Monday, July 7, 2014

By Courage to Resist.
July 3, 2014

Courage to Resist calls on all U.S. military personnel to resist any effort to pursue a new military attack on Iraq via troops, bombs, drones or any other means. In keeping with our Mission Statement, we affirm that, just as there was never any legitimate reason for the United States to send military forces to Iraq in the past, there is not now any reason for the United States to participate militarily in the affairs of the people of Iraq. The refugees being created every day by the wars in Iraq need humanitarian aid. The solution to the problems in Iraq lies in the nations and parties involved talking it out.

The U.S. destroyed Iraq. Sending U.S. troops and/or weapons again cannot improve the situation. It can only cause more unnecessary death and destruction. Troops, bullets, bombs, mines, and other weapons will continue to kill, maim, and breed hatred in the people of Iraq. More warfare cannot do anything positive for the men, women, and children of Iraq.

"Today the US is sending a few hundred military advisers, backed by an additional group of mercenaries, to prop up the Iraqi regime. Some of these individuals may well be the last US service members to die for the Iraq War lie, to paraphrase John Kerry regarding the end of the Vietnam War. What happens if the neo cons have their way and the US “surges” back into Iraq to save the al-Maliki government? Courage to Resist wants service members to know that they have options, including doing the right thing--resistance.

-Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist
Project Director
July 3, 2014

Every U.S. service person has a conscience. Every member of every branch of the U.S. military service is bound to obey that conscience, and the oath s/he took to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution binds the U.S. to honor its international agreements. All U.S. presidents in this century have broken the law of the land as well as international laws and treaties with the illegal use of war powers. Sending U.S. troops to Iraq was, and would be again, in violation of numerous international laws and treaties as well as a violation of U.S. war-making powers. And it certainly would not be in defense of the United States. U.S. citizens do not support a return of the U.S. military to Iraq.

Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airperson, you are strong enough to resist illegal and immoral war. We’d be honored to support your refusal to deploy to Iraq. U.S. troops are not the cops of the world. There is no legitimate mission for you or any U.S. service members in Iraq. Don’t be fooled by more lies from the President, the Congress, the media or anyone else.

Courage to Resist exists to support service members who resist illegal and immoral war and occupation. Since 2006, Courage to Resist has provided moral and material support to GI objectors, including legal aid when needed.

Military service members we have had the honor of collaborating with include: Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first military officer to articulate the illegal nature of the Iraq War and refuse orders to deploy, Marine L/Cpl Stephen Funk, the first military service member to publicly refuse to deploy, and scores of service members who have formally applied for discharge as Conscientious Objectors.

Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airpersons who have taken refuge in Canada, and have publicly fought for the right to remain there. We’ve also supported those who have returned to the U.S. to face U.S. military injustice. Nearly 50 service members who have required assistance with legal fees, and related support, for fighting military court-martials for having gone AWOL/UA. Hundreds of Individual Ready Reservists (IRR) who have refused involuntary activations.

Refuse illegitimate authority. Have the Courage to Resist illegal war. We support the troops who refuse to fight!

Mission Statement

COURAGE TO RESIST is a group of concerned community members, veterans and military families that supports military objectors to illegal war and occupation and the policies of empire. Our People Power strategy weakens the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment and draft resistance, which cuts off the supply of troops. We are autonomous from and independent of any political organization, party or group.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I highly recommend this informative, educational talk by Kazu Haga last July, on how nonviolent civil disobedience campaigns succeed. I recorded their three-hour short-version of a week-long course. I boiled it down into one hour, and you will be richly rewarded:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bruce Gagnon: The Deadly Connection: Endless War and Economic Crisis

Bruce Gagnon Washington Tour
Contact: Holly Gwinn Graham

International peace activist and organizer Bruce Gagnon comes to Washington State April 24 to April 30, 2012 to engage local communities around the theme “The Deadly Connection: Endless War and Economic Crisis.”

Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, and long-time member of Veterans For Peace. (A detailed bio on Gagnon is attached to this release.)

Having recently returned from demonstrations in South Korea protesting the construction of a huge US Navy base on Jeju Island, Gagnon will speak on U.S. expanding militarism, as well as the impact of militarism on the economic crisis here at home. He will stress the need to promote the conversion of the military industrial complex to sustainable production if we hope to have the slightest impact on climate change. These and similar issues are contained in his book Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire.

The Washington speaking engagements are part of Gagnon’s West Coast speaking tour that begins in Los Angeles, California on April 1st and ends in Tacoma, Washington on April 30th. Washington stops include Olympia, Walla Walla, Bellingham, Seattle and Tacoma.

See full Washington schedule below.

Tuesday, April 24 – Olympia – 6:30 PM, Traditions CafĂ©, 300 5th Avenue Southwest, Contact: Holly Gwinn Graham,

Wednesday, April 25 – Walla Walla - 7:00 PM, Whitman College, Olin Hall Room 130, Contact Jennifer Doering,

Thursday, April 26 - Bellingham - 4:00 PM, Western Washington University, Arntzen Hall, Contact Gene Marx, 253-653-4423

Friday, April 27 – Bellingham – 7:00 PM, Mt. Baker Theatre’s Encore Room, 104 North Commercial Street, Contact Gene Marx, 253-653-4423

Saturday, April 28 – Seattle - 7:30 – 8:00 AM, Interviewed by Mike McCormick on KEXP, 90.3 FM, Mind Over Matters.

Saturday, April 28 – Redmond - 1:00 PM, Soul Food Books, 15748 Redmond Way.

Sunday, April 29 – Seattle - 4:00 pm, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 Northeast 43rd Street, Contact: Leonard Eiger (for all Seattle and Redmond events),

Monday, April 30 – Tacoma - 12:30 – 1:30 pm, University of Washington, Tacoma, Carwein Auditorium, 1551 Broadway, Contact: Rob Crawford,

Seattle events sponsors include Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Veterans for Peace (Seattle Chapter), United Nations Association, Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, University Temple United Methodist Church, The Alliance for Democracy and the Abe Keller Peace Education Fund.

For further information on the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, see Also see Bruce Gagnon’s blog, Organizing Notes at

Monday, January 2, 2012

OCCUPY discussion, West Seattle Library

Inspired by Occupy Seattle?
Just curious?
Come to A Public Meeting
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Thurs., January 5
West Seattle Library
2306-42nd Ave SW, 98116
Meet some Occupy Seattle participants.
Bring your questions, concerns, ideas.
Find out how to get involved!
Hosted by: West Seattle Neighbors for Peace & Justice

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Transcript of Ashley Joppa Hagemann at Kings Books

ahem hm hmmm

Hello Everyone my name is Ashley Joppa Hagemann.

And, um, I don't know if any of you have heard about my husband, and our story that we, um, about our, the last few years. our struggle.

My husband is Jared August Hagemann, he was a staff sergeant in the 2nd of the 75th Ranger regiment and he was in the A company, before he took his life on June 28th.

And I know that there, um, the military is saying, that there is pending, um, an investigation into his death.

I don't understand why it is stil pending

Clearly um, it is the Rangers' fault, the command's fault, that my husband chose to free himself from the pain, and from the Rangers. That is why he took his life.

And to give you some information about my husband,
he was going on his 7th year in the military. This would have been about the 8th or 9th deployment for him.

And with the Rangers, they. About every six months, they usually re-deploy. There were a few times when my husband went for a short period of time. and the next time, they would stay longer than the usual time. The "usual time" is anywhere from 4 to 6 months.

And it all started in 2009 when he was diagnosed with PTSD

He came home from that deployment, and the day he was supposed to return back to work, he... All he did was drink himself senseless.

Which is what he did before and after... a deployment.

He said the reason before was, he wanted to distance himself, numb himself, for what he had to do.

And afterwards, it was to forget. and numb himself from what he had to do.

And so that day he was supposed to return back to work he had called the Rangers and told them I quit, I'm done.

And, so, he called me up after that and told me he was thinking about taking his life. So I rushed over there, I stood by his side like I always did. and of course rangers showed up. Tried to talk him into staying longer--staying into the Rangers and all he said was, "Get away from me. FU. I Quit. Don't you hear me? I quit. I CAN quit. "

And, people, a lot of people aren't aware, with the rangers it's a voluntary unit. You're able to leave whenever you want.

So, my husband was telling them he quit, and, after a few hours of that, we took him... well, I took him, to the ER to sober up. Then he admitted himself into Five North in Madigan, which everyone, um, it's also known as the mental ward. And there is um, there, he received some counseling, and they held him for about three days. A friday, I believe it was a friday all the way til monday, they let him out monday morning. And they told him that as long as he continued his counseling and his alcoholics class, he'd be OK. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay as long as he could to get the help that he wanted. He admitted himself.

About that time they moved him to HHC. They put him in the S5 Shop. And according to everybody in the Rangers, the S5 Shop is where they put the troublemakers. The problems. So they could hide you away, sit you in an office, and forget about you. And that, that was the choice that they gave my husband. Either we can hide you away, so that you can get the help, or, you can go to the regular army and we will make sure that you get a, excuse my language, we'll make sure you get a shitty job. And we'll make sure that they deploy you overseas for the normal period of time which is, I think 12 to 14 months, I'm not sure what it was at the time.

And so, my husband chose to get the help. Because that's what he wanted. So they bullied him into staying in the rangers, when he wanted out, and about a month or so later, they actually told him that the counseling and the alcoholics anonymous program that he was in, was taking up his work time. They needed him doing more important things. And that he needed to take time from his personal life, to seek the help that wanted. Which was not the deal in the beginning.

So we went and sought out our own help. We tried so many times. But every time Jared would start to talk about overseas, the counselor would try and force him to give details. and just kind of push him. And I don't know but from my experience when someone says no, No means No. And that would just set him back for about two weeks. He, he wouldn't talk to anybody. He'd start drinking again. Become aggressive. And I'd, the only time I felt that the rangers would listen was when I would call local law enforcement. But after a few times, that no longer seemed to help. All they would do was tell my husband, stay in your barracks, don't talk to your wife. Like I was the problem. It wasn't me. It was them. They did not take any responsibility for my husband. Even that last month of his life when they knew. When the police had called them and told them that they had responded to a call at our house that he had a gun to his head. That one, those two incidents, were probably two months before his death.

In that last month, he held a gun to his head three times. And by that time he had this look of despair in his eyes. And, I haven't told anybody this, but the last time he had that gun to his head, and he was yelling, "Should I do it? Would this make everybody happy?" It's as if he was asking me, Please. Let me go. And the worst part is that I love him so much. And that is what keeps me going right now. Talking. Getting in front of people. Letting everybody know about my husband. I didn't want him to suffer any more. And at that moment, I was thinking, if that is the only way that you will be at peace, do what you need to do.

And I hate myself for thinking that but to see someone in pain every single day, waking up, telling me "I hate myself. I hate my job. I hate my life. I hate what I've become."

And so the last day that I had heard from him, I hadn't talked to him directly. But he did say that he was going to kill himself. Local law enforcement knew. They said they were going to contact his chain of command. Tried calling his cellphone. He didn't pick up. Tuesday rolled around. And they said he went AWOL. That's not my husband. He has pride. He has responsibilities. He's a strong man. They took that from him.

And now, they are refusing to give my husband, who gave his life for the rangers, a memorial. At first they told me it was because they didn't want media around, to get the story. Because they know, they've learned that from me over the years, that you can't keep me quiet. I'm a fighter. I, I always stood by my husband. And now that I no longer have him, I have to stand up for him. And everybody else who wants help. Because nobody else will. That's what my husband wanted to do.

So, all I'm asking is that, as a community, that everybody gets together and stands up for these men. Because the military's not going to do it. They took what they could from these men, and they won't let them go.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paul Chappell in Bellevue, Wed. Sep. 21

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation presents
Paul K. Chappell

Why Peace is Possible and How we can Achieve it
September 21, 2011
7-9:15 pm
East Shore Unitarian Church
12700 Southeast 32nd Street Bellevue WA 98005
for more info contact Judith Shattuck

7 - 8:15 pm—Intro / Peace Panel
8:15 - 9:15 pm—Keynote - Paul Chappell

International Peace Day 2011
Bellevue WA

“Paul K. Chappell has given us a crucial look at war and peace from the unique perspective of a soldier, and his new ideas show us why world peace is both necessary and possible in the 21st century.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Paul K. Chappell graduated from West Point in 2002. He served in the army for seven years, was deployed to Baghdad, and left active duty in November 2009 as a Captain. He lives in Santa Barbara, California, where he is serving as the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (


Additional information
about Paul K. Chappell
can be found at
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Buddhist, and
Unitarian faith leaders along with Washington Physicians for Social
Responsibility, American Friends Service Committee, Fellowship of
Reconciliation, and Veterans for Peace will challenge the audience to
take responsibility for bringing peace to fruition.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bradley Manning meeting with Randy Rowland and Jim Page

Please join us for an evening to support Bradley Manning, the Army whistleblower who released thousands of military and embassy documents and media to Wikileaks, exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is part of a nationwide campaign for Bradley Manning Support Network,
Your host is Gerri Haynes, 104 7th Ave, Kirkland. Tuesday, Sep. 6th at 7:00pm. The Kirkland-Seattle bus 255 has a stop 200 feet from this location.

Manning, Wikleaks, and Julian Assange did THE most important releases of government secrets since The Pentagon Papers. America eventually came to a broad consensus that Daniel Ellsberg did the right thing. Understand the tensions and contradictions between our need for openness and accountability, and the tactical advantage gained by military and other agencies by secrecy. Understand the tension between having a rule of law, and moral conscience when it goes astray.

Randy Rowland will give us some discussion. He is uniquely qualified, a former GI resister, someone freed by a "free the Presidio 27" campaign, and as a media activist. The 1968 Presidio mutiny against the Vietnam War was featured in the documentary Sir No Sir:

He has produced and distributed antiwar papers on the bases, and other alternative media since 1968, including countless radio, TV, and print productions and web content. As cofounder of Indymedia and Pepperspray Collective Randy changed history. Some archives are here.


Please drop us a note if you're coming!

Quoted material follows.

Join people around the world for an evening of dining and discourse about the importance of supporting accused whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning, the weekend of September 9th and 10th. [Sept. 6 in Kirkland]

Be a host:

Hosting a dinner party can be a simple and fun way to raise awareness and funds for the Bradley Manning Defense Fund. Friendly conversation over dinner is a great opportunity to reach out to connections who might not already know about Bradley Manning’s plight.

To sign-up to be a host, set a fund-raising goal below. This is the amount that you are hoping your guests can contribute. We’ll provide you with tips and suggestions, and a brief video featuring an appeal that will explain the urgency of supporting Bradley’s defense fund–so you don’t need to worry about making the pitch by yourself!

Feel free to be creative with your party. Maybe a BBQ or an after dinner gathering would work better for your circle of friends. If September 9 or 10 doesn’t work for you, set a date that does.

Bradley Manning Support Network

The Bradley Manning Support Network is powered by people around the world volunteering countless hours to educating their communities about what is at stake regarding Bradley’s upcoming military court martial proceedings: Truth and accountability vs. a culture of secrecy and fear.

While our network is people-driven, a campaign of this magnitude is not without significant financial expenses. These costs include: fully funding Bradley’s selected civilian legal team, producing and internationally distributing campaign materials, contractors for media and technical work, and a minimal staff to facilitate grassroots action. Now that appears the military will drag out the prosecution of Bradley over the next nine months or so, we need to ensure that we continue to build our campaign as to give Bradley a fighting chance for justice.
How it works:

After pledging your goal (above), the first thing you should do is download our online invitation and fill in the sections for Host, Date, Time, Location, RSVP information, and Additional info like parking logistics, etc. Then you can attach it in e-mails to your invitees.

You’ll be sent a confirmation e-mail with a password, and a few suggested recipes. You’ll need the password to view a special video on the day of your fundraiser. You may preview the video before sharing it with your guests, but please do not share the password with others.

Aim to have at least twice as many RSVPs as people you hope to have at your party, because it’s common for some expected attendees to cancel for unforeseen reasons. You can choose to invite community members, or limit the dinner to a small gathering of family and friends. If you wish to expand your invite list, consider doing outreach to local organizations with similar missions, putting up flyers with event and RSVP information in coffee shops and other public places, and posting event information on websites that offer public calendars.
The donations:

Please have your guests donate by check or money order, payable to our sponsor, “Courage to Resist.” Note “Bradley Manning Defense” on the memo line.

All funds raised should be mailed to:

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610.

Your tax-deductible donation made here to Courage to Resist / AfGJ, in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network, will be earmarked for the defense of Army Pfc Bradley E Manning.

Courage to Resist is a program of the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

We are at an important crossroads. In a couple months, we expect the prosecution of Bradley Manning to begin in earnest with his first pre-trial hearing.

Hosting a dinner party can be a simple and fun way to raise awareness and funds for the Bradley Manning Defense Fund. Friendly conversation over dinner is a great opportunity to reach out to connections who might not already know about Bradley Manning's plight.

The Bradley Manning Support Network is powered by people around the world volunteering countless hours to educating their communities about what is at stake regarding Bradley's upcoming military court martial proceedings: Truth and accountability vs. a culture of secrecy and fear.

While our network is people-driven, a campaign of this magnitude is not without significant financial expenses. These costs include: fully funding Bradley's selected civilian legal team, producing and internationally distributing campaign materials, contractors for media and technical work, and a minimal staff to facilitate grassroots action. Now that appears the military will drag out the prosecution of Bradley over the next nine months or so, we need to ensure that we continue to build our campaign as to give Bradley a fighting chance for justice.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Corporate Suffrage, the next step

Since the Supreme Court decision, striking down laws against corporations participating in politics, I've been lecturing on the value of corporate personhood in general.

Corporate stockholders are restless because of discrimination, and that great day of liberation, of equality is dawning.

For centuries, corporations have been denied the right to vote. It has been a long climb for us. Winning recognition of our companies' human rights, equal protections, and the principle that money is free speech, has taken us centuries. To be guarenteed by the supreme court, I mean.

But freedom and equality for corporations is still unfinished. Our companies, today, remain unequal to other persons, even to single individuals. And this has got to be fixed.

Those who block corporations from voting in elections are really trampling on the rights of shareholders. This prejudice is a form of ignorance. You cant blame people, up to a point.

Shareholders have a right to political expression. The key thing is, this right is a transitive right. It can be exercised through your company just as we exercise it through our realtors, or our bankers.

Just because you're exercising your political rights through your company, is no reason for society to block it. When society blocks our companies from voting it is the same thing as blocking the stockholders from voting-- and there are millions of stockholders. This is a monstrous crime.

All people are born with the right of private ownership, it's in the Constitution (and you know that can't be wrong.) Chldren must be taught that the title to things is an intrinsic property of matter, just like its weight or its temperature. What this means is all the universe, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the billions of stars above, falls under the dominion of private ownership even if the owner has not exerted their rights yet. This is in the Bible.

Most of the title to the universe has been settled, in fact, it is claimed more than once, by multiple people, in some parts of the world which is why they are all screwed up. God has blessed America with an unambiguous system where there is nobody left alive who is still disputing the ownership of things. The title to everything has been pretty much settled. And, eventually all title will be held by corporations, with eternal life.

What remains unfinished is to bring all the rest of the world under this marvelous system of title, which is also known as Freedom.

This principle is the key to wealth creation in our great, American economy -- seeing things in the universe, getting them into the private property system, acquiring them, getting people to buy and sell them, so these things can be migrated onto the balance sheets of corporations. The prophets Hernando DeSoto, Ronald Coase, Ludvig Von Mises, Michael Medved, etc. say this is inevitable.

The more time that goes by, the more critically important it will be that Corporations vote. First of all it is their duty as citizens; freedom isn't free, and it involves responsibilities. But over time, as the votes and the assets of individuals become less and less, the nation faces instability and turmoil without the enfranchisement of corporations. The stability and predictability of corporate stockholders' votes through corporations will gradually replace the arbitrary swings of individual votes.

Corporations will replace the earlier institutions where individuals have delegated their power (through the parties, who control elections and then through the people who win election to legislatures and congress. )

It is clear that corporations are a clear channel for expression of all stockholders' political interests since corporations are so democratically run. That's why we want the Directors to vote our shares, instead of the vagaries of elected representatives like congress.

I hope that this main point has come through.

Corporations are going to vote, and, they are going to be entitled to proportionate representation--- not just ONE vote. This is destiny. You can make this hard, and probably get yourself fired, or you can be reasonable, and be a responsible citizen, and end the discrimination against corporations!

In my next chapter I will discuss corporate poverty in America, and the economic assistance and affirmative action that will be needed on large scale to end the cycle of despair in corporate boardrooms,

As I have been saying, many people apparently assume corporations are all rich; that's certainly not the case. Many corporations are born into poverty and it goes downhill from there. Corporate poverty is the root of corporate crime, and it's getting worse and worse, something must be done about this grinding poverty an alienation in the boardrooms of America.

The problem has gone on so long that corporations have spun off, been acquired and disposed of so many times they've lost contact with their indigenous culture. Their cultural identity. It's like broken families.

For example hardly any corporations realize their personhood, guaranteed by the supreme court.

For example, all the larger corporations today work only thru other persons, through politicians such as Dick Cheney or Tom Delay. Instead of the full realization of corporate identity, these are mere people -- a degenerate form of political entity. They are not the pure expressions of corporatism. For instance they are greedy and avaricious for their own enrichment, whereas the corporation is a selfless expression for the enrichment of it stockholders. That is altruism. in corporations we have created entities as a pure expression of godliness.

A corporation is an exemplary creation because it is the incorporation of an actual fictional person. Now if that sounds contradictory, actual and fictional, I'm going to explain that sometime. But any lawyer will confirm to you, a corporation is a legal fiction. Most people can't hoist it in because they have so much other crap on deck, so many other beliefs they can't let go of. So they throw it overboard.

So what we have is, an actual fictional person of superhuman character, which lives forever, and has realized his cultural heritage as a corporation. Every corporation has a divine form, which is one with all other corporations. and sometimes they reveal their divine form, just like Lord Krishna on the battlefield of the Bhagavad Gita. The new breed of corporate person who speaks for himself! Corporations, have freedom of speech and know how to use it.

So if anybody in the audience asked me about the divine form of Corporations, I would have to admit that I am not that close to the Personhood itself, although without apology since I don't think anybody else is either. You see, corporate personhood is a profound mystery. It is not a physical thing of course. Is your personality a physical thing? Of course not. It is an abstract thing, and it rides upon the physical body and brain, and the mind.

I have medicated myself at the feet of this royal personhood and I have seen the divine form although I seldom talk about it in public. It is not a he or a she. Personhood of a corporation is beyond time and the limitations of liabilities, er. I mean, the physical dimensions. So it is a kind of blasphemy to talk of a particular corporation as if it were a human, although, we sometimes trivialize that in the teaching children, you know, just as they do with religious stories for children in other religions--to teach children about other things that cannot be completely revealed.

Like I was saying, the key problem is corporate poverty -- and the cancer and the rot in corporations, executives attacking other executives, that has to stop.. But the key distinction is that these executives and stockholders are mere humans and the corporate form is divine.

Note that the stockholders are billionaires, that's not the problem, there's no problem of poverty among billionnaires --among american stockholders. The corporations are broke because they have transferred all their money to the stockholders while leaving the liabilities behind.

So it's important that the right and the left both should understand, the only way to solve this problem is A) first of all, targeted tax credits for all officers or directors of corporations, to alleviate their cash flow problems that are making them drain so much of the money from corporations they control, loot the companies. But most of all, B) corporate welfare programs-- I mean this is an old idea --- but with responsibility, not just giveaways- -- to qualify, corporations would have to be current in all their debt payments to banks, and their dividend payouts, and find some other way to break out of their cycle of poverty --for example they should fire all their unnecessary employees. Also the incentive to work must not be undermined. To qualify for corporate welfare, corporations would have to hire other corporations, maybe. I mean, they would have to transfer some of the federal money to other corporations. That's how corporations "work". Like I said, a corporation is a very abstract thing.

Now I want you to look closely at this gold watch. I want you to put everything out of mind.... See it swinging, rythimically, from side to side. Your eyes are getting heavy You are feeling sleeeeeeeppppyyyy. You are asleeeeeeeepppp.....


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Peak Labor: Surplus Populations are here to stay

Today, I'm afraid, the oligarchs belief is that there is a "surplus population", of course that's inevitable as machines took over most of the physical work, and computers/telecoms took over most of the mental work-- making all the routine information jobs unnecessary.

Compare this with the 20th century belief that there was a problem of "surplus resources", a surplus that suppressed prices all the way up the production chain, and threatened the entire architecture of rent capture implicit in corporate capitalism. Example: the Iraq War was built and executed by many segments of the military complex and wall street-- but its oil segment was intent on two things: the most prominent was destroying oil capacity to jack up prices. The other component of course was to literally capture the ownership and control over the oil reserves.

So we've gone from surplus resources to surplus labor, in a big way.

There seems a mathematical collision between the size of human populations, which constantly increase, and the number of jobs available in an economy constructed around profit and minimizing labor costs. Like Peak Oil, the number of jobs available raced up to a Peak, and then drops sharply. So, the unemployed are supposed to go away, and disappear, and die quietly, I suppose.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Fallacy of Good vs. Evil in Afghanistan

All the wars since at least WW2 have NOT been self defense, these have all been aggressions. The U.S. has killed millions of innocent people in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. Those people never attacked the U.S. So why did we kill them? And why do we kill, throughout Afghanistan today and onwards, into Pakistan? Did those people attack America?

90% of those people killed, were noncombatants, even in Iraq it has not changed. Children, elderly, bystanders. The U.S. Congress, the President, and the military command knowingly kills innocent civilians because they regard the lives of U.S. soldiers more valuable.

These are horrific deaths-- burned to death, buried under buildings, shot with automatic weapons, artillery, blasted by high explosives, often dying lingering deaths from infection or disease, or starvation.

I strongly disapprove of the entire US military. For shame. They are not defending us. And they know it.

Why do we allow the militarists to define their business as "honorable" when we can so easily disprove and destroy their myth? Stand tall, every day, and explain that all their killing is dishonorable and a disservice to America.

The US congress and President are institutions out of control. Their activities are obviously immoral. They are in an illegal status, violating laws and treaties. They aren't defending the U.S. --they're defending "U.S. interests" i.e cronies and contributors in corporations, many not even in the U.S. These wars are actually making the rest of us *less* safe.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Lieberman and Cyber-Security tonight, CSPAN

More Lieberman and Cyber-Security tonight, CSPAN, for 3 hours... this goes on continually....

Question: WHY are these, most clever, these most cunning and willful in maintaining the concentration of power in NY-WashDC worried about "cyber-security"?

Answer: Because it is so abundantly clear that the Internet would provide methods of social and political organization so superior to "voting" to send "representatives" thousands of miles away, and allowing them absolute power of lawmaking. In other words, it's obvious that some sort of applications running over the internet will replace government itself, and the use of money as a medium of exchange.

The internet will not only replace banking, not only replace elections, polling, media... it's bigger than that. We will eventually use it to organize our activites, replacing the apparatus of money, finance and government.

The problem of managing the legislative process at the federal level has proven intractable. Things are getting worse and worse, from generation to generation. Instead of reflecting the human needs of the population it continuously concentrates money and power to a political and economic elite who control the Parties, congress and the whole system of propaganda at the federal level.

In my judgment the NY-WashDC "thing" is *so* dysfunctional and unjust, and harmful, there's no need for further comment and the real question is HOW to devolve powers from the national unit to the local level-- most importatnly the money and banking powers, the tax collection power, and certain powers related to making war. These powers can and should be devolved back to lower units where we have some hope of controlling them to human priorities,

The dotcom industries were well advanced in building a whole new thing, when they were finally overcome and defeated by the BAMs and global finance-- the same movement that coincided with the toppling and banishment of neoliberal structure from NY-WashDC circa 2000, and installation of the neocons, the Bush administration,

So they lie to us, and shut down the Internet, telling us we are under attack by terrorists, by criminals, by sin itself-- by child pornography. Watch them lie their asses off again, tonight,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Need: better automation of events calendars in the region

Just Imagine, if you had a program that would go out and get all the events from all these Activists' Calendars and arrange them on your computer so that you could see it in a rational way, including locations, and topical interest areas.

For example, I am interested in a separate list of the events, for every future day, and I want them ranked 1,2,3... according to my formula for geographic distance and the subjects I am interested in, such as war and peace, imperialism, economic reform. etc.

I do not advocate merging all the separate calendars into one. That would be a terrible situation. Its operator would soon know more about you than Google!!

I do however, advocate that all calendars should publish electronic interfaces and make their calendars machine readable with standard syntax. Thereby, anybody who wanted to keep up with what's happening could have our computers come and fetch the events/dates automatically like we do with RSS for our RSS readers or news aggregators.

There have been a lot of standards for publishing Calendar events, over the years.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We have been working to stop wars. Implicit in *every* action we have done, or word spoken, is an assumption that what we have done has helped stopped war, within a bunch of other assumptions about what causes wars. Right?

Maybe it is time we stopped asking the question, "What are the causes of wars", and simply investigate the *process* of wars.

If you have ever done much reading on the topic of causality, itself, you'll agree that determining the "cause" of anything is is a challenging question. For the briefest time, please look at the Wikipedia article on Causality.

To my mind, the word "Causality" itself, or at least my concept of its meaning, is a dead end. It gets you going off on the wrong direction, somehow. it almost implies purpose, or meaning, or some sort of cosmological order to the universe. Of course, there are many principles that are quite reliable in understanding or predicting the world--we are not living in a chaos. But there are unknowns.

I have been studying the Wikipedia article on War, finding it quite deficient and unsatisfying. TO understand my comments, please spend a few minutes reading the article.

There have been at least 10,000 revisions to the page in the last 3 or 4 years alone. Go ahead and page through some of them, with the History function shown on the Article.

Obviously, there are many people and organizations with a great deal of money and other things at stake, should the public ever achieve a general, well-balanced understanding war.

Here is a much better examination of the causes of war, On the Causes of War. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996. 235 p."on+the+causes+of+war"+Hidemi+Suganami

And another, Download FREE .pdf version of "On The Causes of War," 289 pages, (1.35Mb). An outline of the book chapters can be seen below. ...

War can be understood and described at the physical and mechanical level, without difficulty. The movements of people and weapons, the places where it happened, and the dates and aftermath are so easily recorded. Historians and other observers, do this quite reliably after every war.

Unsurprisingly, authors of the Wikipedia article have published a decent definition of war, in the physical sense.

Similarly, before and during the process of war, a vast collection of physical things and events are easily observed having direct contact or connection with the physical war. Obviously, people and weapons and material are organized, produced, transported, etc. before and during the fighting, bombing, killing, etc. The processes immediately preceding or adjacent to war itself, are easily observed.

In any investigation of causes, a problem of boundaries always arises.

Determining the causes of things always has this problem, it's not unique to investigation of wars.

The war process is not easily distinguished from the indigenous process of the country. The origins of every bit of physical material and every person involved in fighting and supporting the war can be traced back in time, to less and less connected people and things, to a point where they are indistinguishable from other people and material indigenous to the land and people of the country that are not involved in war.

Recognizing this fact, one should trace, and analyze, the material process of war only so far as necessary to answer necessary questions. You have to have a clear idea of what questions are necessary to ask. For example, I would suggest, the most important question is *whose* actions are effective and determinative in the stages of the war process, at which the pot boils over, and the train has left the station, etc. I assume neither that these people are numerous, nor that they are few (i.e. conspiracy theory) but rather, those people *must* be identified at least as a class, in order for the next phase of inquiry which is at the level of motivation, psychology, will.

As i said above, the processes of the wars engaged in by the U.S. during my lifetime have not been hard to observe or describe. The definition of "war" is available and accessible.

A process once recognized, is susceptible to interruption, impedance, resistance, attenuation, blockage, redirection or 100 other things.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The idea of top level strategy

A government does many things, often unrelated or even contradictory. However. It't top-level strategy is so visible and slow moving that it's impossible to miss.

Since 2001, the top-level strategy of the US government has been war in the persian gulf and afghanistan, based on the premises that the top-level problems facing the country are oil and defending against terrorists, and that large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanstan are just the right thing to ensure more oil, and ensure less terrorism.

By now, everybody can see that the wars are yielding neither oil nor security. It is fairly clear that we have been deceived, and manipulated, by the true beneficiaries of the wars (global oil and financial interests, the weapons industry, and senior US military and civilians, among others.)

The top level strategy of the national government under Obama or McCain will be the same.

Accordingly, thinking people need to formulate top-level strategy of our own-- one that is capable of realizing our values and goals.

Those include global justice instead of wars, exploitation and greed, and stopping the needless destruction of our global air, water, and lands.

To achieve these, will require top-level strategy so large and visible, that it will be impossible to miss. A form of action that recognizes governments and corporations for what they are, and abandons all fantasy that they will save us.

A form of action that goes beyond the entire institutions of the state, and beyond the money economy and private contract. And I would submit, one which goes beyond individual NGOs or nonprofits.

Now--- what do you think our top-level strategy is? Surely, it is already underway, since it must be very large and visible and glacial, by the very nature of this problem. Don't you think the pattern is becoming clear, as to the BIGGEST problem(s) that the US population actually faces, and the MOST obvious and clear strategy to deal with them?

HINT: we know from the unvarying experience of the past 200 years, that neither presidents, governors, or federal or state legislatures are going to solve the underlying problem we have.

We're also in a pickle because there are no institutions such as unions, or academia, or the press, that are going to save us, either.

So, I think the present disastrous policies of the US, and behavior of global corporatoins will continue for some time, even as the painful consequences become worse and worse. So where does it all end?

I think there are many thinking people, people who are actually quite influential and active in their own circles of influence.

And in the aggregate, these non-participants are more powerful than special interests... of course. It goes without saying.

Needless to say, we find the duopoly parties and most other institutions, a dead end. People with normally developed thinking abilities and compassion tend to be under-represented in executive or powerholding roles in corporations or government. So, the direct assertion of power is fairly limited, and it is insufficient. It is systematically, decisively, critically insufficient.

Now-- these invisible people seem to have concluded, or resolved for themselves, to work in isolation. They think, they read, they brood, and you don't see their faces publicly except in times of very unusual crisis. That is one thing we can observe.

I seem to observe the top-level strategy of these people--the great bulk of them-- is to directly influence public opinion, and to prevent the corporate state from controlling, without criticism, the propaganda message that today, rolls out from the media, the pulpit and the school system, and the duopoly parties.

To restate this-- we have a corporate state controlling the propaganda message in three main institutions of mass culture (schools, pulpit and media). And in the other corner, we have the people criticizing this message in millions of personal and internet interactions, every day.

It is worth considering, whether this can succeed. I don't think it is sufficient.

Our top-level strategy has been to argue back hard, persistently, in so many detailed areas where policy has been corrupted by the greed and violence people, --- and to provide instead our own solutions and policies that are consistent with our own values.

We have been waging a battle of ideas. A battle for hearts and minds. And it goes far beyond the issue of war, itself. When we neglect a hundred smaller things, from economics to environment, neglecting the cause of justice, the larger policy choice of war became inevitable.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The atmosphere is paper-thin


If the earth is 8000 miles in diameter, and
If the breathable atmosphere is 15,000 feet (3 miles) thick, and,
If you hold a typical, elementary school globe 12 inches in diameter, then,
how thick is the atmosphere around the globe?

answer. 3/8000ths of a foot, times 12, = .0045 = less than 5 thousandths of an inch.

Quite coincidentally, that is approximately the thickness of a typical photocopy paper:

Isn't it amazing that people are allowed to drive their cars, burn all kinds of fuels and dump *endless amounts* of CO2, not to mention poisonous gases, into this thin layer of atmosphere? Without *any* restrictions, or paying *any* price to the rest of us, who are affected by the harms they are causing to us?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The most crippling and insidious belief, among peace activists

>>From: Tom A. said Feb 13, 2008
>>Subject: Conversational activism during political campaigns
>>I have a question for all of us:
>> What have we done -- or are thinking of doing -- or would love to
>> see done -- to bring dialogue and/or deliberation and/or the
>> spirit of shared exploration and creativity to the political
>> process during election campaigns? [ and so forth... Democrat unity]

The most crippling and insidious belief, among peace activists is that we ourselves must be more peaceful, and create a more peaceful culture by example of our speech and action. Making ourselves and our neighbors more peaceful and obedient is never going to stop the 5% of Americans at the opposite end of the scale, who make up the war industry, who foment and execute wars as a way of life. They will simply continue to ignore you, even if you become a perfect angel. They don't *need* us for anything.

It helps if you conceptualize war, and warmaking, as a crime, perpetrated by criminals, who need to be stopped by somebody. Conceive of this as the wild west, where there is no law to restrain them and no agency capable of enforcing the law. But starting wars is certainly a crime against humanity.

Another crippling and insidious belief, almost universal in the peace movement, is that stopping wars has something to do with reducing injustice, remedying the causes of injustice, etc. Folks. The people who START wars are the most powerful, the richest and privileged people in our society. Not the victims.

The people of the 3rd world almost invariably, adjust to subjugation, and work harder, and do not fight. The U.S. war machine includes the military industrial complex, i.e. the permanent swarm of special interest lobbyists around the armed services committees, pentagon and military suppliers. The war machine includes the beneficiary industryes like finance, oil and global trade. It includes the mass cult phenomenon of the war churches and their hugely funded pastors and brainwashing facilities.

If you want to stop wars, then, you cannot avoid observing WHO exactly is causing the wars. you cannot avoid your responsibility to confront and argue with those people. Here is a high level diagram. on my website.

Our activism to stop wars involves identifying the people and organizations who start wars. Wars are caused by some rotten sons of b*tches who work all day long to start them, for their own enrichment or in some cases, just to satisfy other urges, their egos or ideologies. Here is a 4-minute speech in which I list for you, the people who start wars:

When antiwar activists stop meeting privately, and participate in the public dialog, we will *begin* to be effective. Most of us have never been leaders, never given speeches or debated in public. By now, after 5 years of war, we are much better educated, and many of us are ready to speak to our city council, school board, party caucuses and districts meetings, PTAs, professional organizations, and business assoiations--whatever you do, you must take the battle up to the microphone, in those groups--ALONE.

Stop waiting for somebody to come help you. It ain't gonna happen.

Stop training and educating peace activists.

Now, here is some ammo, to help focus the conversation. WE must begin a conversation with the public, with a statement of the problem, and provide a theory as to the causes of that problem, and recommended actions which gain control over those causes and stop them.

The physical definition of war is the indiscriminate killing, bombs dropping and bullets flying, and we say: this is a problem. There can be no license, no rationalization for killing hundreds of thousands of people, as the United States has done so many times since WW2- never for self defense. Always for some excuses.

Even people who are not a pacifists agree that random violence is wrong, and killing innocent people is wrong. Beyond that, most people seem to think war is fine and don't give it much thought, but if you get them talking they think the artillery, bombs and bullets and flames should hit "the enemy" and not the women and children and non- combatants, refugees etc. Well, 90% of the dead have been noncombatants. Peace activists know this but the general public does not.

The physical series of events that controls war are, the permanent funding that maintains the military, and the one-time event of the president and congress, starting wars (All U.S. wars since at least 1941 have been unilateral aggressions by the U.S. in other words, optional wars)

The physical cause of those senators' behavior, like Cantwell, voting for war, is their character and mentality.

These senators, in turn are allowed to seize the powers of office by winning elections.

Voters' behavior, in turn, is caused by their beliefs and desires, and their spending decisions of voters which give power to particular corporations, who then pay for media propaganda.

Now, getting to the point of this--- Wars cannot be stopped by trying to protest the onset of a particular war. Iraq, and the next wars as well, are a matter of fate and destiny as long as the Congress is filled with people who tolerate and accept and start wars. The present congress is NOT ONE BIT DIFFERENT from the Congress of 2002, or 1992 or 1982 in that regard.

The beliefs and the desires of the mass population are caused by the institutions of mass culture-- the media, the schools, and the pulpit, and some lesser ones like libraries, political associations, fraternal organizations, unions, etc.. These are *much* lesser, by factor of 1000.

This brings me back to the original asssertion: Peace activists will not be successful in ending wars, until their time and money and attention and work, is redirected away from things which are merely useful and good. Instead, their time and resources must be poured into actions which are NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT components in stopping the systemic processs that causes wars.

The root causes of war are the propensity of voters to tolerate and rationalize war, to take and enjoy profits from exploiting other peoples in the world, and of course to elect the warmakers.

These beliefs and desires were emplaced by the power of money over the mass media and the pulpit, which in turn, promote harmful lies and ideologies in the public schools.

Since we are so few, and we have no money or power over the local pastor, media corporations, or schools, our most effective action is our mouth. Speak out, name names, condemn the immorality and greed and cruelty of those people in our city who profit from war and who promote war in so many ways. The absolute top culprits in the Puget Sound region are the paycheck patrioits themselves-- the bases commiunities. The military itself, whose fulltime occupation and career are killing for money. In second place I would name Boeing executives and managers, in all their product lines-- even those which are nominally civilian such as the 737 program. They all drink from the cup of pentagon dollars, in fact their survival in the airplane market has always been subsidized by profits on weapons programs. In 3rd place of course are the oil and energy industry, and the banking, finance and investment industry. I also condemn University of Washington for its military contracts. And finally, the war churches-- the megachurches who have hosted Dick Cheney, supported the invasion of Iraq from day one, and are the source of the teen and twenties population of violent rightwing youth, as well as the college republicans.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Taxing the Rich is not just about money

Progressive taxation is the application of progressively higher rates on higher levels of income or assets.

For the case on progressive property taxes see Jeff Smith's work at I would just add that until people understand that "property" is itself, a takings from the commons without compensation, they're unlikely to agree to give anything back to society for the privilege of excluding everybody from their fictional boundaries. The larceny is repeated every time a house is sold. The seller receives a big payment and walks away, while, all of the neighbors and citizens whose ability to use or benefit from the property were impaired, and sold, receive nothing. Like most other transactions in a capitalist economy, most of what is being sold does not belong to the seller in the first place.

But I'm writing to make a more important point.

We have to apply higher rates of income tax to higher levels of income, not only for the sake of economic justice but to reduce the incentives for a wide range of destructive and antisocial behaviors.

Corporate executives, of course, run the world today. These greedy power holders inflict *all of the harms* on the planet. Powerholders inflict all harms, through their mismanagement and mis-leading and exploitation of the common people, globally. I say, they are responsible. I say, the condition of the planet is not an accident.

We have a wonderfully effective market system and global economy that manages every damned thing to 5 nines. We have a globally integrated supply chain, and finance. This is operated by millions of MBAs, tens of millions of lawyers and accountants, and a hundred million totally obedient software people, telecoms people, and clerks. Obedient to their bosses of course, not customers as falsely portrayed in our school textbooks.

This economy is overcentralized. It is a producer-sovereign, rather than consumer sovereign. It is not operated to serve native demand, but rather, it's operated deliberately by powerholders for their particular interests.

Now, we are tired of losing this endless, complicated chess game with corporations. The common people seem to chase one policy issue after another. Most often these are not the "prime mover" issues but are only band-aids.

The "economy" works pretty well. It is extremely agile and reorganizes itself very dynamically. Don't wait for another crash like the 1930s. Look for example at 1987 and other events in which, with all their networks and computers the whole global economy digested the collapse in financial markets and rationalized them and rebooted itself in about 2 or 3 days. Like 911, hundreds of $Billions of ownership was taken by global powerholders, from other powerholders. The losers went off licking their wounds and hardly a word was ever revealed in the papers.

Well, the prime mover behind all these crazy and criminal behaviors, ranging from a military industrial complex to global environmental destruction, the destruction of the global gene pool with GMOs, etc. is the greedy few at the top. Those most cunning, long of fang, fleet of foot.

If the possibility of making more than say, $500,000 per year is removed by steep tax rates, then all these sick, tyrannical types will have to satisfy themselves running sports club franchises etc. instead of having us all worked to death in factories and killing each other in real wars.

I think you need a continuous progressive slope starting at the median income of the population (zero tax for half of the population) and with a straight line up to 100% confiscatory taxation at around ten times the median income. And it is universally agreed, on the left as well as the right, that when tax rates get really high, there is a disincentive to "work". This is exactly the goal of progressive taxation. We don't want the insatiable, the greedy, doing that kind of "work", which is really theft.

One of the systemic problems in WA is the continual in-migration of high income and high-wealth individuals.

It undermines our society. You can only absorb so many of that kind of person before they start taking over the whole state by their power to buy elections, and dismantling schools and social services, turning the state into a Florida, which is a great place for owning a yacht, but sheer hell for everybody else.

This is the same thing we see in national politics: the ultra-wealthy, intent on nothing other than tax cuts, support Bush and Cheney, regardless of any other consequences... such as the Iraq war. In fact, they promote war ideology that they don't even believe, just to keep Bush in office, just to get the tax cuts.

Ron Sims' effort to raise an income tax in the State of Washington was a campaign which could win, in the future, with proper voter education. And at one fell swoop, chase away a lot of billionnaires and their lobbying, and protect social services for the long term.

We don't need government to guide and enable business. We have a market economy for that.

The function of government is to meet human needs and goals of society that markets leave unmet.

Caring for the sick and the elderly, educating the young, maintaining all things of the commons, the roads, law and order-- all these sorts of things. Will private enterprise handle these? No. Will charity handle them? That's a myth. The poor, the sick, mentally ill, were lucky to find a basement or barn or a crust of bread.

When business boosters show up in the congress or legislature, or the winners of great fortunes in the marketplace not wanting to pay taxes, wanting to dismantle social services they're dismantling the very purpose of having a government in the first place. A government does not exist to protect the privileges of the wealthy, to the contrary that has been done all too well by "the private sector."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Make sure the public never forgets Obama's pledge, just in case he wins: One Brigade A Month, all troops out within 16 months.

My friends. This is a battle worth joining. Obama's commitment is a substantially better deal for us, than Hillary, or, obviously McCain.

But I am not recommending joining the Obama campaign. Please think about this, with me.

Obama's position is so much different, that it would literally decide our destiny, to shut the permanent bases in Iraq, or not. Here is the truth, whether you like it or not:

The O.B.A.M plan is under attack by broad segments of the rightwing, everybody from tax cutters to corporate lobbyists who would lose if Obama wins. Your urgent task the next 6 months, is to stand up in every public forum and smash the war position, and anybody foolish enough taking public positions in support of the Iraq occupation, war, or militarism.

The war hawks are trying to hide from the general public right now, but they continue building massive support in their captive audiences in the churches, rightwing radio and TV, and school districts they control. Basically, we have to stand up and assault the pro-war position so sharply that the war people have to either stand up and take a licking, or remain silent and surrender on the issue.

Ironically, on this particular issue, *we* own the public forums, the political caucuses and conventions, the microphone in city county and state legislatures, school boards, city councils, commissions of all kinds. The general public is extraordinarily opposed to the occupation right now. We must go into all these forums aggressively speaking out, leafletting, attacking the legitimacy of the occupation and the people who lied us into this war. We must attack the immorality of killing, the illegality of occupation of nonbelligerent countries, the $3 billion per day of military spending, and the most fundamental lie, the GWOT. There is no unusual terrorist threat, we have been working for the last 50 years to defuse the nuclear threat and Bush has reneged on ABM and NNPT! Ghastly.

Those of you who say you're antiwar, but won't put in the time and personal capital to attend local politics, are betraying the movement. Now is our time. Now is the hour for accountability. The war people are goin' down.

Join in the fun, even if you don't care about the morality, or the legality, or the fiscal trainwreck, or the dollar collapse, or the political blowback against the empire.


ps. Make sure the public never forgets Obama's pledge: One Brigade A Month, All out within 16 months.

Bring Our Troops Home: Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.