My Speech for the Rage Against the War Machine Rally
February 19th is the Rage Against the War Machine rally in DC. It just so happens to be my dad’s birthday as well. He was born on that date in 1917, endured the Great Depression, worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and in factories until being drafted in 1942, and after the war became a firefighter, serving for more than thirty years until retiring. With my dad in mind, here’s the speech I’d give if I was invited on the stage. (The rally already has 27 speakers, but hopefully I can add a bit of rage and inspiration of my own.)
[To be clear: this is an “imaginary” speech. I am not one of the 27 speakers.]
Hello everyone. Today would have been my dad’s 106th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!
In the late 1930s, when my dad was working hard for low pay in a factory, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Navy. The Navy recruiter rejected him because he was roughly a half inch too short. After Pearl Harbor, and remembering his rejection, my dad didn’t join the eager volunteers. He waited to be drafted and reported to the Army. He served in an armored headquarters group but never went overseas to fight. That fact, and his earlier rejection by the Navy, is perhaps why I’m alive today to add my voice of rage against the military-industrial complex and America’s permanent state of undeclared war.
Dad and Mom raised me during the Cold War. I was conceived around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and was in diapers when John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas. As a boy, I embraced military things, played with toy soldiers, GI Joes, imitation M-16s, and similar toys of war. I built model tanks, model warplanes, model warships. I blew them up with firecrackers, imagining heroic battles.
As a teenager in the 1970s, I believed the Soviet Union was an insidious threat to American democracy. We faced the prospect of nuclear destruction. My dad was philosophical about this. Even if Americans and Russians killed each other in mutual assured destruction, known appropriately as MAD, a billion Chinese would survive to kickstart humanity, he quipped.
But there were two harsh realities my dad and I didn’t know back then. Nuclear winter was one. Any major exchange between nuclear powers, we now know, wouldn’t just kill the people in those countries. The soot and ash thrown into the atmosphere from thermonuclear war would likely lead to mass starvation globally. (Let’s not forget global radioactivity, sickness, and death as well.) The second one was that America’s nuclear plans, known as the SIOPs, envisioned not just massive attacks on the USSR but China as well, even if China hadn’t attacked the United States.
Sorry, Dad: In case of a major nuclear war, China’s goose was cooked, as was most other forms of life on our planet.
When I graduated from college in 1985, a brand-new 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, my first assignment took me to Colorado Springs and Cheyenne Mountain, America’s very own Mount Doomsday. Cheyenne Mountain was America’s nuclear command and control center, literally blasted and tunneled out of a mountain, protected by 2000 feet of solid granite above it. Giant blast doors and buildings mounted on immense springs theoretically enabled us to ride out a nuclear war. But we few under the mountain knew that if DEFCON 1 came to pass, we’d likely be among the first to die in a nuclear war, even with all that rock over our heads.
You might say I’ve been to the mountain, Cheyenne Mountain, that is, both inside and outside. I much preferred the outside, hiking in the cool crisp Colorado air.
Once, when I was inside the mountain, the “battle staff” ran a wargame that ended with a nuclear attack on U.S. cities. In a sense, then, I’ve seen the missiles fly, I’ve seen their tracks end at American cities, if only on a monochrome monitor. Even that low-tech video screen convinced me that I never, ever, want to see the real thing.
A few years later, I walked the desert wilderness of Alamogordo, New Mexico, site of the first atomic blast in July of 1945, the Trinity test that preceded Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’ve seen what little remained from that test, a test that changed everything, after which the survival of humanity as a species became problematic, precarious, and uncertain, dependent on men and their control over their thermonuclear toys, the playthings of the demented.
I’ve been to doomsday mountain, I’ve walked in an atomic wilderness, and I’ve come here to say: enough is enough.
The Pentagon plans to spend as much as $2 trillion over the next 30 years on a refreshed nuclear triad. Sentinel ICBMs. B-21 stealth bombers. Columbia-class nuclear subs. When will the insanity end?
As the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to midnight, we must act to stop it, to turn it back. We must act so that it never has the remotest chance of striking midnight.
We must walk – better yet, run – out of the dark and dank tunnel of doomsday mountain into the glorious light awaiting us. We must relish the wondrous sights and sounds of life. We must embrace each other, share the warmth of our common humanity as we seek a better, peaceful future for everyone everywhere.
Because mountains won’t protect us. Missiles won’t save us. Weapons won’t warm us, unless by warmth you mean death by nuclear fire.
Ending war will protect us. Ending missiles will save us. Compassion, tolerance, and love will warm us.
I know because I’ve been to doomsday mountain. I’ve witnessed nuclear war, if only during an exercise. I’ve walked in a desert where an atomic blast obliterated and irradiated most everything in its path. And that’s not a future I want. That’s not a future any sane person wants. That way lies madness.
Come, take my hand. Join me in leaving Cheyenne Mountain. Let’s run like children, with joy, away from tunnels and blast doors, toward the light of peace.
And, once we’re out, let’s put the darkness of war and nuclear terror behind us and never look back.
19 thoughts on “Enough Is Enough”
Reblogged this on Unorthodox Truth.
Enough is Enough!
I was an US Army Armor Crewman for 13+ years on M60A3 and M1/M1A1 tanks
The new ATLAS, AI target locator is another example of waste fraud and abuse this unit has a billing that it can destroy three targets in the same amount of time as it takes crewmen to engage one. This I’m sure is laughable. I also work with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, another waste of tax dollars. The BFV has a system that will track two moving targets simultaneously I tried for two hours, couldn’t do it. Thanks for your briefings and try not to LOL at the article.
Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .
Dear Bill- Thank you for your constant flow of common sense. When will American politicians learn that security comes from friends not from more and greater threats to imaginary enemies? Weapons, even non nuclear ones, will not guarantee security if this is bought at the price of others insecurity. That is the way of the bully. Is this how the American way of ‘life’ is advertised to the world? What a sad corner the arms industry has painted itself into! And what a colossal waste of resources which could be used to build real economic strength.
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All very true, all absolutely spot-on, Bill. Couple of things to add–first is that SIOP-1 at least, also involved destroying all of Eastern Europe as well as the USSR and China. Second is that the nuclear strategic modernization also involves engineering and manufacturing a new set of nuclear warheads too. Umm, our signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would seem to make such actions a violation of treaty, and hence, of US law. Anybody talking about that in newsmedialand or politicsville?
Thank You, Lieutenant Colonel Astore, and Thank You, Bill.
i hope that Tom Dispatch, Scheerpost, Consortium News, and everybody else who regularly posts Your work does their job in disseminating it. And perhaps You could deliver it over somebody’s podcast.
i also hope that it inspires Colonel Bacevich and Major Sjursen and any other Veteran who has a presence online to follow in Your and Scott Ritter’s footsteps and write and release their own statements in support of the RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE ANT-WAR Rally.
The most significant fact about the February 19 gathering at the Lincoln Memorial is that it is being put together and happening NOT by just a bunch of left-wing socialist/communist/progressive/woke peaceniks left over from the 60s and 70s. Rather, it is also being done by folks from on the Very OTHER side of the political track, and from other places and perspectives, as well. And it is the first time in the history of American anti-war action that an attempt has been made to do that.
It’s a shame Veterans For Peace and CODE PINK don’t have the brains to see the significance of that, or the balls to be part of it.
And my guess is that the Media will completely ignore it, and pretend it never happened.
What i’m really looking forward to are the Counter-Protesters waving their American Flags and Yellow [or Yellow and Blue] Ribbons.
Anyway, Thank You again for writing and posting that, Colonel Bill.
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RAGE AGAINST ANYTHING BUT THE WAR MACHINE? by Keith Preston / Attack The System 020923
The anti-RATWM discussion about 44 min into this video [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtJ6JfVSZAc&t=2s ] illustrates why there is no effective resistance in the US. The attitude of many “libertarians” and “leftists” has been pathetic. Apparently, they care more about being do-gooders than opposing WW3.
First, Scott Ritter. Yes, he is a convicted SO. So what? He’s not auditioning for the priesthood or school teacher. Maybe he’s done a few carjackings along the way, too. The rally has nothing to do with SO issues or Scott’s personal history.
Second, some of the speakers are pro-Russia. Yeah? What of it? Plenty of the most effective anti-Vietnam War activists were pro-RNV and pro-NLF. Some were open Stalinists or Maoists. That’s how effective political coalitions are done. Get over it.
Third, not all of the speakers are fully antiwar. Again, so what? This is a rally against US imperialism generally and US escalation of the Ukraine war specifically, not a rally against ALL BAD THINGS.
Fourth, some of the other speakers have shady things in their personal histories. Again, so what? RATWM is not about hiring babysitters. It’s about building an alliance against the US imperialist war machine.
Fifth, many critics seem to want to bring their various forms of personal drama/trauma stories into the mix. Listen carefully: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It is about the wider struggle against US imperialism and preventing WW3.
To the critics, I say if being a moralistic do-gooder or expressing personal piety is all you care about, then go to your preferred place of worship. If dealing with personal issues is what motivates you, then go to a support group or a therapist.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Do they really think moral purity and personal drama or more important than preventing WW3 between nuclear-armed powers? Apparently, they do. And I regrettably can’t say I am surprised.
Seriously, folks. Read your fucking Machiavelli and Sun Tzu. Though maybe that’s too triggering.
POLITICAL REVOLUTIONS ONLY HAPPEN WHEN THEY ACHIEVE THE SUPPORT OF A WIDE CROSS-SECTION OF ANY SOCIETY WITH A SUPER-MAJORITY LEVEL OF SUPPORT. OTHERWISE, IT’S CIVIL WAR AND STATE REPRESSION. THIS POINT SEEMS TO BE LOST ON MOST “RADICALS.”
RATWM IS WHAT SHOULD BE GOING ON EVERY DAY IN EVERY MAJOR US CITY AND THEN SOME.
https://attackthesystem.com/2023/02/09/rage-against-anything-but-the-war-machine/ [EMPHASIS added.]
Noted UFOologist Dr Steven Greer offers a very clear, concise, cogent, and comprehensive hypothesis as to the nature and source of the three Unidentified Anomalous ~ or Aerial, depending on the source ~ Phenomena shot down last week over North America on the Kim Iverson Show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj-H3tngBd0 .
He sums up his main point completely beginning at 16:44 when he states that “when people speak of government, there are really two governments…”:
The one we learn about in civics class, watch on the news, and vote for; and,
Quoting an excerpt from the late Senator Daniel Inouye in his Chairman’s Closing Statement at the 1987 Iran-Contra Hearings, there is “a secret government, directed principally by NSC staffers, accountable to not a single elected official, including apparently the President himself—a shadowy government with its own air force, its own navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances and free from the law itself.
“It is an elitist vision of government that trusts no one, not the people, not the Congress, and not the Cabinet. It is a vision of a government operated by persons convinced they have a monopoly on truth… .”
… “I believe these hearings will be remembered longest not for the facts they elicited, but for the extraordinary and extraordinarily frightening views of government they exposed.” [ Excerpt video at https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4910144/user-clip-secret-shadowy-government ; full transcript and video of Inouye’s complete Statement at https://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/v-cs4.php . ]
Here is the trailer to Dr Greer’s documentary UNACKNOWLEDGED, which goes into all this in great detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMnPKVbgH60 .
And his book by the same title begins:
“The human experiment on planet Earth is on the verge of self-destruction. Looking at the threats of nuclear war, the chemical and biological ecocide, global climate change, proliferating weapons on Earth and in space, the greed of corporations, and the gross cronyism and mismanagement of the U.S. government, the bloated military budgets and aggression, the distractions of our cultural conditioning, the spread of fear and ignorance, the suppression of life-saving technologies, the disparity of wealth and poverty among us, it is amazing we are still here. Barely.”
Being a War baby, in CanaDa we never had the drills that were regular in US schools to duck under your school desk for protection in a Nuclear attack. The government knew that was conveying a false sense of security but continued misleading the Public into the 60s.
The showing of the movie ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust on November 20, 1983 put the final nail in the coffin for that kind of superficial thinking.
Sadly, it’s not unthinkable to imagine the spirit of these letters unfolding in THIS Material World because it’s already unfolding all around us THESE DAYS.
And the nations were angry, and your WRATH is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
There’s no denying the Nations are angry and getting angrier in OUR Time.
As for the time of the dead, I understand that from my own experience. Until that unexpected surprise and Awesome Day of February 1,1975, I was dead to God and God was dead to me. It was a Spiritual death because up to that day the main factors driving my Life was THIS Material World, and the systems within which we operate, MONEY and THINGS in the search for that Special Lifelong Partner.
So we have the increasing anger of the Nations and People on one side that could result in a collective death wish for the World as President Kennedy warned.
On the other side in the spirit of these letters in that one line, “should destroy them which destroy the earth” we have the increasing warnings of Science we Humans, made in the Image and Likeness of God either Alive and Spiritually in Tune or dead to God, are slowly destroying this Earth and it’s Natural Environment sustaining us.
It would appear Humanity is facing 2 Existential Threats, with the violence of WAR and Environmental degradation at the same Time.
Way to big for a lot of People to handle with everything else going on in this World.
If that wasn’t enough, this is from the next chapter in the Revelation, “Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great WRATH, because he knows that he has but a short time.”
Revelation 12, 12
As for ‘the heavens and you that dwell in them,’ The Christ says “the kingdom of heaven is WITHIN YOU” and in another place, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So in the Revelation we have the WRATH of God and the WRATH of the devil. Who can discern WHICH WRATH is WHICH?
What I do know is Faith in Christ Jesus saves those who believe with the heart, from the WRATH of God and the WRATH of the devil as we enter these trying Times.
I know that from this 1 night in my Curriculum Vitae when I found myself deep in the Black Ghetto of Trenton, N.J at 1:30 am in a crowd of some 30 Black Youths. One came out of that crowd saying my backpack was his backpack and he was taking it.
In my Faith, I walked out of that scene with my backpack unmolested.
France 24 Documentary on the Battle of Bakhmut at the street level. A City divided,
If the posts above are not enough, here’s a candid Oliver Stone with his impressions of Putin and the Ukraine War
From the always excellent and knowledgeable Gilbert Doctorow:
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SCOTT RITTER UNCANCELED: RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE SPEECH
I was originally scheduled to speak at the Rage Against the War Machine rally on February 19, 2023, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC.
The Libertarian Party, one of the organizers of the event (the other being the People’s Party), determined that I did not pass their litmus test of qualities they required for speakers at the rally, and threatened to block the rally if I were to speak. I withdrew in the interest of allowing the other voices scheduled to speak at the rally the opportunity to be heard.
I had prepared an address to deliver at the rally. I have taken the liberty to record it so that it could be heard by all interested persons.
The livestream premiere is Sunday, February 19 at 12:00 noon on:
YouTube [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_dMAQ2viCg ] ,
Facebook [ https://www.facebook.com/events/2345054345672533 ],
Twitter, Rumble and Twitch, just prior to the scheduled start (12:30) of the rally.
Chris Hedges was on fire in his RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE speech.
Idolatry is the primal sin from which all other sins derive. Idols tempt us to become God. They demand the sacrifice of others in the mad quest for wealth, fame or power. But the idol always ends by requiring self-sacrifice, leaving us to perish on the blood-soaked altars we erected for others.
For empires are not murdered, they commit suicide at the feet of the idols that entrance them.
We are here today to denounce the unelected, unaccountable high priests of Empire, who funnel the bodies of millions of victims, along with trillions of our national wealth, into the bowels of our own version of the Canaanite idol, Moloch.
The political class, the media, the entertainment industry, the financiers and even religious institutions bay like wolves for the blood of Muslims or Russians or Chinese, or whoever the idol has demonized as unworthy of life. There were no rational objectives in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Somalia. There are none in Ukraine. Permanent war and industrial slaughter are their own justification. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman earn billions of dollars in profits. The vast expenditures demanded by the Pentagon are sacrosanct. The cabal of warmongering pundits, diplomats and technocrats, who smugly dodge responsibility for the array of military disasters they orchestrate, are protean, shifting adroitly with the political tides, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Julien Benda called these courtiers to power “the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia.”
These pimps of war do not see the corpses of their victims. I did. Including children. Every lifeless body I stood over as a reporter in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Bosnia, or Kosovo, month after month, year after year, exposed their moral bankruptcy, intellectual dishonesty, sick bloodlust and delusional fantasies. They are puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the weapons manufacturers who lavishly fund their think tanks: Project for the New American Century, Foreign Policy Initiative, American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, Institute for the Study of War, Atlantic Council and Brookings Institute. Like some mutant strain of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be vanquished. It does not matter how wrong they are, how absurd their theories of global dominance, how many times they lie or denigrate other cultures and societies as uncivilized or how many they condemn to death. They are immovable props, parasites vomited up in the dying days of all empires, ready to sell us the next virtuous war against whoever they have decided is the new Hitler. The map changes. The game is the same……………………………………………………….
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SEYMOUR HERSH’S TRINITY OF TRUTH: Hersh’s Nord Stream article “his most important work ever” by Scott Ritter 021723 https://www.scottritterextra.com/p/seymour-hershs-trinity-of-truth [EMPHASES added.]
In the Christian faith, God comes in the form of three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Together, these three beings form the Trinity.
In a recent interview with the German writer Fabian Scheidler, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh discussed his bombshell article that appeared in his inaugural posting on Substack, “How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline”. [ https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/how-america-took-out-the-nord-stream ]
When Scheidler thanked Hersh for his courageous reporting, the veteran reporter shot back, “WHAT’S SO COURAGEOUS ABOUT TELLING THE TRUTH? WE’RE SUPPOSED TO TELL THE TRUTH!”
I’ve known Sy Hersh for coming on a quarter century. While I was too young to experience first-hand the impact of his reporting on the MY LAI MASSACRE IN VIETNAM, I had a front row seat to the masterful job he did in bringing to light the horrible facts about WHAT THE UNITED STATES WAS DOING IN THE ABU GHRAIB PRISON, IN IRAQ.
Legendary status isn’t given—it is earned. And Sy Hersh has earned the absolute right to be called the GOAT when it comes to investigative journalism. He is, simply put, the best.
I’ve read nearly everything Sy Hersh has written, and am able to put his considerable journalistic output in its proper historical perspective. It is therefore that I feel very comfortable in concluding that, IN TERMS OF ITS POTENTIAL FOR BRINGING ABOUT TECTONIC GEOPOLITICAL CHANGE, SY’S NORD STREAM REPORTING IS HIS MOST IMPORTANT WORK EVER.
The GOAT has produced what I call the TRINITY OF TRUTH.
TRUTH ONE: The President of the United States, Joe Biden, by conspiring with members of his national security team to deliberately bypass constitutionally-mandated reporting requirements to Congress regarding acts of war undertaken by the United States, has committed an impeachable offense unmatched by any other president in the history of the United States.
TRUTH TWO: The blow-back that will occur inside Germany to the revelations put forward by Seymour Hersh that the United States carried out an economic Pearl Harbor by destroying energy infrastructure critical to the well-being of the German nation has the potential of breaking up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), upending more than eighty years of post-war European security and stability, and resulting in the diminishment of the United States on the world stage as it becomes isolated from long-time European allies that served as the foundation of the global acceptance of the so-called “rules based international order” that has served as the means by which the United States exerted global hegemony.
TRUTH THREE: The decision to attack the Nord Stream pipeline puts a lie to the US contention that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked act of aggression, instead underscoring the harsh truth that the United States had a strategic plan which hinged on provoking a conflict with Russia in Ukraine to provide the geopolitical cover for ending Europe’s reliance upon cheap Russian natural gas by demonstrating that every time Russia sought a negotiated end to the crisis, whether before the invasion through implementation of the Minsk Accords, or after in the Istanbul round of talks scheduled for April 1, the United States sabotaged the effort, keeping the conflict alive long enough to implement its major objective—the destruction of Nord Stream.
IN SHORT, SY HERSH, THROUGH HIS REPORTING, HAS EXPOSED TRUTHS WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL OF BRINGING DOWN A PRESIDENCY, DESTROYING NATO, AND PROVING RUSSIA RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD.
Name one other piece of journalism in the past half-century that packs such a punch.
Sy Hersh is a national—no, an international—treasure, something this Trinity of Truth underscores.
Be sure to treat him as such.
<<< Scott Ritter will discuss this article and answer audience questions on Episode 46 of Ask the Inspector. https://www.scottritterextra.com/p/ask-the-inspector >>>
‘EU in ‘urgent war mode’ – top diplomat’
Josep Borrell claims the war in Ukraine will be over unless the bloc resolves the ammunition shortage
EU in ‘urgent war mode’ – top diplomat
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has called for more weapons for Ukraine and faster shipment of ammunition. His words come amid Western promises of new armament deliveries for Kiev and growing shortages in his bloc’s own stocks.
“We are in urgent war mode,” Borrell said on Sunday, during the last day of the Munich Security Conference. He added that the conflict would be over if the shortage of ammunition was not resolved in “a matter of weeks.”
The diplomat bemoaned the depletion of European stockpiles, claiming that the Union “forgot about classical wars… only engaged in expeditionary forces and technological Blitzkrieg.”
He announced that the EU defense ministers will hold a special meeting on March 8-9 to attempt to resolve this issue. Borrell said that he will also present the idea of using the 3.6 billion euros ($3.6 billion) of the European Peace Facility to jointly buy ammunition for Kiev, using the EU’s experience in joint procurements of Covid-19 vaccines.
Borrell himself was wary of the ammunition shortages back in September, saying supplies were “depleted.” This assessment was echoed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who warned that the Alliance’s countries were running out of rounds they could donate to Kiev’s war effort.
Multiple EU countries and the US have pledged to send modern, Western-made tanks to Ukraine; however, the process will take months with no clear timetable. The UK and France are also mulling sending fighter jets to Kiev, with London already training pilots. However, French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that sending warplanes was not something that could be done “in the coming weeks.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month that the weapons shipments to Kiev would not stop Russia from achieving the goals of the military operation, but would instead just “prolong the suffering” for Ukraine.
How do you characterize this report in RT as Russian Propaganda?