right direction, but only baby steps. The Vietnam War continued for seven senseless years after the Paris peace talks began. While scaling back its original victory plans, the US still wants to station tens of thousands of troops in a subdued, and perhaps partitioned, Iraq, and it wants the issue neutralized by the 2008 elections.

The peace movement therefore needs to gear up for the 2008 elections, by establishing anti-war coalitions that no candidate can avoid in the primary states. The first four states - Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - have large peace-and-justice constituencies.

The electoral anti-war movement is the big winner of the 2006 elections, especially the legions of activists associated with Having virtually abandoned the Iraq issue in the six months following the 2004 election, MoveOn presumably has learned to stay with the issue.

But can this movement sustain itself in the face of bipartisan efforts to neutralize Iraq as an issue? Should that movement align with an anti-war candidate or be a non-aligned independent force pressuring candidates from both parties? Can it connect with domestic constituencies like the fair trade movement, the environmental [anti-Big Oil] movement, and Katrina's victims?

Whatever the answers to these complicated questions, peace advocates will have to keep up people pressure on the pillars of the war policy - until those pillars fall. Tonight the Democratic Party has fallen as a pillar of bipartisan support. So has Bechtel. So have several generals, overtly and covertly. So have the neo-conservatives. The pillar of the armed forces is breaking. So is the "Coalition of the Willing." Above all, 80 percent of the Iraqi people are demanding a US withdrawal timetable, and 60 percent endorse armed struggle against the Americans.

The next weeks and months will reveal the balance between democracy and Empire.

Tom Hayden, who has been active in social movements since 1960, teaches at Occidental College. He is the author, most recently, of "Street Wars and the Future of Violence."