Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Good podcast. The listening time went by pretty quickly, actually. Two thoughts. One is that your host(s) seemed to be unaware of Tucker Carlson as basically the only big media anti-war spokesman (and it seemed to me you, Bill, were tempering your praise of Carlson as well). The fact is that there is no left wing anti-war movement now as there was in the 60s. Any antiwar movement to be effective will have to have as allies people like Carlson, even if he is on the other side of the partisan divide, as they say. And even if he is on FoxNews. The other thing is your comments on police acting as the military on events like protests. I think part of the message of the Jan. 6 committee is this: all protests must conform to the values of the Democratic Party. Or else. Protesting as black lives matter is acceptable, as is protesting about climate change. Protest against war or our war against Russia and you risk being treated like the Jan. 6 protesters: labelled insurrectionist and sent to jail for a year or more "awaiting trial".

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Thanks, Alex. Yes, I'll break bread with anyone who's antiwar. right, left, doesn't matter, because those labels are often deceptive.

With respect to protests, those that don't threaten the power structure in America are allowed. Those that do are not allowed. Recall what Obama did to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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Alex, from years of personal experience and observation, I'd conclude that Bill's right in that any protest that might be seen as an actual threat to the existing power structure will be suppressed and especially to whatever extent the calculus of risks supports that suppression. When I was a college freshman at the height of the VietNam war, i participated in the peaceful occupation of the university's Administration Bldg. We were threatened with removal via a military-style assault (by the City's Tactical Police Force)...and arrests made when the occupation was voluntarily ended. Of course, that 'protest' went beyond a simple public rally, to an illegal act; so I didn't and don't consider that response a suppression of the rights to public assembly, protest, etc.

Flash forward several decades, to a public demonstration of protest when GWBush's motorcade was passing through a local town. (As I recall this was around the time of the Iraq invasion.) We protestors were ordered off the sidewalks along the route, and 'corralled' at a location where the President wouldn't even be able to see us. These kinds of corrals - so-called "free-speech zones" became routinely employed.

It's important to look beyond mere partisan framing. I agree that it's important to build alliances that break out of partisan boundaries. Like Bill, I'll 'break bread' with anyone who shares the same cause; even if we recognize that on some other issues we might diverge. (Hopefully, through patient dialogue all parties will recognize that they have more in common, values-wise, and the focus on those common values & interests will allow us to break out of the camps that bind (and blind) so many.

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Thank You, Bill, for sharing that. You guys covered a lot of territory, and it was good to hear You range across a variety of topics, as opposed to the singular focus in BV articles.

First and foremost of all, Thank You for the bonus song at the end of the conversation.

It’s been a while since i’d listened to and heard that; and remembered instantly [on the third or fourth chord] exactly how powerful and moving that piece was, is, and ever will be. Here’s an old video of the Youngbloods doing it in concert that adds a whole new dimension to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34YUI3CmckA

Having said that, permit me to offer a comment on two of the assertions that You made in Your chat with the folks at VFP/The Hector Black Chapter:

~ 1. i believe ~ and am prepared to argue ~ that the MICC/National Security State is merely the Fifth branch of the federal government; not, as You said, the Fourth. The Fourth is The Federal Reserve, without whom the MICC/NSS could do absolutely nothing without keeping the rest of the government less than even moderately functional. [Which is about what it is now, eh?]

~ 2. Eisenhower did not “keep us out of Vietnam.” He refused to honor the Geneva Accords ending the French War ~ which we bankrolled up to the bloody, bitter end under his command. He then installed Diem and initiated the buildup of American military support for the regime. The only reason the Pentagon and CIA were able to try to push Kennedy into Vietnam was because of what was already on the ground and ready to go when Ike was calling the shots.

Having said That, You said a three things that really caught my attention, Bill, and have given me something to chew on, particularly number 3:

~ 1. For Peace to have even the slightest chance of ever happening, You said, it’s “Gonna take people marching like back in the 60s… .”

~ 2. You spoke of a Nation and People “divided and distracted” which can easily lead to “depression and despair.”

~ 3. And then You concluded by calling for a “different way forward” to capture [or re-capture] the Potential that Americans have to confront and effectively deal with what they ~ the American People ~ have permitted America to become: a Flailing and Failing Nation State and Empire.

i look forward to learning more about this “different way forward.” Thanks again for sharing the conversation.

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Ike and Vietnam: Yes, there wasn't time in the interview to provide context. Ike, unlike JFK and LBJ, didn't make Vietnam into a U.S. military problem. In fact, he refused to rescue the French from their folly in 1954.

That said, his decision not to honor the Geneva Accords was a major mistake, helping to set the stage for what was to come.

Thanks, Jeff.

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On the weekend of February 17-19, 2023, the American People will have the opportunity and perhaps last chance to tell their government, those who govern them, those who command and control the governors, and the entire Planet exactly what they think about America’s Wars: Past, Present, and Planned… :


A coalition of political parties and advocates, activists, and actionists for peace, justice, truth, and liberty is organizing an Anti-War rally in Washington, DC [and Elsewhere] on February 19, 2023. For details: [ https://rageagainstwar.com/#Home ]

Here’s the Twitter link: https://twitter.com/rageagainstwar_/status/1605743843881603072?lang=en . And here is how Massachusetts Peace Action is preparing for it: https://masspeaceaction.org/event/rage-against-the-war-machine/ .

COALITION: Organizers: Libertarian Party and People's Party Sponsors: Mises Caucus. Peace in Ukraine. Liberty Speaks, Radical Caucus, Action 4 Assange, Punk Rock Libertarians, and World Beyond War. [ https://rageagainstwar.com/#Coalition ]

For an interview with the Chairs of the Libertarian and People’s Parties on the Rally:



~ 1. NOT ONE MORE PENNY FOR WAR IN UKRAINE: The Democrats and Republicans have armed Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in weapons and military aid. The war has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions, and is pushing us toward a nuclear WW3. Stop funding the war.

~ 2. NEGOTIATE PEACE: The US instigated the war in Ukraine with a coup on its democratically-elected government in 2014, and then sabotaged a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in March. Pursue an immediate ceasefire and diplomacy to end the war.

~ 3. STOP THE WAR INFLATION: The war is accelerating inflation and increasing food, gas, and energy prices. The US blew up Russian gas pipelines to Europe, starving them of energy and deindustrializing their countries. End the war and stop increasing prices.

~ 4. DISBAND NATO: NATO expansion to Russia's border provoked the war in Ukraine. NATO is a warmongering relic of the Cold War. Disband it like the Warsaw Pact.

~ 5. GLOBAL NUCLEAR DE-ESCALATION: The war in Ukraine has brought us to the edge of WW3 and nuclear war with Russia. US intelligence agencies estimate a one in four chance of nuclear war, which would plunge the world into nuclear winter and kill almost all life on Earth. Adopt a no-first-strike nuclear policy. Drawdown nuclear weapons worldwide.

~ 6. SLASH THE PENTAGON BUDGET: Half of the federal discretionary budget goes to Pentagon. The military budget is $857 billion per year, and the Pentagon just failed its fifth straight audit. The Pentagon can only account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. Cut the military budget in half and return those funds to the American people.

~ 7. ABOLISH THE CIA AND MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL DEEP STATE: The CIA and deep state are an unelected permanent government of intelligence agencies that run our country outside of constitutional and democratic control. They surveille Americans, manipulate the media, curtail free speech, blackmail politicians, infiltrate activist organizations, torture people, overthrow governments, and assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Abolish the CIA and deep state and restore a government of, by, and for the people.

~ 8. ABOLISH WAR AND EMPIRE: War and empire subjugate billions of people around the world to enrich a small group of elites. In just the past two decades, the US has waged and backed wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Ukraine, and other countries. End all US wars and regime change. Stop all military aid to other countries. End drone strikes. Close all US military bases abroad. Bring all US troops home. Build a world that guarantees every person freedom from war and empire in place of the collapsing US hegemonic world order.

~ 9. RESTORE CIVIL LIBERTIES: Restore the constitutional liberties taken from us in the name of war and empire, including freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. End mass surveillance, repeal the Patriot Act, and restore the right to privacy and habeas corpus.

~ 10. FREE JULIAN ASSANGE: The US is charging Julian Assange with espionage and criminalizing our right to publish information that challenges the military-industrial deep state. He is imprisoned in the UK and being extradited to the US. The CIA plotted to assassinate him for exposing US war crimes. Free Julian Assange and all political prisoners.

SPEAKERS [so far]: Jimmy Dore, Medea Benjamin. Scott Horton, Garland Nixon, and David Swanson [https://rageagainstwar.com/#Speakers]

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Thanks for drawing my attention to this rally. It's an encouraging development.

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One more thing to add. When AOC and the rest of the Squad put forth a letter saying that just perhaps, maybe, there might be some slight chance, or value, possibly, in seeking peace in Ukraine, they were promptly slapped down by their leadership. The winning argument, so I hear, was that any publicity against the war effort would "help the Republicans". Indeed. Sounds a lot like Vietnam, LBJ, and the 60s. Will another Gene McCarthy or George McGovern arise to challenge the party line? I'm not optimistic.

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Yes. They were slapped down not only because of partisan politics but because antiwar efforts ultimately threaten corporate war profits.

The Democrats are the new war party.

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Totally Off-Topic and, at the same time, Totally On…:

In case anybody missed it: The re-inauguration of the Governor of Florida, the "bomb cyclone atmospheric rivers" battering California, and the gaveled opening of the US House of Representatives can mean only one thing: That ELECTION2024 has kicked off in full gear, exactly 667 days before November 5, 2024.

America may be entering what may turn out to be one of the most profoundly changing moments of its history since 162 years ago, and what may turn out to have been merely America’s First Civil War. Going to be an interesting ride, for sure.

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What if veterans for peace were to share (https://www.goldenruleproject.org/pledgepetition) this petition wouldn't it assist our common aim for peace?

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I can't speak for VFP. I know they do good work for peace, and I agree that all organizations for peace need to come together and combine strengths and talents.

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