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The Achilles’ Heel(s) of the US War Machine

by John Doraemi Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 at 2:09 PM

- John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State, at: http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/ -

Recently I was introduced to Gene Sharp's manifesto on "regime change" called: FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY, A conceptual framework for liberation (1993). This book - along with U.S. overt and covert "aid" - has brought down at least three governments to date, including Serbia (Milosevic), Georgia (Shevardnadze), and the Ukraine (Yanukovych). [1]

I found the book on a web page, available through Google, if you type in the title. The book is used by US imperial "soft power" forces such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and "Freedom House." It was published through the Albert Einstein Institute.
George Soros has been responsible for some of these US adventures in non-violent overthrows of regimes deemed unacceptable to US power brokers.

Still, the book itself is a manual on how to overthrow dictatorships, military non-democratic despots, the sort of which we are becoming here in the U.S.

Crucial to overthrowing dictatorships, even totalitarian regimes are two concepts:

1) Non-violent struggle
2) Identifying the weaknesses of the regime and exploiting them

It is the second concept that I wish to comment upon today, and to offer a bold strategy for confronting the US federal military industrial complex.

Because the United States has some limited democratic governance, we must modify our tactics from those presented in the manual. We must also realize that the "Democratic Party" of the United States is as complicit in U.S. imperialism, and is as "in bed" with the military industrial complex as is its alleged opponent, the Republican Party. For this reason, we must not ever tie our opposition to the Democratic Party, and we must remain independent in thought and in action.

Non-violent struggle is required - argues Sharp - because a critical mass of population will not join the struggle if it is violent. It will scare off the great majority, and will ultimately be defeated by the superior firepower and repression of the central government. The government holds overwhelming superiority of military means, so much so that armed rebellion is doomed to fail from the start. Finally, a violent movement may turn out in the end to be worse than the dictatorship they will have defeated.

So, taking a non-violent course of resistance, the strategy should focus upon the needs of the dictatorship. Denying the dictatorship its lifeblood, weakening it, compromising it, denying it legitimacy will all serve to erode its power and ability to exercise control over society (and over the world at large).

"A grand strategy which limits its objective to merely destroying the incumbent dictatorship runs a great risk of producing another tyrant."

Here is the crux of the problem in the United States today. The "anybody but Bush" concept was garbage, perpetrated by the same forces that installed Bush in office in the first place. Kerry was not a legitimate alternative. Kerry's response to an illegal war crime against Iraq was to escalate the conflict. Both Kerry's and Bush's policies were war crimes, illegal under international law as well as under our own Constitution, Article 2. Both were unacceptable.

Clearly, if we are to remain a democracy in any way, shape or form, we are going to have to restore the U.S. Constitution to the "Supreme Law of the Land." This can be a fundamental goal of the newly forming "pro-democracy" movement here in the U.S.A.

This leads us to the first of the Bush regime's Achilles' heels:

* Current US foreign policies are unconstitutional, therefore illegal, therefore a high crime subject to impeachment, removal from office, and criminal prosecution.

Now, I don't expect the judiciary branch, which holds many of the same views as the Bush regime to actually do anything about this. Nor the US Congress, not right away. After all, the Congress is complicit with the war crimes and with the unconstitutional Patriot Act legislation. The people however can be educated. And that's a main goal of our movement, of course, which is not news to most people here.

There are ten other Achilles' heels listed below, great weaknesses of the current government, which need to be highlighted and exploited as opportunities arise:

#1) September 11th was perpetrated by the Bush regime and its covert proxy forces. This has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and is reflected in the omissions in the 9-11 Commission report (produced by white house appointed functionaries), as well as by the body of evidence on US fighter jet responses during the attacks, as well as by the multitude of warnings pre-9-11 that were denied by Bush administration officials, as well as by the actual squashing of legitimate FBI investigations into known terrorists before the attacks, the subject of several current lawsuits by FBI agents.

In August of 2004, a Zogby poll determined that 49.3% of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall believed that some government officials "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act."
This is mass murder and treason. This is the best Achilles' heel of the current regime. For supporting documentation see Michael Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon, Daniel Hopsicker's Welcome to Terrorland, and David Ray Griffin's New Pearl Harbor, among others.

A full 66% polled in New York City called for a new probe of unanswered questions by Congress or by New York's Attorney General. Two thirds. That's a majority.

#2) Don't send your kids off to be cannon fodder for oil. That's the message that needs to reach the flag wavers. We have been Bushwhacked by the oil robber barons. These wars were not about the "weapons of mass destruction" that sold them. This issue alone should assure the collapse of the Bush regime. That it hasn't yet is nearly beyond belief. Their lies are exposed in broad daylight even in all mainstream corporate media.

Denying the warmongers the personnel to oppress Iraq and other nation states should be a top goal of the anti-war movement, and of a pro-democracy movement.

#3) The national debt / deficits. The people of the United States, their children and grandchildren now owe a total of .5 Trillion of debt that has been arranged by the federal government. This total is expected to continue to grow, indefinitely. That's 0 Billion in just interest payments this year. The ultimate result - and goal of the Bush team - may be to bankrupt the United States of America and to usher in a massive and catastrophic depression.

Is anyone out there voting for this? This is a massive Achilles' Heel which should be mentioned at every political talk. We are on the road to collapse and ruin, and much of this is directly traceable to the trillions of dollars that have gone missing from the Pentagon (more than Trillion at last count), courtesy of Lockheed Martin and DynCorp (privatized) accounting systems.

#4) Oil / Fossil Fuels. This structural reality gives the current regime its power. All that we can do to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and other centralized energy (ie. nuclear power) will serve to strengthen the people and to weaken the oligarchs. Solar panels and solar water heating (which is the most efficient form of solar energy), geothermal air heating, and wind turbines offer reasonable alternatives to burning fossil fuel to heat, cool and energize our homes. Solar energy is within reach of nearly everyone. Wind is usable in many locations and represents free 24 hour per day energy production. Other approaches like tide generation and hydro river power are proven, reliable technologies that take power away from the oil oligarchs and put it back into the hands of the people.

#5) Food. Plant a garden, and grow a part of your own food supply. The U.S. is a wonderfully arable land, and this opportunity is available to most people. Again, everything that takes power away from centralized forces, such as agribusiness corporations and returns it to regular citizens will weaken them and help us.

#6) Barter. By trading goods and services for other goods and services, no taxes are sent to Washington. Barter is an underground economy based upon fair trade practices, and unencumbered by federal or state bureaucracy. If the goal is to weaken the war machine, then new ways of denying the fed its gold must be explored. Federal taxes are deducted automatically from payrolls, which is a strength that is hard to challenge directly.

#7) Legitimacy. To declare the current regime in Washington illegitimate is crucial. The world should know that Bush and Cheney stole not one, but two consecutive elections. The American people as a whole have not given them any kind of "mandate." Far from it. America is divided, and great opposition exists to the policies of the current government. This division is our strength, and their weakness.

It must be a part of any democratic movement that the current government is illegitimate and has stolen power like any third world banana republic dictatorship.

# 8) Corporate media is the problem, not the solution. In 2004, more than 900,000 citizens voiced their opposition to the FCC plan to allow more broadcaster consolidation of bandwith resources. This level of opposition was unprecedented. It may not have completely quashed their plans for total control of the airwaves. It did however expose the mindset of the American people regarding this issue. After numerous lies broadcast over public airwaves, likening the broadcasters to a "ministry of information" arm of the regime, people have woken up and are not happy at what they are seeing and hearing.

We must pursue true independent media as much as possible. Print, internet, radio, TV, there are a world of possibilities that we must compete in if we are to remain relevant.

#9) Boycotts. Vote with your wallet and encourage others to do likewise. For example, WALMART Corporation is openly hostile to worker's rights, and it contributes greatly to the Republican Party. Stop giving them your money. Local shops need your support, and are highly unlikely to send their profits off to imperialist institutions. A list of top political party donors can be found here.

#10) Religion. The right wing in the US has maintained power largely through lip service to Christian organizations. If the Republican Party has any similarities to the policies of Jesus Christ, I have yet to find any hint of it. "Blessed are the peacemakers" said Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Book of Matthew. How "blessed" are the anti-war movement in the eyes of the national Republican Party?

Jesus' own philosophy and life are a testament to nonviolent resistance. Jesus killed no one. He willingly gave up his life for a higher cause, allegedly to save mankind. How diametrically opposed are the actions of Bush/Cheney, who order mass murder for profit on a daily basis?

"Love thy enemy," said Jesus. If someone strikes your face, "Turn the other cheek." Can anyone on earth imagine George W. Bush saying or believing the same?

The prerequisite for making peace is to respect your enemies, their legitimate grievances, and to reach a compromise solution. This approach is openly disdained by the Bush white house. Their Project for a New American Century doctrine calls for American supremacy, dominance, military empire. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the gospels of Jesus Christ. Even the Pope has said so: America's wars of aggression are not "just wars." They are not the product of legitimate self-defense but of imperial ambitions and of immoral greed run amok.

From Dictatorship to Democracy includes a section about contacting military officers, troops and police officials and communicating the message of non-violent struggle in defiance of the dictatorship:

"Early in the liberation struggle a special strategy should be developed to communicate with the dictators' troops and functionaries. By words, symbols, and actions, the democratic forces can inform the troops that the liberation struggle will be vigorous, determined, and persistent. Troops should learn that the struggle will be of a special character, designed to undermine the dictatorship but not to threaten their lives. Such efforts would aim ultimately to undermine the morale of the dictators' troops and finally to subvert their loyalty and obedience in favor of the democratic movement."

Luckily for the U.S., we already have clear laws and guidelines for the conduct of the military. It is the duty of every soldier to "defend the Constitution," an oath they swear to, and not the particular thieves in charge. It is also the duty of every soldier to "disobey" any "illegal order," including violations of the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Charter, the Torture Convention, and the U.S. Constitution. This is the basis of the philosophy of military justice. All military personnel are bound by these codes, and none are immune from prosecution.

United States soldiers are not mercenaries. The realization that they are being treated as killers for hire has not been lost on many of them currently stationed in combat zones. As this struggle progresses, keep in mind that many returning soldiers will be awake and aware of the injustices of these conflicts. They will be ready for a change.

"Defiance strategists should remember that it will be exceptionally difficult, or impossible, to disintegrate the dictatorship if the police, bureaucrats, and military forces remain fully supportive of the dictatorship and obedient in carrying out its commands. Strategies aimed at subverting the loyalty of the dictators' forces should therefore be given a high priority by democratic strategists."

High priority is also given to creating symbols and slogans. Easily communicated logos and meaningful phrases should be widely disseminated.
From Dictatorship to Democracy ends with 198 specific methods of nonviolent action in its appendix. This book is required reading for anyone seeking peace and justice today.


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