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"Three Truth-tellers"

In the midst of near-despair over the volume of falsehood being spread around, including "spin" and "unfairly framed questions," as well as blatant statements of untruth and non-fact, I have stumbled on three truth-tellers. I am ready to recommend anything any of them write or say, wherever anyone can find it.

[1] Keith Olberman. He appears on MSNBC in the evening, and some of his essays can be found at He recently corrected the Acting President's summary of the lessons to be learned from the U.S. war in Vietnam. "We'll succeed unless we quit." The Acting President has the lesson of that war completely wrong, all wrong.

We did quit, finally, in Vietnam. The domino theory was proven wrong. "Peace with honor" was proven to be a fiction. Lying a country into war, and then persisting in it after the country's stomach has turned against it, prolongs much agony, but quitting finally becomes the only option. Vietnam has become a thriving country, but we had to quit first. The U.S. survived the Cold War, and the USSR did not, partly because the USSR missed the lessons of Vietnam and got themselves into a quagmire of their own in Afghanistan. Footnote to that: the U.S. took on people who were mostly pacifist Buddhists, while the Soviets took on a harsh vengeful warlike group. Both super-powers eventually had to quit.

[2] Robert Jansen. He was reared in North Dakota, now teaches at the University of Texas in Austin. He has written a book, THE HEART OF WHITENESS, which should be required reading for all Americans. He states what we all know, which many either deny or refuse to think about. We live in a white supremacist society. Three holocausts set up the white supremacy system:
    [a] The near extermination of the dark-skinned natives of the continent.
    [b] The enslavement of dark-skinned Africans and the segregation of their descendants.
    [c] The war against the so-called Third World, dark-skinned people, in order to steal their raw materials. This holocaust is still going on, and accounts for the hatred toward this country which is at the root of what is so glibly labeled "terrorism." They have to use suicide bombers, because they have no tanks or F-16 fighter airplanes, and no atomic bombs. That war is still going on, in order to keep white supremacy firmly in place here. Many readers won't like this book -- the truth is bare-nakedly exposed, and for the beneficiaries of the system, that is, white people, it feels uncomfortable.

[3] Howard Zin. His magnum opus is THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, which has been characterized as "the story from the point of view of the losers -- Indians, Negroes, laborers and women." Recently his column in THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE came out pointedly stating that humanity must finally give up war altogether. It creates more problems than it solves. Let's imagine some other use of all that wealth. The U.S. is wasting the most -- our "defense" budget is larger than that of the next ten nations taken together.

Someone did some polling world wide and discovered that the three nations which contain the largest percentage of pacifists are: Germany, Japan and Spain. They have had enough. They have learned the lessons available from previous wars.

Our former secretary of defense glimpsed this, but then totally misread it, in all his supercilious superiority -- Rummy referred to Germany, France and Spain as "old Europe," suggesting that they were exhausted cowards, ready to cut and run rather than fight any more.

But it can be viewed from another angle. In an old movie called, WAR GAMES, the issue was nuclear war. The wise proverb that came out of it was, "The only way to win is to refuse to play." It turns out that very well may be true of all war, not just nuclear. Let's take "non-proliferation" all the way to its logical conclusion, and refuse to waste any more of our wealth and our ingenuity and the very lives of our young on such a fruitless effort.

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Copyright © 2006 Harry Willson

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