America’s government is part of and serves the other part of the corpocracy, corporate America, not the American people. America’s “corpocracy power” is the greatest human-made, ruinous power on earth. The most deadly and monstrous part of that power is the war-national security, industrial, political triumvirate. Its war on terror is an excuse for continuing to terrorize and kill thousands of people in foreign lands solely for profit and power, and is spawning more terrorists. Its tyrannical rule has turned America into a police and terrorist state. It is draining America’s budget, and depriving it of revenue for meeting critical domestic needs. If not stopped, it may eventually destroy America, possibly yet this century from nuclear, chemical or biological blowback by agents in America’s terrorized foreign countries.
The first piece in this trilogy gave an overview of that triumvirate.1 The second summarized how the opposition to the triumvirate is so divided and weak that it is merely an irritant or safety valve tolerated or welcomed by the triumvirate.2 This third piece highlights the two stages of an intensive and extensive campaign proposed for “pacifying” the triumvirate by 1) mobilizing the triumvirate’s opposition; and 2) developing and implementing a strategic plan of reforms.
First stage: Mobilizing the triumvirate’s opposition
The bromide, defeating the triumvirate “with a thousand cuts” is fanciful. A thousand cuts is nothing more than a divided and conquered opposition. The potential and actual opponents of the triumvirate must be mobilized into an organized form of democracy power that is well prepared, financially able, big enough, and strong enough to launch “hundreds of united, coordinated and strategic cuts” or what I called “waging war on war” in my book, The Devil’s Marriage.3
Identifying the opposition: The “27 percent”
According to a recent poll, only 27% of all Americans disapprove of our warrior-in-chief’s drone strikes and killings, with America being the only country in which the majority of the populace approves of drone strikes.4 That is an appalling and sobering finding, but one that is not at all surprising. Americans over the years have had warrior presidents and been reared and shaped by the corporate state into a docile, jingoistic, materialistic, impressionable, fearful, and morally and intellectually impoverished society. America as a civilized and responsible society has all but vanished while its war making triumvirate is more omniscient and omnipresent than ever before. This is not an ironic coincidence. It’s an “in-your face and pocket book” cause and effect fact of life.
So we are left with about six and one-third million truly patriotic (“my country, do right and no wrong”), critically thinking Americans as the recruiting pool for a mobilization drive. It is not as amorphous and unreachable a pool as it may seem. It consists of two bodies. One, the much smaller of the two comprises already identified Americans associated with purportedly antiwar and other social activist entities, and a smattering of loosely organized social activist movements. These Americans have already been mobilized to some extent, albeit narrowly within their own entities that are disconnected from each other. The second, larger body comprises millions of individual Americans mostly unaffiliated with any existing social activist entity, and not readily reached at the present time unless they use the Internet as bloggers, other of its forums, or self select.
Outside of this 27 percent “block” of opposition there is, or at least was in the late 1990s, a huge international movement that needs to be mentioned. It is/was the anti-globalization movement of “tens of thousands of well-organized militant protesters” of two of the prime drivers of globalization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.5 They may just be a sleeping giant if it can be revived/steered toward America’s corpocracy for an extended confrontation. Would that they could become a branch of a democracy power coalition of social activists, but I have not yet followed up on that possibility.
Another possible source seems at first blush so outlandish and Faustian that I hesitate to mention it, but I will as a trial balloon. What about enlisting the support of the NRA? Yes, the NRA. It seems to be a bullying organization, so let’s get it to bully the government to get rid of the monster for some kind of quid pro quo accommodating the organization’s diehard belief in the Inferior Court’s (mis)interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I’d be interested in your reaction once you calm down. Am I being too desperate about trying to help motivate and mobilize the opposition?
Another possible source of opposition, one totally outside the U.S. but one not outlandish might be those few countries that have not been bribed into submission by U.S. foreign aid, that are not members of NATO, and that might be willing to face the umbrage of the U.S. government. I think Sweden and Finland meet the first two criteria. I don’t know about the third, although I suppose it is possible the Swedes might consider it a slap in the face to their Norwegian counterparts who awarded the Nobel Peace prize to President Obama (I presume the 27 percenters in America would consider that prize a slap in the face of justice and peace). At any rate the embassies of those two countries in the U.S. could be flooded with petitions seeking their support.6
What is needed for this initial part of the first stage is the development and maintenance of directories of all potential and actual opposition groups and, to the extent possible, individual social activists. It is far more than a one-person task. I know. I gave up trying to pinpoint the opposition with the exception of having created incomplete lists of antiwar and other social activist NGOs; social activist, progressive media; and a few other relevant entities such as alliances of small businesses and cooperatives.
I also created recently a U.S. Democracy Corps. America has a Peace Corps but obviously no peace. America has a State Department with its diplomatic corps but nations fear and loathe us. But now, America has a new and still low-profile U.S. Democracy Corps. Members of the Corps are, figuratively speaking, ambassadors for democracy who have in their own ways been promoting peaceful and lawful means of reclaiming social and economic justice in America and establishing peaceful relations with other nations sharing this one earth, the home of humanity. There are some 500 members to date sorted into nine segments (e.g., bloggers and their sites). Anyone who considers themselves an advocate for democracy and the general welfare of all Americans is eligible to become a member of the Corps by e-mailing me their intent. The Corps is symbolic, not functional. Being a member does not require any commitment nor assume any responsibility for the website’s content or activity. Nevertheless, members are not discouraged from becoming more active in supporting democracy and opposing the triumvirate and the corpocracy at large.
Unifying the opposition
The axiom, “in unity there is strength” is certainly a valid one. Corpocracy power has accumulated a time-tested mountain of evidence for its validity. A counterforce in the form of what I sometimes call “two-fisted democracy power” must absolutely be built, no ifs, ands, or buts if the counterforce is to have any chance of succeeding. One fist would be one or more virtual (i.e., online) or physical (i.e., brick and mortar) networks of local and national chambers of democracy. I give them that name in deliberate contrast to the corpocracy’s staunchest ally by far, the well-endowed and powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The other fist would be a coalition or fusion of the mobilized segments of the populace. I have sometimes called this coalition the “Democracy Coalition,” but I now prefer to call it the “democracy power coalition.” On the other hand, having seen the Pew poll results I kind of like the idea of a “27 Percent Coalition.” Whatever its name, its purpose would be to provide political pressure behind the strategic reform initiatives being carried out by one or more chambers of democracy.
Potential members of local and state chambers of democracy might include members of the U.S. Democracy Corps, local social activist groups, local unions, small businesses, cooperatives, local and state progressive parties/politicians, and defecting local Chambers of Commerce angry over the policies and actions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.7 Potential members of national chamber(s) of democracy might include local and state chambers of democracy and already existing non-governmental organizations.
While researching for this article I learned to my utter amazement that two small towns in America, Brattleboro and Marlboro, Vermont passed a city ordinance for the arrest of the nation’s warrior-in-chief and his vice president if they ever enter their towns’ jurisdiction.8 Those two small towns deserve the True American Patriot Peace Prize if one existed (“true” meaning “my country do right and no wrong”). I intend to write the local officials to suggest they be the first to establish local chambers of democracy as prototypes, operate them, and publicize them.
- Once this third article is finished I will return to contacting up to 200 NGOs even though I realize it may be a fool’s errand, as I am sure Jay Janson would tell me (see below). It is certainly a time consuming task and can also be a very aggravating one when NGOs do not show me the courtesy of a reply even after several follow ups. But I will keep persisting. My current approach to trying to persuade independent minded and disconnected NGOs to unite is reflected in this excerpt from my e-mail message to be sent to them:
What if some wealthy foundations collaborated and pooled their resources to create a new institutional grant to finance the start up and running of a network of NGOs such as yours and like that illustrated in www.uschamberofdemocracy.com, to undertake the strategic reforms necessary to end the corpocracy, including its war-national security/industrial/political triumvirate? Would that be a sufficient inducement for your organization to join that new network with other NGOs?
I would like to be able show these foundations a list of NGOs that have tentatively agreed to join the network on the condition of obtaining a large start up and operating grant funded by a consortium of the foundations.
May I have your permission to include your organization on that list? To date, one organization, Code Pink, has agreed to be put on the list. I would not submit it to the foundations until I had approval from those on the list. Being on it simply shows your support for the idea and does not really commit you to any further action until a new grant program is announced. At that time, those on the list would be contacted and asked to decide on the next step to take.
I have established and “parked” a new website, www.uschamberofdemocracy.org. I would be willing to transfer it at no cost to any network of NGOs that gets started.
I want to emphasize that being a member of the network is not intended to compromise the existence, the history, or the current resources and unfinished projects of any NGO.
Some commentators believe that antiwar NGOs and other NGOs are poseurs, and I must confess that I sometimes wonder if they are right. Please prove them wrong and remove my doubts.
I have not yet decided how many NGOs need to be on the final list before trying to persuade funders such as the 50 very wealth foundations that are nominal members of the Peace and Security Funders Group.9 The prominence of the NGOs on the list should be a more important criterion than the number of NGOs. If by the end of this year I have not gotten enough endorsements I will finally take it as a sign that non-responding and declining NGOs are too territorial, too content in doing a lot of posturing, and too dependent for their existence on the continued existence of the corpocracy.
I am certain Jay Janson would advise me to quit pronto. This octogenarian is a longtime critic of U.S. militaristic imperialism, and I highly recommend the reading of everything he has written. In one of his recent articles he said that for some time it has been obvious to him that “the organized peace or antiwar movement, which has never forced a war to be ended, or prevented an announced war from happening, is not intended to do so. Worse, that it has operated overall in such a manner as to be flagrantly open to the charge that the whole peace movement in America has been, and is, an accessory after the fact to US crimes against humanity, by making it appear that protests to one’s own elected and reelected war criminals will stop the killing abroad, so needed to maintain predatory overseas investments.”10 I worry that by the end of this year I may have to agree with his harsh assessment. I hope though to find enough genuine antiwar groups in addition to Code Pink to have made my effort worthwhile.
An illustrative model of a national chamber of democracy
Suppose a national chamber of commerce, let’s call it the U.S. Chamber of Democracy does get established. What follows next in this section is an illustrative model of what such a unified network of NGOs might resemble.
A steering council, formed by the network’s members, would charter the network as the U.S. Chamber of Democracy, state its mission and vision, develop a comprehensive plan of strategic reform goals, and insure that sufficient resources are available to the various components or alliances within the network for pursuing its common goals, which need not and should not be limited to “pacifying” the war making triumvirate.
There would be a public education alliance (e.g., through the schools and media); a political reform alliance; a legal and regulatory reform alliance; an economic reform alliance; an oversight/strike force alliance (e.g., industrial/corporate strike force teams); an outreach and communications alliance (e.g., recruiting and mobilizing opposition to the corpocracy); a think tank alliance (for policy analysis and development); and a special war making triumvirate “pacification” alliance. Each alliance would have one or more roles in pursuing the strategic goals of the USCD and would be represented on the council.
Second Stage: Developing and implementing a strategic plan of reforms
The triumvirate would not exist today if it had ever faced an organized onslaught of strategically planned and successfully carried out reform initiatives backed by massive public pressure. Because the triumvirate is inseparable from the rest of the corpocracy such as, for example, the Wall Street component, the reform initiatives ought to include seeking major changes in how the corpocracy is ruining the economic and all other spheres of American’s lives. While keeping that in mind, this article will be limited to discussing the targeting of the war making triumvirate and its major source of power. A more comprehensive reform proposal can be found in my book.
Determining the ultimate objectives of “pacification”
Pacification of the triumvirate needs to be operationally defined in terms of strategic objectives and the criteria for knowing whether and to what extent progress is being made in achieving those objectives. The ones I think should be considered are listed below. It will seem unrealistic, but anything conceivable and sometimes even inconceivable is possible. How many of us, for instance, thought the newly elected President Obama and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize would initiate, review and approve drone hit lists that sometimes result in the killing of little children? Not I.
1. Alternative presidential election rules to diminish the chance of either of the twin political parties ever occupying the Oval Office again.
2. No more truly unprovoked, deadly and devastating drone strikes and other military interventions and economic sanctions anywhere.
3. Disengagement militarily from the Greater Middle East, the flashpoint for WWIII.
4. No more military aid to any countries.
5. No more military bases, CIA, or any surrogate entities on any foreign land.
6. No more military-related commitments in international treaties or participation in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade organization.
7. Bloated war budget replaced by a sensible peace budget.
8. Commensurate with a non-imperialistic foreign policy: dramatically modified agenda, operations, and size of the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security; the entire intelligence community; the FBI; and revocation of all laws and regulations requiring police state surveillance of citizens.
9. Replacement of all warfare handouts and bailouts to the war-national security industry with federal assistance for its gradual conversion to a peacetime economy.
10. A reoriented SEC and Department of Justice to regulate and prosecute scofflaws in the industry and its ally, Wall Street, and to hold shareholders accountable by eliminating corporations’ limited liability.
11. New antitrust regulations and federalized corporate chartering that reduce the size, nature and power of corporations.
12. Major defense corporations become exemplary models of organizations.
If all of those objectives were achieved, the triumvirate would not only have been pacified but America herself would be markedly changed in other positive ways. Between implementation of the strategic plan and achievement of those ultimate outcome objectives is a host of more immediate and intermediate outcomes (e.g., a charge of committing a war crime is actually taken to court). They are necessary for tracking progress and making adjustments in the plan and initiatives when indicated, but they will not be discussed here.
Targeting the triumvirate’s major source of power: The Federal government
My overview of this triumvirate in the first article made clear how vast it is, so vast that one might wonder just where to start in seeking to pacify it; until we realize that while the war-national security industry may seem more powerful than “our” government it is only because it acquiesces to that industry. That industry could not exist without hand outs from the Federal government. There is thus only one overall source of real power, subservient as it is; the governmental part of the triumvirate and the list of objectives reflects that fact.
The governmental part includes the warrior-in-chief; his vice president; political appointees overseeing, managing and/or advising one or more aspects of the military-national security-industrial part; Congress; and State and local officials in jurisdictions doing business with the triumvirate. I neglected to mention in the overview article the judiciary. It can usually be depended upon to justify the rest of the corpocracy when it is legally challenged.
Let’s consider for the moment the first three objectives on the list for their implications in planning strategic reform initiatives. But before doing so let’s note that according to a distinguished American authority on international law, “more than 30 top U.S. officials, including presidents G.W. Bush and Obama, are guilty of war crimes or crimes against peace and humanity ‘legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.’”11 These officials are the most directly responsible for decisions involving deadly and devastating military interventions and economic sanctions.
1. Alternative presidential election rules. In my book I advocated “dumping the party twins.” That will be impossible to do without major changes being made in the way presidential candidates get on State ballots and the way in which votes for them are counted. Third parties, not unlike thwarted eligible voters, run into all sorts of legal and other hurdles. Theresa Amato, former campaign manager for Ralph Nader and founder of the NGO, Citizen Advocacy Center, wrote in her own book “that unless one has been running a political race outside the two primary parties, it is impossible to imagine the injustices of the two-party-tilted electoral process.”12
I’m not an authority on this issue and will defer to those who are with one exception. It is my view that it is absurd for the States to have any authority in a nation-wide presidential election on how the presidential candidates are determined and the votes for them counted. The Federal Election Commission, a rather worthless entity as it now exists in my opinion, ought to be authorized and empowered as an independent commission to set and oversee impartial rules for determining the candidates nationwide.
It matters not, however, if electoral changes remove the biases in the rules but there are no viable presidential candidates on the ballot who are progressive, antiwar candidates. That was not the case in the 2012 presidential election, but we need to be sure that there is a “pipeline” of such candidates in the future. That is precisely the mission of at least one NGO, the Center for Progressive Leadership.
The obvious drawback to this objective is that achieving it will take a long time and thus allows in the meantime many more killings by the military and the CIA. Nevertheless, it needs to be achieved eventually and it is more realistically achievable than the second objective.
2. No more imperialistic militarism. The most urgent need is to stop and ban all future drone strikes, other deadly military interventions, and strangulating economic sanctions. They are continuing to send people to their graves and causing a variety of hardships with little or no evidence that any of these people were plotting a terror attack on America or one that would succeed. The drone strikes will continue with fervor if the president’s “chief antiterrorism” advisor is confirmed as the next CIA director. This is a man who seems to have no moral compunction whatsoever about loosely defining drone targets in foreign lands and putting them on the president’s kill list.13
Military interventions and especially drone strikes against noncombatants create a Petri dish for cultivating terrorists itching to retaliate. Here is what Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon official and fighter aircraft designer no less was quoted as saying about the matter: “…what happens on the ground is for every one of those impacts you get five or ten times as many recruits for the Taliban as you’ve eliminated. The people that we’re trying to convince to become adherents to our cause have turned rigidly hostile to our cause in part because of bombing and in part because of other killing of civilians from ground forces.”14
Achieving this objective would surely be hailed by all peace loving peoples on the planet. Attempting to achieve it and possibly getting closer to achieving will be fought by the triumvirate as if it were fighting a real war. Remember, we are dealing with a monster. It will use every legal and illegal means it can muster and/or create to prevent this objective’s achievement, including I would imagine assassination attempts like the one orchestrated by the monster that succeeded in killing the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. according to a civil court verdict in 1999.15 Determined peace seekers who would progress too far toward achieving this second objective would probably be risking their lives I should think so I have qualms about it even though I have written in many places that the only sure way to stop a wrongdoer is to hold that person accountable for the wrongdoing. But I also would note that accountability can take different forms and degrees all the way up to capital punishment. There is thus a variety of initiatives for achieving this objective ranging from petitioning and protesting up to and including prosecution, conviction and capital punishment for committing war crimes. Let’s consider some of these initiatives.
2a. Petitions. Petitioning requires little effort and accomplishes little unless there is a mountain of signatures that can’t be ignored and that compel an acknowledgment, a rationalized justification, or, unlikely, a commitment to comply with the petitioned request. There is a host of subjects and targets for petitions. Here are just a few examples of the possibilities: a)100,000 signatures petitioning the president to stop the drone strikes could be delivered to him and he would be required to respond; b) the U.S. Attorney General could be petitioned to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue criminal proceedings, c) local prosecutors could be petitioned to prosecute war criminals if agents of the criminal act reside in the prosecutors’ jurisdictions; and d) local officials could be petitioned to follow the example of Brattleboro and Marlboro.
2b. Protests. Joining protests requires more effort and, depending on the nature of the protests, risks law enforcement and legal retaliation. The last noteworthy protest helped end the Vietnam War, but then the war makers got smart and eliminated the draft and began hiring their help and adding inanimate operators.
I recently received an e-mail from Debra Sweet, director of the NGO, The World Can’t Wait, announcing a protest at Obama’s Inauguration Parade on January 21 that will include displaying scaled replicas of “at least 6 drones—brought from around the country.”16 While I wish it well, that protest probably won’t get any farther than the replicas can fly, and I would not be surprised if there were a confrontation between law enforcement officials and the protestors at the parade site.
2c. Proxy initiatives. These initiatives include letting informal courts of justice do what we won’t or are afraid to do through formal, legal channels. About the best that can be said about them is that they tell international war criminals what august bodies of critics think about them and their conduct. The Russell Tribunal on international war criminals responsible for the Vietnam War is a famous example, and it has since spawned three successive Russell Tribunals on alleged war criminals and crimes against the people of Chile, Iraq, and Palestine. Another example is the unanimous conviction of George W. Bush and five of his key aides in absentia of torture and war crimes by a tribunal held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.17
The NGO, War Is A Crime.org, reports that the Center for Constitutional Rights is coordinating with attorneys pursuing prosecutions in other countries under universal jurisdiction and that the British and Spanish governments have begun criminal investigations, but I could not find in reading the Center’s website any cases involving attempts to prosecute U.S. officials. The United Nations and the International Criminal Court could hear charges of international war crimes by U.S. officials but have not done so and have not responded positively to requests to do so. They are feckless entities that can only muster up the courage to prosecute officials in weak countries.
2d. More aggressive initiatives: Impeachment. Seeking impeachment of President Obama would be one such initiative. There has been impeachment fever ever since Obama was first elected president. Reasons given for impeachment range from crackpot contentions by the ‘birthers” that he is not an American citizen to more serious ones about his violating the Constitution on a number of grounds, including waging war without approval of the Congress.
Congress alone has the Constitutional authority to impeach a U.S. president, and I would think that political body, being part of the war making triumvirate would be highly unlikely to vote for his impeachment unless prurient and prickly politicians could nail him for some sex scandal yet to happen or to be exposed. Yes, there was a Congressional hearing in 2008 in which a few prominent Democrats clamored for impeachment of Bush. But then Congress went back to its craven business as usual, with dulcet, political careerist Nancy Pelosi reportedly saying (probably sweetly) that “impeachment is off the table.”
In that hearing, former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, is quoted as acknowledging that he is “forbidden from accusing him [President Bush] of a crime, or even any dishonorable conduct” under House rules” while still encouraging “people to read his book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.”18
While there are websites and articles where impeachment of President Obama is implored, I see no signs of it happening in Congress, and David Swanson, author and online activist, asks rather rhetorically in one of his articles if “impeachment is gone for good?”19 His answer in the article’s opening, “’I’ll grant you; it looks pretty grim.” He ends the article with another question and answer: “… can a president or a secret office or a corrupted Congress legalize what is unconstitutional? Clearly the answer is yes, if we let them.” I will return to the implications of that answer momentarily.
2d. More aggressive initiatives: Go to jail or worse. Most certainly a more aggressive initiative would be to officially prosecute, convict, and punish within the jurisdiction of the United States those 30 top officials and those in the Bush/Cheney administration for committing international war crimes. Petitioning the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to pursue the matter amounts to asking the monster to prosecute itself. The process will have to be initiated outside all but the judiciary’s part of the monster’s jurisdiction, and that itself does not bode well for the process going very far unless there is a rash of attempts that might worry those targeted officials enough to start making amends.
There is another approach that I call a form of “grass roots justice” that is sometimes mentioned and even suggested. It is that “ordinary” citizens can arrest war criminals, but the circumstances and conditions for doing so seem absolutely prohibitive and I know of no instances of them ever happening.
2d. More aggressive initiatives: Civil revolution. The 27% of us could all decide not to “let a secret office or a corrupted Congress legalize what is unconstitutional” to paraphrase Swanson. Would it take a civil revolution by 6 million some truly patriotic Americans to stop the monster from practicing its lethal trade?
I have not come to the point of advocating any revolution, including any civil, nonviolent revolution, but I do want to tell you what I wrote in my book’s third chapter, “Where’s Today’s Opposition?” I cited several authors favoring the idea (Thomas Jefferson was one of the first calling for a revolution every so often) and then went on to say: “If there were ever to be a massive civil revolution let us hope it is a peaceful one like that of Vaclav Havel’s “Velvet” revolution—. Mr. Havel called for a peaceful uprising in the former Czechoslovakia—whose citizens were oppressed by a totalitarian Communist regime. Peaceful demonstrations by small groups of students, artists, and scientists were followed by massive demonstrations, a general strike, the major media’s decision to join the general strike, and negotiations with the Communist-controlled government that subsequently acceded to a new government led by Mr. Havel.”20
I ended that section of the book by quoting history professor and author Barbara Epstein who wrote that an approach like Vaclav’s should be a part of radical politics but it is not a substitute for strategy and planning.21 She is absolutely right, and the rest of my book is full of strategy and planning.
2e. Other initiatives involving Congress. Both of its chambers are loaded with committees and subcommittees setting military budgets, overseeing military spending, making and unmaking laws and regulations favorable and unfavorable to the war-national security industry, and influencing the Departments of War/Defense, Homeland Security, and Energy to hand out large contracts in the right places. Members of those committees need to be among the prime targets for pressurized reform. Lesser but still prime targets need to be all the rest of Congress, starting with those Congressional districts ranking the highest in “dollar value of total defense contracts” (in 2006 the top five were 1. Virginia’s 8th district: $11.789 billion to 985 defense contractors; 2. Virginia’s 10th district: $6.096 billion to 664 defense contractors; 3. California’s 53rd district: $3.034 billion to 325 defense contractors; 4. Virginia’s 11th district: $2.931 billion to 514 defense contractors; 5. Alabama’s 1st district: $2.585 billion to 335 defense contractors).22
Ralph Nader, in his new book, Seventeen Solutions, proposes a watchdog group in each of the more than 400 Congressional districts.23 I would prefer instead a local chamber of democracy in each of those districts having not only the responsibility of monitoring their representatives but also of pressuring them until the pressure becomes intolerable. These local chambers need also to make life miserable for defense contractors in those districts.
3. Disengagement militarily from the Greater Middle East. America is entangled there because of Israel, oil, and just plain imperialism in general. In his book that heavily influenced the writing of my book, Professor Charles Derber noted that Israel was on Amnesty International’s list of state terrorists. The U.S. was not on the list but he went on to say that “the United States could best end terrorism abroad by ceasing its own support of it.”24 Since my first reading of his book I can’t begin to count the number of book and article authors I’ve read expressing similar views.
In the Afterword of my book I wrote that “The road to peace for America will have to go through the Middle East.” I then went on to say “An editorial in the New York Times raised the question of “where do we go from here” in that region? My answer was published as “an all editors’ selection” for being among the “most interesting and thoughtful comments that represent a range of views.” Here was my answer: “The question needs to be broadened and five answers courageously debated. How can the U.S. stop alienating the Middle East and thereby provoking unnecessary threats not only to us but also to that region? This question should constantly be on the table for serious diplomatic discussion. The first answer, persuade Israel through incentives and appeals to international harmony to return the land acquired in the 1967 war. Second, tell the Palestinians we will help them build their new state if they ask us. Three, renounce our dependence on oil and feverishly develop alternative sources of energy. Four, stop subsidizing our defense industry. Five, stop acting aggressively and unilaterally and start acting peacefully, diplomatically, and multilaterally through a strengthened UN and a reoriented and revitalized State Department wholeheartedly supported by the president and Congress. Ever happen? Let’s hope so. Future generations blameless for our inactions and bad actions today deserve a world we ought to be rebuilding for their arrival into whatever faith, culture, and nationality they may be born. Peace, Shalom, Salam.”25
Announcing the campaign to launch democracy power
To repeat, anything conceivable is possible, so in the unlikely event the USCD and the Democracy Power (or 27 Percent) Coalition were to become a reality, this combo force would need, over and above the growing publicity in reaction to its developing momentum, to debut itself by sending out a bevy of messages through a variety of mediums. The message and medium would depend on the audience, and the audience would include the entire corpocracy, not just the war making triumvirate.
Promotional messages could be broadcast to the public at large and include an invitation to join the Democracy Power Coalition and to become actively involved in one or more ways, perhaps starting with the signing of the Second Declaration of Independence to be described momentarily. Letters with a similar message could be sent to specific segments of the general public that might be potential allies but have yet to join the coalition.
Politicians would be a unique audience. Letters to them could introduce the USCD and the Democracy Power Coalition and the campaign to end the marriage made in Hell, seek endorsements of the reform plan, and request the signing of the Second Declaration of Independence and the cancelling of their Declaration of Dependence. That will be the day!
Letters of an entirely different nature could be written by the oversight/strike force alliance and sent to targeted members of the corporate partner, including the war making triumvirate and all their allies. Common to all of these letters would be an announcement about the campaign and the organized forces behind it. Notices to corporations that have already been confronted by activist NGOs would reflect that fact and all notices should a) present an assessment of each corporation’s corpocratic actions along with a request for a self-assessment to be made, b) make the case for why the corporation should reject the corpocracy and undertake self-reform, c) advise repairing major harms its actions have caused, d) advise resolving whatever longstanding or current issues have been raised by activist groups, and e) offer advice on how to transform into a model corporation.26 The notice would close by requesting a response within one month and saying the response would influence the campaign’s next steps. My guess is the return rate might be zero or close to it but again, anything conceivable may be possible.
The Second Declaration of Independence
The history of America is a history of the corpocracy’s tyranny over the people of these United States. The proof of this is not in doubt. It is therefore solemnly published and declared that the people of these United States shall resume their self rule through a true democracy free of the corpocracy.
The first Declaration was meant not only to tell the King to shove off but also to persuade reluctant colonists to sign on and to unite in the struggle against the King. All but 20% or so of them did, and perhaps it’s prophetic that those who didn’t were predominantly upper class landowners and business people who worried that they would lose their property rights and status if a new republic were to succeed. The hold outs were an ominous sign for democracy’s development, an auspicious sign for land and business development. I fully expect that if a Second Declaration of Independence were to be sent to all elected and appointed officials of all branches and levels of government the response would be similar to that of the pre-revolutionary hold-outs. And the response would itself be a Declaration of Dependence on the corpocracy.
Implementing the reform plan
Any plan is nothing but paper or online document until people start implementing it. I look to the present-day 27 percenters and future local and national chambers of democracy to do just that.
America’s history has been a checkered one to say the least. She has had her finer times but they are eclipsed by her worst times of domestic and foreign exploitation and brutality. We are living and suffering through one of those prolonged worse times.
The odds against turning America into a peace loving and practicing nation are astronomical. So are the odds against winning the lottery, but there are eventual winners. We need to buy into a lottery for a better America where peace always wins and war is never an option; an America with social and economic justice; with universal health care; with thriving small businesses and cooperatives; with a right to join a union and to bargain; with healthy and safe products and services, and with sustainable growth and a sustainable environment. I’m not talking utopia here. There are a few countries in the world, the Scandinavian ones mostly, that could serve as models for a future America. Mention those countries and the knee-jerk reaction of many is to cry “socialism.” To them I say “shut up” and read what I say about democratic capitalism in contrast to undemocratic capitalism.27
Obviously we can’t leave America’s destiny up to a lottery anymore than we can let her current conduct and destiny be up to the deadly monster. So let’s put the “we” full force into organizing and launching democracy power. If we do not try what does that tell the subjugated world about us? Poet Dante reserved the worst inferno for people who don’t try. I’m not going there.
I will be 78 this year. I am running out of time, energy, and patience. All this is to say that I would welcome members of the Dissident Voice community volunteering to help. A member of the U.S. Democracy Corps last year volunteered to help me contact NGOs, but then he backed out because of other commitments. With or without help, however, I intend to keep plodding ahead even though the whole endeavor is obviously not up to me alone, an infinitesimally tiny and fading speck of energy on the globe.
- A Deadly Monster: Part 1. An overview of the military-national security, industrial, political triumvirate. By Gary Brumback, Dissident Voice, December 11, 2012. [↩]
- A Deadly Monster: Part 2. An Outmatched Opposition. By Gary Brumback, Dissident Voice, December 19, 2012. [↩]
- Brumback, G. B. The Devil’s Marriage: Break up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch. Bloomington, IN: 2011, p. 135-146. [↩]
- Drone Strikes Widely Opposed: Global Opinion of Obama Slips, International Policies Faulted. Pew Global Research Center, June 13, 2012. [↩]
- Danaher, K, 10 Reasons to Abolish the IMF and World Bank. New York: Seven Stories Press, 1999, p. 20. [↩]
- [Given that the Swedes are capitulating to the US in seeking the extradition of whistleblower Julian Assange, that country's independence from the US is moot. If a NATO member were to be considered, then the people of Iceland have demonstrated an independent streak in their willingness to take on the Washington Consensus. See Birgitta Jónsdóttir, "Lessons from Iceland: the people can have the power," Guardian, 15 November 2011. -- Ed] [↩]
- U.S. Chamber Watch. [↩]
- Vermont Towns Vote to Arrest Bush and Cheney, Reuters, March 3, 2008. [↩]
- The Peace and Security Funders Group. I highlighted this group in Part 2 of this trilogy. [↩]
- Anti-War Industry Naked ‘Accessory After The Fact’ To US Crimes Against Humanity. By Jay Janson, Countercurrents.org, December 13, 2012. See also Kim Petersen’s interview with Mr. Janson: Prosecuting the Crimes of Hyper-empire. By Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice, January 9, 2013. Mr. Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. [↩]
- More than 30 Top U.S. Officials Guilty of War Crimes, Boyle Says. By Sherwood Ross, OpEdNews, December 11, 2012. [↩]
- Amato, T. Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two Party Tyranny. NY: The New Press, 2009. [↩]
- The Government’s Orwellian Justification of its Deadly Drone Strikes by Gary Brumback, Dissident Voice, May 22, 2012. [↩]
- Impeach Obama! By Tom Santoni, War Is A Crime.org, February 26, 2009. [↩]
- The Martin Luther King Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis. By Jim Douglas, Probe Magazine, Spring 2000. [↩]
- E-mail, January 3, 2013, from Debra Sweet, subject: “The World Can’t Wait. Stop the crimes of your government.” [↩]
- Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia. By Yvonne Ridley, Foreign Policy Journal, January 15, 2013. [↩]
- Rocky Anderson Calls for Bush Impeachment at Congressional Committee Hearing. By Jim Abrams and Lee Davidson, Deseret News, July 25, 2008. [↩]
- Is Impeachment Gone for Good? By David Swanson, OpEdNews, November 14, 2012. [↩]
- The Devil’s Marriage, ibid. p 40. [↩]
- Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement. By Barbara Epstein, Monthly Review Online, September 2001. [↩]
- DoD, Defense Contract Dollars by Congressional Districts (109th Congress), USA, 2006. [↩]
- Nader, R. The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. New York: Harper Paperback, 2012. [↩]
- Derber, C. Regime Change Begins at Home: Freeing America from Corporate Rule. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004, p. 117. [↩]
- The Devil’s Marriage, ibid. p. 188. [↩]
- See, e.g., Brumback, G.B. The Corpocracy and Megaliio’s Turn Up Strategy. Palm Coast, FL: Democracy Power Press (Amazon Kindle Edition), 2012. [↩]
- The Devil’s Marriage, ibid. Chapter 10. Ending Undemocratic Capitalism, p. 149-180, and Appendix C. Creative Economic Thinking from A to Z Minus E for Economists, p. 203-213. [↩]