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Posts Tagged ‘William T. Hathaway’

‘Trump is the fulfillment of an ancient Chinese curse’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, December 16th, 2016

“May you live in interesting times” was a curse the ancient Chinese hurled at their adversaries, wishing them strife, oppression, and struggle. It applies to us now because for all the uncertainties a Trump presidency holds, it will certainly be an interesting time, filled with opportunities for resistance and perhaps revolution.

Big T’s pedal-to-the-metal exploitation of humanity and the planet will accelerate the vicious policies of his two predecessors, poisoning the environment, forcing our financial will around the world, killing thousands of people in imperialist wars, manipulating other nations, modernizing our nuclear weapons, and jailing dissenters at home. Fortress America will continue to expand globally as prison, sweatshop, and fire base.

After all our years trying to change this country, how could we end up with this?

To answer this question and avoid falling into catatonic despondency or self-destructive rage, we need an historical perspective. What we are experiencing now is the long war the ruling elite is fighting to maintain its grip on the world. The current phase began with the collapse of Keynesian capitalism, which flourished from the 1950s into the ’70s, when the primary consumer market was in the capitalist headquarter countries of North America and Western Europe. Corporations were able to stimulate domestic consumption and quell worker discontent there by acceding to labor’s demands for better wages and conditions. That led to a 30-year bubble of improvement for unionized workers, predominantly male and white, that began to collapse in the ’80s as capitalism gradually became globalized. (more…)

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Posted in Anti-Fascist

‘Burn the flag on inauguration day!’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Burn the flag on inauguration day!
By William T. Hathaway

Let’s welcome our new Commander in Chief by demonstrating how little he knows about the Constitution of the United States. Each incoming president is required on inauguration day to take the oath of office, affirming to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” But Trump proved his ignorance of this document when he recently wrote, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” The Supreme Court, however, thinks otherwise. It has twice ruled that burning the national flag is not a crime but a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment, a legal way to protest government policies.

Let’s give Big T a lesson in the Constitution on January 20. We the people should exercise our rights by burning the flag during his swearing-in ceremony. We can counter his jingoistic nationalism with a display of true patriotism, affirming our love of a country which was founded on the principles of egalitarianism rather than elitism, of government by the people rather than by just the rich.

Trump’s autocratic proclamations make it clear we’re going to have to fight to maintain our rights. His appointments to key offices display the pro-rich, anti-worker character of his administration. Our already low wages and benefits are scheduled for further slashing, our already suffering environment for further abuse. The future of our country and planet depends on our willingness to defend both against this attack by rightwing demagogues. (more…)

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Posted in Anti-Fascist

'Sedition, Subversion, Sabotage: A Long-War Strategy for the Left' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, January 29th, 2016

As the viciousness of capitalism engulfs ever more of us, our yearnings for change are approaching desperation. The system’s current leader, Barack Obama, has shown us that the only change we can believe in is what we ourselves create.

To do that, we need to know what is possible in our times and what isn’t. The bitter probability is that none of us will see a society in which we’d actually want to live. Even the youngest of us will most likely have to endure an increasingly unpleasant form of capitalism. Despite its recurring crises, this system is still too strong, too adaptable, and has too many supporters in all classes for it to be overthrown any time soon. We’re probably not going to be the ones to create a new society.

But we can now lay the groundwork for that, first by exposing the hoax that liberal reforms will lead to basic changes. People need to see that the purpose of liberalism is to defuse discontent with promises of the future and thus prevent mass opposition from coalescing. It diverts potentially revolutionary energy into superficial dead ends. Bernie Sanders’ “long game” campaign is really only a game similar to that of his reformist predecessor, Dennis Kucinich, designed to keep us in the “big tent” of the Democratic Party. Capitalism, although resilient, is willing to change only in ways that shore it up, so before anything truly different can be built, we have to bring it down. (more…)

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Posted in Autonomy

"Brain Waves for Peace" – Final Chapter of 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Brain Waves for Peace

From the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

I was sitting in full lotus, body wrapped in a blanket, mind rapt in deep stillness, breathing lightly, wisps of air curling into the infinite space behind my closed eyes. My mantra had gone beyond sound to become a pulse of light in an emptiness that contained everything.

An electric shock flashed down my spine and through my body. My head snapped back, limbs jerked, a cry burst from my throat. Every muscle in my body contracted ― neck rigid, jaws clenched, forehead tight. Bolts of pain shot through me. I managed to lie down, then noticed I wasn’t breathing ― maybe I was already dead. I groaned and gulped a huge breath, which stirred a whirl of thoughts and images.

Vietnam again: Rotor wind from a hovering helicopter flails the water of a rice paddy while farmers run frantically for cover. Points of fire spark out from a bamboo grove to become dopplered whines past my ears. A plane dives on the grove to release a bomb which tumbles end over end and bursts into an orange globe of napalm. A man in my arms shakes in spasms as his chest gushes blood. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Refusing the Military' – Chapter 14 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Refusing the Military
Healing the Virus of Violence

Chapter 14 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. A young Buddhist novice contributed this account, which we then revised together. To protect the people who have protected him, he wishes to be nameless.

Back in high school I’d been good at languages but couldn’t afford to go to college, so I joined the navy for the language training. They have a program where if you pass an aptitude test, they’ll send you to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, for an intensive course that’s worth almost a year of college credit. Plus they have an active-duty education program that offers college courses. I figured after my discharge I could finish my education on the GI Bill, and with my language skills, I could get a job in international business.

The other military branches offer programs like this too, but the navy seemed the best way to stay out of the fighting. I was hoping for a major language like Chinese, Russian, or Spanish, but they assigned me to Pashto, which is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. After training, I’d be stationed on a ship in the Arabian Sea monitoring phone calls and radio broadcasts, listening for key words that might give a clue about where the Taliban were, so the planes from the aircraft carriers could bomb them. I didn’t think about this last part, though. I was focused on my future. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Peace Chaplain' – Chapter 13 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Peace Chaplain

Chapter 13 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. A seminarian contributed this chapter about learning to love her enemies. Because of her activism, she prefers to remain anonymous.

To celebrate Armed Forces Day the military base near my seminary held an open house, a public relations extravaganza to improve their image and boost recruiting. They invited the public in for a marching band parade, a precision flying show, and a sky diving demonstration. They even offered free lemonade and cookies.

A subversive seminarian, namely me, decided to disrupt the festivities and remind people that the military’s job is murder. I bought a jump suit and dyed it orange like the uniforms the prisoners in Guantánamo have to wear. I bought two U-shaped bike locks, three diapers, and a pair of old-people’s rubber underpants.

All suited up, I had a friend drive me onto the base before people started arriving for the celebration. She dropped me off at the traffic circle just inside the main gate, kissed me on the cheek for good luck, and drove back out the gate. In the center of the traffic circle stood a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes. I ran to the pole, fastened my foot to it with one bike lock and my neck to it with the other — pretty uncomfortable — and started shouting, “Close Guantánamo! No More Abu Ghraibs! Free the Prisoners!” People gawked as they drove by, some laughing like I was part of the show, some waving, some giving me the finger. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Saboteur : An interview with a domestic insurgent' – Chapter 11 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Saboteur
An interview with a domestic insurgent

Chapter 12 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

I first met the man we’ll call Trucker in 1970 at a rally against the Vietnam War. Our demo was going to start on the Berkeley campus and continue with a march down Telegraph Avenue. This was shortly after the National Guard and police had murdered six demonstrators at Kent State and Jackson State, so the mood was extremely tense. The Berkeley city government had denied us a permit to march and called in police reinforcements from Oakland. The Oakland cops had a reputation for brutality (based on their treatment of the black population), and we were expecting an ugly and possibly violent confrontation. Out of fear, many people decided not to march, but others of us argued that marching was now more important than ever. We needed to defy the government’s attempts to scare us into silence.

After speeches and music in front of Sproul Hall, we marched off the campus and were met by a wall of police sealing off Telegraph Avenue. Some of our hard-cores in front tried to break through the barrier but were clubbed down. Cops began firing what looked liked shotguns, and people started screaming and running in panic, but it turned out to be tear gas. (more…)

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Posted in Interviews

'The Karma of Terror' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

The Karma of Terror
By William T. Hathaway

Terrible terrorists are killing our soldiers in their countries and killing us here at home. How can we stop them?

The answer is simple: Stop terrorizing them. We started this war. What we do to others comes back on us.

In addition to centuries of crusades and imperial conquest, the past 100 years show a clear pattern of Western aggression in the region. During World War One the British persuaded the Arabs to fight on their side by promising them independence. Thousands of them died in battle for the Brits because of this promise of freedom. But after the victory Britain refused to leave; it maintained control by installing puppet kings — Faisal in Iraq and Ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia — to rule in its interest.

After World War Two the USA and Britain pressured the United Nations into confiscating Arab land to form the state of Israel, making the Arabs pay for the crimes of the Germans. They wanted Israel as a forward base for dominating the resources of the Middle East. (more…)

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Posted in Social Control

'Keep on Rockin' – Chapter 11 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Keep On Rockin’

Chapter 11 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. An American exchange student in one of my courses here in Germany contributed the following essay about how she became an anarchist for peace. Because of her activism she wishes to remain anonymous.

Jason was my boy-friend for a while in high school. It wasn’t a match made in heaven. Looking back, I think the main thing we had in common was that I wanted a boy-friend and he wanted a girl-friend. Other than that there wasn’t much between us, as we discovered whenever we tried to talk about anything. I broke up with him when he asked me to go rabbit hunting with him. We stayed friends, though, probably because since it was obvious we could never be a real couple, neither of us had hard feelings.

We both left town after graduation; I went to college, Jason went to the marines. Two years later we were both back home; I was on summer vacation, Jason was on medical leave after having half his leg blown off in Iraq. He’d been riding in a truck that hit a mine. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'The Transformer' – Chapter 10 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Transformer

Chapter 10 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

A former student of mine works as a janitor. After graduating from college he worked as a market researcher and an advertising salesperson, but both jobs soured him on the corporate world. He hated being a junior suit, and the thought of becoming a senior suit was even worse.

He finds being a janitor a much better job. He’s left alone, it’s low pressure, and what he does improves the world rather than worsens it. The pay’s lousy but that’s standard these days. He loves music, so he loads up his MP3 and grooves to the sounds. Although the work is routine, it’s brightened by occasional bits of human interest: used condoms in executive wastebaskets, marijuana butts in the emergency stairwell, a twenty-dollar bill under a desk. His shift is from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and afterwards he hits the late-night clubs, where he can enjoy the scene with the advantage of being sober. He works for a janitorial service company, and one of their clients is a defense contractor — not secret weapons, just ordinary supplies. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'The Split' – Chapter 9 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA, Israel)

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Split
Differences over Israel tear apart a Jewish marriage

Chapter 9 the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

Stan and Hannah Cooper are friends of mine from college days. Both are Jewish, but they have diametrically opposed views about Israel, and their differences have become so bitter that they’ve decided to divorce. As the three of us talked about this, it became clear that their dispute is a microcosm of the conflict that is tearing the Jewish community apart and also destroying lives in an increasingly large part of the world.

William: Your differences must have become quite serious if you’ve decided to end your marriage after all these years.

Stan: Well, these are very serious issues. If you take the Holocaust seriously, you have to support Israel. And Hannah doesn’t. If she has her way, if the people she supports come to power in Israel and the USA, they’ll stop resisting the terrorists and become holier than thou pacifists while the Arabs push the Jews into the sea and blow up half the USA. Then the pacifists will cry about what a tragedy it all is.

Well, I’m not going through another tragedy. I’m not going to see America and Israel destroyed because we didn’t have the courage to stand up to fanatics. I’m not going to have our generation go through something like our grandparent’s went through. Once is enough, once was way too many, and now we finally have to defend ourselves. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Generations of Resistance to War' – Chapter 8 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Generations of Resistance to War

Chapter 8 the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

A Granny for Peace told of finding young allies in the struggle against military recruiting. Due to the PATRIOT Act, she wishes to remain nameless.

It’s never easy being a parent or a child. The generations always have friction between them, a conflict between the elders’ need to give guidance and youths’ need to find their own way. I grew up in the 1950s, when the USA was very conservative and bound by traditions. My parents’ generation had grown up in the Depression amid poverty and then struggled through World War Two with its threat of death and destruction. By the time they were ready to start families, they were fixated on stability and security. They measured their progress by their possessions: buying their first car, first television, first house. Their morality centered on controlling sexuality and protecting private property. Their religion was a death cult of stern patriarchs, obedient virgins, innocent babies, and threats of eternal torture. Their deepest philosophy was, “There is no free lunch.” The peak of their scientific achievement was the hydrogen bomb. Fear was their strongest emotion. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'From Cheerleader to Enemy of the State' – Chapter 7 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

From Cheerleader to Enemy of the State

Chapter 7 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

The long, flouncy curls from Judy Davis’s cheerleader days are gone. Her straight blonde hair is now cut short. Large blue eyes stand out in a face pale without makeup. Her soft Southern drawl has an undertone of determination. “It’s taken me awhile, but now I’m glad to be considered an ‘unsuitable influence.’ That was how the school board justified my firing. That and ‘deviating from the curriculum.’ It’s like they were implying I was a deviant. And according to their norms, I am.”

The twenty-nine-year-old was fired for teaching her high school students how US foreign policy has provoked terrorism. This struggle with her school board turned her from a Republican into a revolutionary for peace.

“I taught my tenth grade American history class about what the USA has done for decades in the countries in which we now have terrorism. We work with the local oligarchs there to keep the country under control for our economic advantage. We support dictators and also the kind of managed democracy we have in the USA, where the only political parties that have a chance are those aligned with business and the private ownership of resources. People in those countries are tired of being kept at the bottom. They’re tired of CIA coups and assassinations of progressive leaders. So now they’re defending themselves the only way they can. And they’re getting pretty good at it. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Exit Free' – Chapter 6 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Exit Free

Chapter 6 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

The following report was contributed by one of the founders of Exit Free, a collective in the USA that helps women leave the military by discharge or desertion.

I’ve become a criminal for peace. How I got there is a complicated story, beginning when the community college where I teach reduced most of its humanities faculty to adjunct status. It saved them a bundle on salaries. We now teach a maximum of three courses per semester, for a really miserable hourly wage with no benefits. They brought in other part-timers to fill the gaps. So the faculty are now mostly freelancers. I ended up with a lot less money but a lot more time.

Several other women I knew were also broke — laid off or dropped out of the McJob economy. We decided to share the misery and formed a collective to make ends meet. One of us had a big empty-nester house from her divorce settlement, so we all moved in. We buy food in bulk, share two cars, planted a big garden, help each other with the things each of us is good at, sometimes quarrel and cry, but mostly we like being together. We feel stronger now than before when it was each of us alone against the neo-con world. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Coming Home' – Chapter 5 of 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA, Iraq, Afghanistan)

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Coming Home

Chapter 5 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. In this chapter a mother tells of her son’s return from combat. She wishes to remain anonymous.

My son spent a year fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq in Delta Force. It was the worst year of his life … and of mine. As he told me later, there were times he thought he’d never come home. That was also my constant fear. For 365 days, every time the phone rang I thought it would be a voice from the Pentagon telling me with well-practiced condolence that my son had died a hero.

Jim had joined the army after college. I think he was trying to finally win his father’s approval. The old man was a West Pointer who had served a long military career, including two tours in Vietnam, and retired a colonel. He probably would’ve made general if it hadn’t been for his drinking. He never showed much interest in Jim and me, preferring the camaraderie of his soldier buddies.

We divorced when Jim was in high school. The colonel didn’t ask for visitation rights, and Jim was crushed when it became obvious that his dad didn’t care about seeing him. (more…)

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Posted in Library