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Bill Moyers Essay: Restoring Accountability for Washington's Wars

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gr8 story bro…

Please do a story on War-profiteering and let your viewers know which companies and individuals depend on organized terrorism (war) for prophets err profits.

Please indicate to which members of the American Congress, or other countries’ legislative bodies, they donate money, and how much they spend annually on lobbying efforts.

Some obvious examples include Halliburton/KBR, Raytheon, General Electric, IBM, McDonnell-Douglas, Xe/Blackwater, Caci, Titan/L3, Bell/Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Science Applications International Corporation, CSC/DynCorp, Exxon/Mobil, Unocal, Chevron/Texaco, Bechtel, The Carlyle Group, PNAC, Citigroup, Goldman/Sachs, Yum! Brands, Shell Oil, Occidental Petroleum, British Petroleum, United Defense Industries, Military Professionals Resources Incorporated but the list is undoubtedly longer.

Loopholes, loopholes, loopholes...

"Congress" can "approve" a war, but the "power" to stop it is only through budget approvals....?

If the whole point of war is the booty, then that means that war will never be stopped - SOMEONE is getting the booty...

"Capitalism" has used up so much "blood and treasure" that it's now turned to torture, narcotics and "religion" to keep the booty in the hands of the 1% "revolutionaries" born in the 20th century who STOLE 1000 years of civilized wealth building...

It's so obvious, they only know how to CONSUME it all up...4 billion want it ALL and homeland insecurity is feeding the GLOBAL PSYCHOS with "anti" lists as IF the "class" of USA citizens who ARE awake will be enough human sacrifice and they won't come after YOU next...uh huh...that 10% of wealth left is just for "operations" - it's also going to get sucked up into the grinder of "war" costs...

Moyers was deeply involved in developing the infamous “daisy” ad that implied that Goldwater’s election would result in nuclear war. The ad officially aired only once, but got so much free airtime and discussion that it easily did as much damage to Goldwater’s campaign as the Swiftboat vets did to Kerry’s in 2004. According to Jason Maoz at Commentary, years later Goldwater said of Moyers, “Every time I see him, I get sick to my stomach and want to throw up.”
Moyers was apparently obsessed with outing homosexuals after Walter Jenkins was forced out of the Johnson Administration. Not only did he ask the FBI for information on two other LBJ staffers he suspected of being gay, he asked the FBI to investigate 15 members of Barry Goldwater’s staff and dig up any evidence they could find of homosexual activity.
And then there was the 1964 Democratic Convention. That year, Fannie Lou Hamer led a group of African American “Freedom Democrats” in trying to integrate the Mississippi delegation. Moyers ordered the group ejected from the Convention and prevented them from achieving their goal.
Worst of all, Moyers was heavily involved in the persecution of Rev. Martin Luther King by Hoover’s FBI. From the report of the Senate Committee investigating the FBI’s spying on Americans:

Sam: Is Jane G. organized and getting things done? Is it so amazing that a person with corporate funding travels the world making nice and giving the same tired medicine show? (She possesses conspicuous powerlessness because the things she values most are being destroyed.) Maybe you could supercede Goodall if you cared enough and tried your best. It takes enlightenment to recognize the same, and if you are not on your way that is a damn shame. Become one of that small group of determined visionaries. Don't let the Greedies make you ashamed.

Jane Goodall is simply wise and should do a longer show wit her and show us how to get organized to get things done....

The persons accountable for the "wars," conquests, of Iraq and Afghanistan are the authors and signatories of "The Project for the New American Century." They planned and carried out the attacks of 911 to initiate these two resource wars, to acquire oil in the middle east, and eventually in the Caspian sea region. About two hundred trillion dollars of oil are to be had in Iraq and more than that are at stake in future Caspian sea area reserves (source-Ian Masters radio show "Background Briefing" interviews with experts in the energy fields and foreign policy).

After indictment by a world court of these perpetrators, public opinion would naturally entail an end to both the Iraq and Afghan occupations.


A great essay, and one I hope President Obama has an opportunity to hear. Thank you.

Without a draft we'll never have a real ANTI WAR MOVEMENT in this country because most middle class Americans dont give a shit.

For what purpose and to what end is this war about ? A nation that is 80-90% illiterate and who's allegiances are to tribal leaders and has not had a strong central government in two hundred years and does not want one.

Our military leaders lack something in there education. They seem to live in a world of there own. I do not want to win there hearts or minds or want our children sacrificed on the alter of nation building. End it now !!!!

We can afford billions on Nation building and the industrial military machine but can not afford to feed the hungry , provide work for the poor or health care for our citizens.

If we fail at taking care of our own and just elect the opposition party again we will deserve the fate that await nations that ignore the masses for in the end the masses will win out

Amazing how GOP's NOW are interested in details. They didn't care about details or the truth when it came to WAR when Bush was recklessly and incompetently in charge. No exit strategy, no problem. A LIE as in YOU LIE - no problem.

The REAL lasting imprint that Bush made was starting a war in Iraq based off lies, thus, killing thousands of American soldiers - apparently this is not important to Bushwackers.

I am sure ALL GOP's, who supported Bush's corrupt war in Iraq, made their children join the military. Otherwise, I can't imagine how disappointed Bushwackers must be in their children who decided to go to college and not join the military.

If we are short of troops, thanks to Bush, a draft needs to get started. First ones drafted should be those who support Bush's corrupt war in Iraq which he started off lies. Second ones to be drafted are all family members of those who support Iraq. And those fore mentioned to be drafted need to head to the front lines, anything less would be inappropriate.

Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld - Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of Mass Destruction Well, where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? You get ONE guess where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are NOT located. The basis for why we invaded Iraq yet there are NO Weapons of Mass Destruction, yet WE are still there. We got Weapons of Mass Destruction drilled into our heads by those idiots because of all the media coverage those idiots got. Biased liberal media coverage - You have got to be kidding! If Bush would have stayed focus on Afghanistan, the Taliban would not be terrorizing the world.

Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan and he stopped sending troops to Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. And now that vile Cheney and some GOP's think Obama is endangering our troops! Unbelievable! How dumb can a man be? I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. In a civilized world, it should not be acceptable to start a war off lies!

For Bush to start a war in Iraq off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home.

Beecham cut 'n pasted, ""The answer is that the United States is an immoral country, with an immoral people and an immoral government. Americans no longer have a moral conscience. They have gone over to the Dark Side.""

Maybe getting totally grounded in reality would help decide who/what is "immoral"...?

There have NEVER been 7 BILLION human beings on this planet at one time clamouring for life maintenance. That's an "insect" number, imho, and, therefore, the instincts are insect-like with regards to what one philosopher may call "living by one's wits" to a scientist might be "witless living"...

Neither USA nor the former USSR were sub-consciously "insect"-like during the "cold war".

Combined, along with EU population, we still are not the "insect" instinct.

I'd look elsewhere for the genesis of modern day "immorality" in "state" behaviour, my friend.

The draft would not end the war. A just society would not tolerate these wars, draft or not. Paul Craig Roberts wrote a good article on this issue.

"The answer is that the United States is an immoral country, with an immoral people and an immoral government. Americans no longer have a moral conscience. They have gone over to the Dark Side."

Posted by: beecham
"Shut down the Federal Reserve. No money, no wars."
You are so right. They have forclosed on over 140 banks
so far. The intended number
is over 406.

I think what Mr. Moyers is doing here with this draft business is calling our nation's leaders bluff. It's as though we've been conducting these two wars with house money and that house money is running out. Soon we'll be having to pony up real money if we're going to continue using the military as our principle foreign policy arm. I'm not saying that those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan are not real, they certainly are, but most Americans view these deaths as someone else's heartbreak. Mr. Moyers is suggesting that the country needs to put its money where its mouth is. The war in Afghanistan is vital to our interests? Okay, how vital? Is it worth putting your son or daughter on the table? If we all had to put our futures in the chip pile, if we all had a tangible, flesh and blood stake in the game, how vital would it seem then?

Shut down the Federal Reserve. No money, no wars.

Compare US foreign policy before and after the creation of the Federal Reserve.

The idea that a draft will end war is absolute nonsense.

There was a draft in WWII-the worst bloodbath in human history.


I owe the US government absolutely nothing.

Klark Mouvinon "You called me a Teabagger, Anna. Quit emptying your chamberpot out Moyers' window."

I believe that psychobabble and "nastiness" were never employed by me.

Even across the elctrons, I can smell a "mercenary".

And after Ft. Hood, I think it is safe to say that ALL "lists" were MADE UP by the sick in mind.

10% of leftovers to fight over with YOU, not my thing...

Thanks Bill. Draft indeed. Otherwise wars remain neutralized background noise for too many. Mutiny against war requires a draft to bring it (mutiny) about.

Anna D.: One of my most admired films is the historical tragedy "Burnt By the Sun" (1994 Mikhalkov) about Colonel Kotov. "Uncle Mitya" returns as Stalin's agent to arrest the charismatic Colonel for conspiracy (false charge).
When you listen to the fantastical malarchy and gilloughilly surrounding the Ft. Hood shootings and many other events you understand the method of first confusing "the audience" before instructing them what to think. The rivers in North America also run dark with pathogens, blood and feces too; and the airwaves/broadband mimic.

You called me a Teabagger, Anna. Quit emptying your chamberpot out Moyers' window. Grandpa disapproves your nastiness.
He may be my Grandpa too.
(The biggest laugh we ever get during these sad days at Figgers is when you call one of ours "politically correct.")

You would send our very best people -- our future poets, writers, and humanitarians, all of our best who are sensitive and don't believe in killing others for no good reason or who don't believe in war at all to their deaths by draft! You have lost your humanity! You, sir, are a disgrace.

Posted by: Brenda

To add to the truth you expressed, the affects of losing so many "writers, poets, humanitarians" etc. are already observable, aren't they? beginning with the millions killed in WWI and WWII (you almost don't want to drink the water from the rivers and lakes in EU, Russia, middle east and far east because of the centuries of blood and the disease that follows war).

Modern warfare IS the selective elimination of the best human stock. Stalin rounded up everyone in Russia smarter than him and sent his for-hire criminal class loose to round them up and kill them.

USA Today is very much guilty of the same kind of selective elimination. We have our own POLITICALLY correct "lists", don't we?

My spouse and I think that Mr. Moyers' essay of October 30th was brilliant. I am in the process of forwarding it to my Arizona Congressional representatives who are clearly on record as being all for as much war as possible - the costs (financial, opportunity, and otherwise) be dam*ed. They have long ignored my requests that they pay (and not borrow to finance) for these military inquisitions. I've been without healthcare for over five years and they ignore my requests for help. They support people illegally entering this country through our southern border in order to keep businesses profitable while conveniently turning a blind eye to their oft-stated demands for border security.

The attitude in Congress is: Borrow endlessly for militarism, impoverish all those who can't afford the pay-for-play Washington scheme, and give people money to go out and fight wars for the American imperial empire. The Congressional philosophy seems to be that taxpayer money is for politicians to use to further the interests of the business elite and big campaign funders. Without jobs at home, those who want to survive and can’t join the WASP-centric power structure (and I’m one of the whiteys), well, go to war and take your chances.

I certainly don’t always agree with Bill Moyers, however, on this account of the draft, he has hit the nail precisely on the head. The children or grandchildren of Ken Lewis (Bank of America), Joe Biden, Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner), John Shadegg (representative of Arizona’s 3rd Congressional district) and my neighbors down the street should be forced into military service for America as long as the Congress and the President deem it necessary to engage in these wars. The blood and dead bodies should be equally shared by the poor kids and families of Detroit and those living in the suburbs of D.C. or in the bedroom communities of Silicon Valley. You go, Bill Moyers. Thank you, too.

Since the Carter-Brzenski decision on 07/03/79 to use Afghanistan to draw Russia into a Vietnam occupation, we have used the people of that country for our own personal pleasure in tweaking Russia and thereby terrorizing the local population one way or another for 30 years. So there is little question who the first governement supporting terrorists was in this case thereby inviting them into our country to return the favor of more innocent collateral damage. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander!

Mr. Moyers, I had hoped to hear you express remorse (or having had satirical intent) over your advocacy of innocent U.S. civilians being DRAFTED as cannon fodder for current U.S. imperialist wars. During your LBJ years, you were one of those past warmongers and clearly you have not fully enough felt remorse for the young men you and LBJ sent to unnecessary deaths in Vietnam. DEATHS, MR. MOYERS. YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR DEATHS. Your facility with language helped. Oh, yes, I am angry. I will never again trustingly recommend your show without caveat given your lack of caring about those who won't commit violence against others just because they need a job. You need to apologize for your past warmongering and for your pro-draft warmongering as well. WTF kind of an excuse is it to say so and so joined up because they needed a job!

You would send our very best people -- our future poets, writers, and humanitarians, all of our best who are sensitive and don't believe in killing others for no good reason or who don't believe in war at all to their deaths by draft! You have lost your humanity! You, sir, are a disgrace.

Mr. Moyers, I had hoped to hear you express remorse (or having had satirical intent) over your advocacy of innocent U.S. civilians being DRAFTED as cannon fodder for current U.S. imperialist wars. During your LBJ years, you were one of those past warmongers and clearly have not fully enough felt remorse for the young men you and LBJ sent to unnecessary deaths in Vietnam. DEATHS, MR. MOYERS. YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR DEATHS. Your facility with language helped. Oh, yes, I am angry. I will never again trustingly recommend your show without caveat given your lack of caring about those who won't commit violence against others just because they need a job. You need to apologize for your past warmongering and for your pro-draft warmongering as well. WTF kind of an excuse is it to say so and so joined up because they needed a job!

You would send our very best people -- our future poets, writers, and humanitarians, all of our best who are sensitive and don't believe in killing others for no good reason or who don't believe in war at all to their deaths by draft! You have lost your humanity! You, sir, are a disgrace.

A major problem before congress and this administration is the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan a problem that cannot be solved through the use of military force. Too long our government has been under the influence of the military/industrial complex agenda, which has dominated our foreign policy. This complex was given a huge boost during the former administration’s tragic decisions regarding Afghanistan and Iraq.

The officer corps is determined not to let these entanglements develop into another Korea or Vietnam. They are willing to continue to push forward their disastrous military agenda in spite of public opinion and the mounting destabilization that their policies are creating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have used the fear that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are much more powerful then they actually are. 9-11 still rises up as a ghost from the past to give force to their decisions.

Congress and the president must push forward a new program that will take into consideration not only public opinion here and in the contending countries, but also the roll history has played in this region.

Reviving the draft will only supply more IED fodder for the military-industrial-government complex. The governing class will remain immune; witness Cheney's repeated deferments. Our hubris for knowing what is best for other nations is exceeded only by our ignorance of what is best for our own

Reviving the draft will only enhance the military-industrial-government complex's ability to supply IED fodder. Witness Cheney's numerous deferments.

The governing class will remain immune with an enhanced ability to spread suffering in more countries. Our hubris in knowing what is best for other nations is exceeded only by our ignorance of what is best for our own.

If the electorate will not be informedeffected

I'm hoping it's the beginning of the end of empire.

Posted by: David Durham

The "empire" cult that always takes over advanced civilizations - civilizations that produced enough wealth and leisure as to support megalomaniacal fantasies - should be the only part that "falls" in the USA.

I'm not heading back to swinging through the trees.

Now, if the "elite" has no clue how to hang on to the REAL strengths of civilization, they should get the pink slip and be sent home to lavish themselves with the wealth that they have already amassed through the blood of 18 year olds - lord knows they have enough material comfort to titillate themselves for a thousand lifetimes of "flesh".

The Bush Administration seems to have viewed our military resources like a 16 year old kid views a fast car. Looking back one can sense their hunger as they assessed the options that had opened up after 9/11. "Now let's see what this baby can do!" Our leaders at that time relished the chance to let loose with our big war machine. Any talk of careful consideration was naive, foolish, cowardly and possibly traitorous. These leaders thought of themselves as the hard-bitten realists who knew how to get things done and damn the torpedoes. Look at news footage from that period and watch them strut. Arrogant warriors who had never tasted the bitter grit of combat. They couldn't wait to show the world our might. Behold our power and be shocked, be awed. We have the fastest car on the block and all the rest of you can just eat our dust.
The car is now stuck in a ditch. For all its horsepower it can't find traction. The big ol' Military Industrial Complex may have overplayed its hand. Thousand dollar rockets blow up million dollar tanks. Can't keep that up forever. What we are witnessing is the limits of empire and it's a lesson we need to learn. It may be dawning on the people of this country that we are not as big and bad as we thought we were. Spending all our money on guns means we can't buy bandaids and now we're arguing over which is more important. This is a good debate to have. I'm hoping it's the beginning of the end of empire.

No oil then no USA military intervention.

The oil embargo decades ago hurt all citizens of the USA & those suggesting it is easy to leave that region to its own demise hears only in monotone & not dolby surrond.

Surviving on this planet is war--watch the melodious mocking bird hunt juicy, unarmed insects.

So, to be the mocking bird or the juicy, unarmed insect becomes the question!

No oil= no jobs & NO recovery (where ever that is)!

Billy Bob, Florida

I remember Dwight Eisenhower saying that the US should never send soldiers abroad unless its survival is at stake.
Our survival is not at stake in Afghanistan and that country never attacked us. Not one 9/11 terrorist hailed from Afghanistan; nor was any one of them a member of the Taliban. Our unnecessary war in Afghanistan has driven Al Qaeda and the Taliban into Pakistan where they weren't until we intervened.
Will we ever run out of feet into which to fire bullets?

As I watched this film today, I cried so much of the time. I taped it and watched it again. They keep saying that the veterans of Viet Nam have finally received the recognition that they deserve. I also thought about all of the wars and have come to this final conclusion through my own heart and my own tears: There never will be any resolution for soldiers who have come home after experiencing the full plethora of experiences that most of us will never experience and, as a result, it will never be resolved in our or our national consciousness no matter how many Viet Nam Walls, WWII monuments on the D.C. Mall or the next ones erected for Iraq wars one and two and Afghanistan.

This just breaks my heart.

This is certainly not a war of necessity. The US is enslaved to the military industrial complex and wars must be fought to justify its existense and enemies must be manufactured to justify the wars. The US has a huge military redundency that is like a cancer eating away at the county's social fabric. It is very alarming that at a time of a debt crisis there is absolutely no discussion of cuts to military spending. Right from the end of the Cold War there has been a huge peace dividend to be rendered but the US refuses to take advantage. Tragically it is a country run by lobbyists and irresponsible and corrupted legislators

Mark wrote, in part, " try to imagine how my fellow citizens would feel were some foreign power to come in, dismantle our government, tell us that the regime change was for our own good, and assure us that there would soon be fair elections with security provided by the occupying force."

Uh, I'm confused, Mark. That's exactly what happened - a "foreign power" DID take over the USA...and it does not "feel" let's face the facts head on - bring out the "wizards" behind the curtain...

Thank you Mr. Moyers. The fact that ordinary citizens are no longer required to make some sacrifice for the sake of war has allowed the military-industrial-complex to take the country into dubious conflicts, as Eisenhower once warned it would.

The governing class and its media mouthpieces (e.g. The Washington Post) promote the military-industrial complex and call it patriotism.

The idea that stable states in Iraq and Afghanistan will somehow defeat stateless terrorism is ridiculous. That is our current rationale, but it's just a veneer. The governing class seems to believe it knows how the rest of the world should be governed. I am astounded by the arrogance of this position. I try to imagine how my fellow citizens would feel were some foreign power to come in, dismantle our government, tell us that the regime change was for our own good, and assure us that there would soon be fair elections with security provided by the occupying force.

Is our form of government so good that it must be adopted by the rest of the world, even if at gunpoint? Has America finally made King George III proud?

The King (substitute George Bush) wanted to "keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse".

source: George Trevelyan (per WIKI)

Our modern day, media-fed patriots have transformed us into the kind of tyranny against which we once rebelled. We have forgotten ourselves.

We need more than just the draft, we need universal service. Every citizen should be required to serve government in some capacity for a period of two years. Such a requirement would force citizens of every generation to revisit the questions of common good and collective purpose. A society absent a sense of the common good has no reason for being.

We need to change or cease to be.

Bring back the draft, WITHOUT DEFERMENTS. When I got back from Viet Nam, went to law school, and went to work, I found almost all of my contemporaries had avoided the draft. Those people own the country, it is true, but I didn't and don't like them.

Regarding the comments on Jihadism, I would like to share some quotations from literature to show how futile America's War on Terrorism really is:

"There will be, in all times and in all countries, particularly if religious divisions exist in those countries, fanatics who ask nothing better than to become martyrs.
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers, 1844, Chapter 44, (RICHELIEU to Milady)

That what we falsely call a religious cry is easily raised by men who have no religion, and who in their daily practice set at nought the commonest principles of right and wrong; that it is begotten of intolerance and persecution; that it is senseless, besotted, inveterate and unmerciful; all History teaches us.
Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Preface.

Let's embrace fresh pragmatism while ridding ourselves of collective denial and, of course, blatant greed -- here and over there. Yes?

Posted by: Frederick G. Rodgers, Ph.D.

I was drafted, for a short period of time, to participate in local discussion groups hosted by "Foreign Policy Association", the Young Professionals Group.

I still have an invitation to a workshop hosted by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs that was help at Goldman Sachs and Company, 85 Broad Street in NYC on Wed Oct 21, 1992, which I was unable to attend. The workshop was called, "Making Capitalism Work in Eastern Europe and Russia".

Reason I bring this snippet up from my past is because for deccades, some "think tank" or another has been actively involved in creating entities like the "Taliban" in Afghanistan...would love to see what topics were distributed among the new crop of "young professionals" being asked to brainstorm on "foreign policy issues"...?

The 1992 agenda included this topic:

"The Middle East After the Gulf War"

I stopped receiving invitations because the judgement was that I was too "pragmatic" and disrupted the discussion by bringing in "facts" that were also not considered important to the discussion.

How can ANYONE claim that they are REALLY trying to fight "terrorism" when they protect the funding source of the "terrorists"?

That's the only "pragmatism" I see in the current "Taliban" situation - follow the $$$.

Terms for Afghanistan's Surrender

Herenow, September 29, 2009 announcing the U.S., Allied terms for
Afghanistan's surrender, with the warning, "We will not deviate from
them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay." For
Afghanistan, the terms of the declaration specify:
The elimination for all time of the authority and influence of those
who have deceived and misled the people of Afghanistan into embarking
on world conquest.

The occupation of points in Afghan territory to be designated by the

Afghan sovereignty shall be limited, and to such minor points as we

The Afghan military forces shall be completely disarmed.

Stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those
who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners.

This declaration offers that:

We do not intend that the Afghans shall be enslaved as a race or
destroyed as a nation, ... The Afghan Government shall remove all
obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies
among the Afghan people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of
thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be

Afghanistan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will
sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in
kind, ... Afghan participation in world trade relations shall be

The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Afghanistan
as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been
established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Afghan
people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.

We call upon the government of Afghanistan to proclaim now the
unconditional surrender of all Afghan armed forces, and to provide
proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The
alternative for Afghanistan is prompt and utter destruction.

(adapted from Potsdam)

4 November 2009 The decision by Afghan authorities to cancel the presidential election makes one thing clear. The lofty optimism of Afghans and Americans trusting the democratic process was bruised. At the least, the sacrifice of blood and money was and remains a long, heavy and permanent shadow over the first decade of this century! Now, if President Obama and Co. can somehow find a way to contain, shrink that shadow with both foresight and non-partisan realism, then that new draft Mr. Moyers logically advocated Friday will not be necessary. Let's embrace fresh pragmatism while ridding ourselves of collective denial and, of course, blatant greed -- here and over there. Yes?

REMant wrote, in part, "First, that we really can't afford EITHER the war OR healthcare."

I did the math, Sir.

Ignoring the fiction of fractional wha'evers :-) which is a ludicrous, witless, peurile stunt...

With 7 billion people on the planet, "war" costs more than the booty it brings in.

We can either "afford" health insurance companies (another fractional scam) or we can afford hands-on health care - we certainly can't afford both.

For all the metaphysical green spam blather, we're back to biological "physics" - the parasites (middle men) have to go. We have no moral obligation to be "ruled" by sociopaths and psychopaths.

Are any of the writers still around who used to write the short moral plays that each Star Trek episode really was...? As a culture, "we" have solved all these problems already! The tales of success were collectively "immortalized", if you will, through our literature! Not sure what Obambi was watching on the boob tube in the 1990s, but someone should pull out pertinent episodes to see how the "captains" solved "cultural" problems.

The OBVIOUS problem is that instead of a Prime Directive that does NOT sell weapons to a culture that did not "evolve" in that direction on their own, the conceit of hyper-political sociopaths and psychopaths is, operationally, the exact opposite! I was floored when one "big intellect" bloviator said "we" should conduct "experiments" on the people in Afghanistan to see what works! What would work on YOU, bloviator? Are you super-human? Oh right, you're "special"...never mind...(gee, wonder why I keep getting on "anti" lists? lol)

The "oily-goths" insist on releasing the pressure in their valves all over everybody instead of taking care of that rage in the shower like a "civilized" animal...go visit a zoo's monkey cage to see what animals go to "war" over :-)

Guess we'll all figure out what "god" we, as individuals, follow by the way we choose to rip at the 10% of the carcass left behind for 99% of the "citizens"..."working poor" sure isn't a "christian" concept!

It's NOT "learned helplessness" - it's SADISTIC exploitation of human weaknesses and the immediate and most peaceful POWER the individual has is to shut off that button in yourself that PSYCHOS keep pressing - start with the "fear" of ghosts...they're NOT ghosts, vampires, devils or some other juju - they're INIQUITORS. What is your moral obligation in regards to a "relationship" with an INIQUITOR?

Some points in response to Bill Moyers essay on war.
I found your essay inspiring, apt in certain arenas of criticism of war, and yet lacking in the extent to which you are willing to carry out the critique. You can go just a bit further.

First, America is a democracy founded on the constitution. Our constitutional democracy maintains freedom for all men. However, (ironically), America keeps a standing army. I miss the point to see how a standing army is either part of a democracy or where in the constitution should the army require such a large section of America's budget. Although war is part of our (military) history, Afghanistan is not, nor should it be.

This war in Afghanistan mostly involves the DEA (narcotics), decades of arms trading (see “Charlie Wilson’s War”), and Globaly funded jihad/ training. I do not understand, or fail to see why Obama, who campaigned against the war, now sends more troops there. Moreover, I find the Bill Moyer’s comment about re-instituting the draft as a daft tongue-in-cheek response to put the onus of an expensive and unpopular war on the lawmakers. Draft the Obama daughters, and Chelsea Clinton, right? Moreover the draft would be so wildly unpopular that all legislation for it would, theoretically halt, according to the anti-war paradigm of the 1960’s and 70’s. In Bill's critique I could see through the draft comment and see that more "War is not the answer". The draft is a cute bit of rhetoric, but it misses the point.

To make a stronger point about Washington's casual treament of American servicemen, draft federal legislators who vote on the war. In essence, lawmakers should lead the war, not from Washington, but they should be there on the ground, the same way princes used to lead their nation’s armies. This would make lawmakers think hard about where to allocate money and how to fight, if at all. I do not see senators and congress people enlisting. In fact, I would go further to suggest being on the armed services committee or the war department, should require you are willing to go fight in a war in some godforsaken land, and to give up your salary, your cushy job and of course “pay the ultimate sacrifice with you life. Serving the governing legislature in a democracy that carries out foreign wars, should have the ultimate requirement of sacrificing your life for your civic duty. Well, since that is not going to happen, perhaps I could offer other alternatives.

For one, each taxpayer should be able to vote on where their taxes are directed. I certainly do not want to pay for a vehicle that sends my fellow countrymen to Afgahnistan and Iraq only to return in a pine box. Dead Americans returning home from a killing machine in Afgahnistan shows how callous or government treats the lives of its citizens. Furthermore, why should my tax dollars go to a war when I do not believe in killing people? Via the internet, each town should have local decisions, via a newsletter or a web-site where they are permitted one vote on each issue, whether it is local or global, just so long as the citizens are involved. The most irritating thing is to get taxed and then have no control over how your money is spent. Bill- I was outraged to find that each 1,000 soldiers cost a billion dollars. Why should Americans fund such opulent overseas wars when there are so many domestic problems that could easily be resolved with this money? Why don’t we fund more orphanages for vets’ kids instead? There is so little accountability to track spending. Why isn’t the GAO more powerful and stand as a check to congress and to the executive branch? How is this a just democracy “for the people and by the people” when we cannot track our tax dollars? One ineffectual vote for an elected official certainly will not track your tax dollars.

Constitutionally, the president should listen to the people, because he is one of the people. Moreover, when a soldier does return home, dead, that is blood on his hands. Barack Obama must sign that letter to the parents. Who would sign the letter if his daughters came home that way? That is a tough moral dillemma.

Lastly, the presidnet should start a Deparmtent of Peace with all of the budget as the defense department/pentagon

Several things to consider about reinstituting the DRAFT:

1. Not being a "Holy Constitution" guy I hesitate to say it but this country began with an all-volunteer army. Not joining up due to policy differences is another method of voting. If those of fighting age don't care enough to participate this says something about how they are educated and socialized, and about how little they care for jingoistic nationalism when their chips are potentially in the deadly game.
2.Isn't it a sad state of affairs when the most abundant livelihood opportunity is indentured servitude as a mercenary in behalf of corporate interests at scant compensation. An army destroys and kills, contrary to the hearts and minds propaganda, and costs productivity in the rest of the economy. It don't make nothing but trouble.
3. The days of vigorous physical fitness are passed. Draftees would often need an entire bodily re-education, and might be so debilitated by chicken grease diets as to be rejects. Not every thumbtron will be flying predator drones (I hope).
4. We'd have to draft the girls too, just to be fair.
5.It takes awhile to train troops and prepare them for a specific mission. I estimate good training at 9 months minimum. (You don't want weapons systems among civilians in the hands of not-ready soldiers.) Add to this the 72 days it takes to deploy normal combat brigades in Afghanistan. (Equipment must be shipped halfway around the globe into a state with no railways or superhighways, mountainous, where fuel is imported on dirt roads.
6. Conscription adds another layer of resentment and alienation among young people already awash in cognitive dissonance. With labor already cheapened and employments mostly predatory and non-productive it might be the straw that breaks the back of reasonable human nature. Our nation is facing cascade failure on several fronts and is poised to do a USSR blowout.
7. Let's save our humanpower for a worthy and achievable purpose (mission) and quit doing insane things just because a few in the oligarchy profit (at general expense).

I know Bill Moyers has considered all my points and more and is bluffing the warmongers.

Today's decision by Afghan authorities to cancel the fresh presidential election makes it clear that the lofty optimism of those Afghans and Americans believing the sacrifice of blood and money was -- and remains -- futile, a long, heavy shadow over the first decade of this century. If President Obama and Co. can somehow find a way to lift it with both foresight and non-partisan realism, then a new draft Mr.Moyers logically advocates will not be necessary. Let's embrace pragmatism while trashing denial and, of course, blatant greed -- here and over there! Fred

Earlier I took it upon myself to flesh out Bill's statement re Johnson's motives in Vietnam, but said nothing about the Post editorial. I do not disagree with re-instituting the draft and have said so several times in various places. The argument made for it along these lines by Uwe Reinhardt of the Princeton econ dept in a Post op-ed a few years ago ( covered that territory pretty well, too, which shows that either the Post has a short memory, or they have reverted to type, because they were all hot about Saddam, too. Shamefully, this seems again to be the position of the majority of Democrats. Besides appearing somewhat less than objective, the new management at the Post seems to be making a lot of mistakes in their effort to boost sales and circulation, as well.

Two additional things come to my mind. First, that we really can't afford EITHER the war OR healthcare. Second, that the composition of the so-called "all volunteer" force, besides having more than its fair share of poor, honest and patriotic, usually rural ppl, is undoubtedly weighted towards those who agree with the kind of foreign policy we seem to be pursuing these days, which means that not only do we have a problem of the burden not being shared equally, but also that the country is being committed to these misadventures by a minority. In other words, we are looking at the problem of a standing army, the kind of thing the English republicans warned about. Worse still this minority is being abetted by the monetary policies of the Fed and the govt's deficits.

Bill, a great speech regarding Afghanistan and wars in general. Of course a draft should be brought back! That's the only way to STOP these riduculous "wars" (or occupations)....Only when there is a draft would we see protestors out in the streets urging the government to re-examine the war policy..People in this country are far too happy to forget about wars if it doesn't afect them personally.....Everybody who isn't eihter in a military family or desparate for some soert of work would hate the thought of being drafted overseas and it would raise A LOT of intense discussion about the vailidity of our actions.

Who are you going to draft?

Again, a HUGE smelly red herring.

One million people showed up in January for the inauguration. That VISUAL, obviously, was not meaningful.

Here's a snippet from the REAL world...a small group of "lanscapers" showed up with rickety pick up trucks hauling decorative rock and a few scraggly plants and started working on the front yard of an empty RENTAL house. All the neighbors in the area promptly went ouside to do "chores" on their own neighboring property. Hidden amongst the tools were shot guns and other weapons. It's been three days and one of the ricketty pick up trucks has been ABANDONED in front of the empty rental - who is going to haull it away? No one as the local "government" is too busy stuffing pennies in its own pockets and is too "broke" to mainatin BASIC municiple services. It's sick...

This is the constant DAILY vigilance that has to be applied in this rather remote southwest USA town because of the invasion of foreign drug gangs climing "existential" rights to "land" with a "bible" in hand.

There is a WAR already going on, people! This kind of media brainwashing propaganda is INSANE in it's constant avoidance of what is really happening!

Is the plan to empty out the USA of 300 million people to die in foreign "wars"? Seems like a WINNING strategy for the final takeover of USA, if you ask me.

Seriously. Enough.

Out of all the stupid spins, this "draft" discussion has to be the stupidest. Let's get back to abortion or something else that allows criminals to psychologically climb into your body rather than a debate about a "draft"...

Mr. Moyers,
Excellent program, and a mainstay on my TV - or is that getting trite to say?

Re: Washington's Wars -
I agree with your ending sentiment - we should seriously discuss a draft, and try to push past the knee-jerk reactions to preventing even having a dialogue on the matter.

I have a personal - if somewhat removed - experience in this matter.
My father was in the Army, Signal Corps, in World War II. He was drafted in 1943, and just missed getting into "action" when the war in the Pacific theater ended.

He eventually served in Shang-hai, and came back home in 1946.

At that time, in late 1945 and into 1946, there was dissension in the ranks of the US Army and Navy regarding the policies of the Government, i.e., keeping servicemen abroad for years to maintain a Pax Americana in the world.
Eventually there were protests and "riots", though none were violent as far as I know.

My father wrote about this in a autobiography about his service in the Army. He mentioned that the GI's were labeled "cry-babies" and "selfish", though many at home could receive those monikers.

Summation: I believe many in the military now either remember or have had inculcated in them the idea that the draft means a contract with our democracy, and the military doesn't want another 1946 protest. The Volunteer Military is much easier to browbeat and keep in order, as events of the last five years will show.

Personally, I think the prosperity and solidity (albeit before the Civil Rights era) of the US was due to the fact that in any neighborhood (~1000 people) there were a dozen former-GI's who would settle disagreements, remembering the war just fought.
I would be interested in your opinion.

Thanks for the opportunity.


Dear Mr. Moyer,
The draft was in effect during the Vietnam war and many clever individuals found ways to avoid it. Do you really think things would be different now?
A more effective way to get across the cost of this war would be to make the current population pay for it now.
We buy too much, eat too much and do nearly everything to excess. Rationing might be a great solution as well.

having read the entire seems clear to me that a portion of responders did not "HEAR" what came from Mr. Moyers words, nor did they feel the 'position' of such a proposal coming from a man who so clearly cares for the citizens of our country. what might the cost be, if we are unable to reflect on 'where we as a nation are' and face ourselves with honesty. Ultimately the responsibility is ours. My own personal view is that "War is a complete and utter failure of the Imagination".....fueled by greed. you have only to follow two things ...the trail of blood & the trail of money. I suggest Mr. Moyers along with much of the population would favor a peaceful EARTH

A draft will not force the war mongers to be marched to the front lines of their war. We liberals ended the damned draft. It must NEVER be brought back! Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Limbaugh all avoided war service. But everyone of those cowards is a disgusting war profiteer!
Instead of a draft, send everyone who wants this war to the front lines to be human shields for our precious troops!

You are not getting my only son. I don't want this war, and I don't want my son in it. If the war mongers amongst you want a war, then sign your own children up first.
Every rich, elite or politician out there has to sign their kids up first. And by then, I will be in Canada with my son who needs his limbs for music school.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are a national treasure, Mr. Moyers Take very good care of yourself, live long and prosper.....we need you! You "tell it like it is", without animosity and with fairness, with passion and compassion, wisdom and expert journalistic skill. Long may you thrive!

Thank you for giving up your well earned retirement to offer this great service to the American people - telling the truth that needs to be told with courage and conviction.

Mr.Galbraith has it right when he suggests that the USA needs to reinvent itself to find an alternate means of securing jobs for its citizens. Although the US was founded as a nation of merchants and manufacturers, our merchants and manufacturers have chosen to move business off shore to increase profits in their personal pockets, abandoning US workers to whatever employment remains in the service sector. With no GNP and trillions owed to other countries, it appears that we will be caught in this financial maelstrom for decades to come.
I applaud Mr. Moyer's suggestion to initiate a draft in order to drive home the point that we don't want to support these stinking wars...but I honestly believed that was what we did last November when we voted for 'change'. Unfortunately it is clear that Obama and his minions must adhere to the game plan of whoever is calling the shots...Federal Reserve, World Bank, China, Russian Mafia...? Pick one or several, as we are collectively under their thumbs. The poppies need to grow, the oil needs to flow...

A draft would put a stop to all wars, with the possible exception of wars fought on our soil. Even the 9/11 attack did not necessarily need to lead to war. Many other options.

Thank-you, Bill Moyers, again.

I'd like to add that deferments for those in the upper classes/governing classes, due to having "other priorities", be eliminated.

I would also like to see the elimination of professional mercenary forces, such as Blackwater (recently changed its name to something else but does the same thing), beginning with their being denied taxpayer-funding that provides a disproportionately-high-by-any-standards level of income to veterans who leave our military, trained and hardened, and then join these private outfits that turn them into permanent professional fighters who lose their ability to function in a peaceful society.

We send what's left of our hard-earned incomes to Washington to be squandered in this way, while our public schools and hospitals/clinics back home go without, in order to do what? Prop up corrupt, drug-trafficking narco-governments that secretly prevent democratic elections in their countries.

And yes, let's demand that our "news" sources cease with the cutesy video game animations depicting war without horror. This may be the most difficult goal to achieve, since the mega-corporations that support war and that now control our "news" sources have reduced corporate expenses by laying off real journalists/reporters and replacing them with animation programs sold by yet other mega-corporations that seem to regard individual human life as if we're a population of Mickey and Minnie Mouse's.

If we made everyone serve in these military fiascoes, this chain of self-destruction would stop in a New-York-minute.

I am disgusted with Obama's apparent weakness to stand up to this corporate thuggery, and can think of only one good reason we elected him: He's NOT Sarah Palin.

Very powerful essay that awakes a plethora of thoughts. However, the quintessence of all of this, to me, is really in just two things: 'All Quiet on the Western Front' by Erich Maria Remarque and a sad and humble statement that people are simply just talking animals, thus far.

Sincerely yours.

October 27, 2009
By Alyce Vrba
1) What is the "moral worth" of the war in Afghanistan?
Regarding questions of "moral worth", see Justice, Michael Sandel, Harvard University, Episode Six,
See PBS, Frontline, "Obama's War", 10-13-09,
See PBS, Newshour, "Kerry: Afghan Troop Push Goes 'Too Far, Too Fast'", 10-26-09,
2) Is it immoral for America and our leaders to wage war in which Americans are not sharing the burden or sacrifice:
a) By having an all-voluntary military repeatedly deployed and primarily pulled from certain socioeconomic ranks and demographics? and
b) By still maintaining taxcuts, taxbreaks, tax loopholes, unwarranted economic returns and incentives for our wealthy, our upper 5% of income earners, our large corporate interests and industries that in return appear to negligently fail to:
1) Fail to invest in rebuilding our physical infrastructure, our human resource infrastructure, our job and career base to meet our 21st Century challenges;
2) Fail to protect our land, our water, our air, our affordable universal health care needs, our affordable housing needs, our food supply-safety needs for our 21st Century?
3) Can WE "win a war" or even make progress in Afghanistan unless we systematically address the fundamental issue that this nation and its citizens, much like Mexico, in affect appears to be a narco State: a State fueled, controlled, and operated by parties engaging and benefiting from our global three to four trillion dollar per year untaxed, unregulated illegal drug enterprise? In addition, Mexico appears to be a State dependent on billions of dollars of untaxed remittances (monies, the underground cash economy) acquired in the United States by parties, allegedly through "employment" although our United States has a high unemployment rate, then forwarded to Mexico.
This requires we as a people individually and collectively to diminish our demand for illegal drugs, not just our supply for illegal drugs, and to systematically diminish the monies, the benefits, reaped by perpetrators engaging in this lucrative illegal drug enterprise, whether these perpetrators are growing crops, perfecting the product(s), engaging in distribution of the product(s), or laundering the monies.
Find a more productive, a more constructive common-sense approach. Take responsibility.
A.VRBA, Copyright 2009, All rights reserved.
See "Obama Says Senate Bill on Tax Havens Would Stop Abuses, New York Times, Reuters, 10-27-09,
1) In our 21st Century, can WE as Americans afford not to have a robust public option for our universal healthcare coverage reform and affordable, meaningful access to universal healthcare...ALL IN, NO ONE OUT?
2) Can WE as Americans, as citizens, afford not to have meaningful competition to protect our citizens across America from unfair abuses; prolonged legal fights; alleged monopolies; strangeholds; concentrated old mindsets, actions, and conduct of powerful interests like BIG INSURANCE that appear to be operating to maintain or increase their profit margins, their salaries and benefits, their control, their positions of power, their subsidies versus for the totality of our socioeconomic security and our basic needs as a people, our America?
3) And at the same time, can WE as Americans, afford not to take on the responsibility of maintaining our own personal health and well-being in a proactive versus reactive manner by combating obesity, by growing and eating in a healthy manner, by exercising our bodies and our minds in a healthy framework and manner...?
A.VRBA, 2009
See Health-Care Reform, "Reid Says Bill Will Include a Public Option", Washington Post, By S.Murray and L.Montgomery, tml
See "The Defining Moment", New York Times, 10-29-09, By Paul Krugman,
See PBS, Newshour, "Public Option Makes a Comeback on Capitol Hill", 10-30-09,
See PBS, Bill Moyers Journal, Transcript, James K. Galbraith: economist, "The Great Crash", 1929 by economist John Kenneth Galbraith, published 1955, and in particular: SPEECH EXCERPT FROM FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT re a SECOND BILL OF RIGHTS for Americans,,moyers/journal/10302009/transcript4.html
See PBS, Bill Moyers Essay: Restoring Accountability for Washington's Wars, ml
See "Bank Failure Friday, One Big Failure", NOW, PBS, 10-31-09, g-failure-1031
See "White House Pushes for Climate Bill", New York Times, By D.Stout, 1-27-09,
See "Averting a Perfect Storm of Shortages", BBC, 8-24-09, http://news/
See "Changing the World", New York Times, 10-26-09, By Bob Herbert,
See "Mexico at War: On the Front Lines", Washington Post, 4-2-09, By W.Booth,S.Fairiaru, and T.Fox, html
A.VRBA, 2009

After 8 years in Afghanistan and there is no end in sight what makes you think that bringing the draft in will make any big difference. The Afgans do not have enormous Armies, Marines, Air Force or Navy nor do they have any tanks, fighting aircraft or vast amounts of artillery and they are still way ahead of us. Even if we could send a million more people there they will still win because they are smarter, more powerful then what we have at the pentagon! Our generals are not prepared to beat such an enemy the same way they were not prepared in Vietnam. Russia was fighting there for 10 years and they still lost and left that country defeated and so will we! While we are still in some what of one piece lets save our children and get the hell out of that country and to hell with that jerk Mccain who knows very well how to raise his hands up in surrender like he did when he crashed in Vietnam. He is alive and better then dead so he thought! All those murders in Afghanistan will not end as those killings in Iraq will continue whether the United States military is there or not. The Afghanistan people say it the way it is that our military and their generals are the cause of all those deaths and not the solution so lets get the hell out of those countries. And lets do it all today before we lose another bunch of human lives!Then those loud mouths like Cheney start screaming on those talk stations we should remember what they say and pack their bags and send them there. Watch and listen to them cry like babies why they should not be sent there!If youy could find that yellow bastard Bush you could send him there too!Hey, look at all the pot he could smoke!

Dear Mr. Moyers,

Ref your essay last night on the draft:
Generally, I agree and thought the essay was thoughtful and insightful. But if we did reinstitute the draft, what about drafting women? It really wouldn't be fair or right not to, would it?

We already have so many women in the armed services, all armed and all serving bravely! What message would an all male draft send to them?

I have 3 children, a son(oldest) and 2 daughters. I clearly remember taking my son downtown to register in the early 80's. I also thought at the time how unfair it was for him him to have to register and not my girls. I really didn't want any of them to fight wars but it made me feel that I was willing to put him on the line, but not my girls.
I have been an active feminist all my life, and the kids knew it then and now. Gender equality begins at home.

So how do we get around this one?


Bill, your editorial on responsibility for the war was, as the British say, spot on. You are one of the primary reasons we happily support PBS.
Thanks and keep up the great work.

Bill, your editorial on responsibility for the war was, as the British say, spot on. You are one of the primary reasons we happily support PBS.
Thanks and keep up the great work.

Thank you so much for your Afghanistan essay. The draft might be the only way to bring reality to Washington. Even better, let's draft people over 40. And, thank you for your program, always.

Mr. Moyers,
Have you lost your mind. Oh lets cut off our nose to spite our face. The poor boys and working class dont need your kind of help .
Bring back the draft...How about we hit the streets like we did when we had a draft and stop this contemptable War..

Posted by: 52Rockwell

Brace yourself, 52Rockwell - this is psychological "softening" crap - I could NOT believe the speed with which the "media" shut down the "news" about how much military was involved in "exercises" with Israel since last weekend.

Guess is all goes back to how parents raise their boys - the most ethical and moral thing to do is to unload while taking a shower.

That's how SEVERE the censorship is in the USA - people don't even know that the troops are already over there in the part of the world where there are 4 BILLION people - it's just another sign of their insanity that they don't know where to send the troops to "fix" the "problem" big bowl of crazy.

I do hear that the military is asking for a well-defined mission so at least our USA citizens with the boots on the ground have FINALLY realized that there is no "governing" class when the choice was "war".

"War" is the suspension of LAW - only for the battle, though. As a "governing class" tool? That's just delusional...

4 BILLION people have NOT bought into "chosen ones" and "holy land" and "end times" - so exactly WHERE is the existential threat to 4 billion people...?

Re last night's editorial on the Afghan war, the draft and courage in leadership, I'm blogging to thank you, Bill Moyers, for calling for real fairness in sending young people into this war and/or "the guts" to end it. I have long believed that the military establishment runs our country. So we are asking a lot of our leaders now to confront this power.
God bless you for speaking out.

Re last night's editorial on the Afghan war, the draft and courage in leadership, I'm blogging to thank you, Bill Moyers, for calling for real fairness in sending young people into this war and/or "the guts" to end it. I have long believed that the military establishment runs our country. So we are asking a lot of our leaders now to confront this power.
God bless you for speaking out.

Bring back the draft? It's a valid and supportable idea. The public would not support the idea, though, because it's always easier to let someone else or someone else's family member be the one to take the "hit."

I grew up in the '50's and '60's and served on extended active military duty for four years in the late '60's. I understand fully the reasons why most of our military leaders don't favor a draft. Still, though, the idea of shared and equitable vulnerability by all is most appealing to me.

Restoration of a draft would entail a whole host of issues we'd have to solve, including the expense piece. And, paramount, the system couldn't resemble in any form that horribly inequitable Selective Service System we had, which enabled and actually encouraged many an enterprising, usually white and middle to upper class, young man to duck out.

Great piece Bill. We have once again reached a point in our evolution as a free country where it’s time to resurrect the spirit of FDR and summon all citizens of this country to openly participate in the military and political arenas of this planet’s most successful social experiment; non-participation is not an option if we expect it to survive!

Many Americans from the Viet Nam era, including myself, were apprehensive about participating in military service. However, looking back, that sacrifice came with great benefits later on such as endowing each of us with a sense of personal ownership in our great country. Many did not return from that war, and some were my friends, but we all realized that the potential for making the ultimate sacrifice was part of the price we all had to make to continue this grand 233 year old experiment for future generations.

The guarantee of a peace that would be produced through the ending of the military draft 36 years ago was never seen, In fact, the wars have only escalated as many Americans have become detached from the realities of armed conflict being waged in their name. Enormous expenditures of the country’s treasure have only contributed to this detachment through the use of private for-profit armies and the development of so-called intelligent weapons that further isolate the warriors from the realities of the actual battlefield such as the dramatic increase in the deaths of non-combatants, innocent civilians. One needs only to look back in history to see many of these same policies in place that contributed to the end of the 1000 year old Roman Empire; the American Empire is currently on the same path !

I completely agree with the idea of instituting a draft if the government and or the people decide they either want a war or are willing to let one continue because they are not personally vested. It will encourage many more people to participate in discussing whether or not expanding the war is a good idea. Personally I believe we should focus efforts on disrupting and destroying the criminal organization al qaeda, and helping to build civil structures in Afghanistan over the next 20 - 30 years rather than pursuing a counter-insurgency strategy . If we are going to pursue a counter-insurgency strategy though, we ought to follow the military's own policies on ratio of troop numbers to civilians, deploy 500,000-600,000 troops, and draft our citizens into the fight.

I completely agree with the idea of instituting a draft if the government and or the people decide they either want a war or are willing to let one continue because they are not personally vested. It will encourage many more people to participate in discussing whether or not expanding the war is a good idea. Personally I believe we should focus efforts on disrupting and destroying the criminal organization al qaeda, and helping to build civil structures in Afghanistan over the next 20 - 30 years rather than pursuing a counter-insurgency strategy . If we are going to pursue a counter-insurgency strategy though, we ought to follow the military's own policies on ratio of troop numbers to civilians, deploy 500,000-600,000 troops, and draft our citizens into the fight.

Dear Bill Moyers,
I could hear the anguish in your voice last night as you recalled your days with LBJ during the war in Vietnam. I came to America in 1966 troubled by finding a society in pain and termoil over the same war. Your eloquent voice exuded so much knowledge, experiance and reason that I hoped it reached even the highest peaks of the world.
That military might has limitations, it is a lesson
we have not yet learned. It is not always the most productive solution for solving national or international probems.
It is time to try some 'shock and awe' with love, not bombs.

Bill, you got it wrong on the draft. If you want some great art, peace rally posters, protest singers like Joan Baez, the antiwar Hendrix, The Doors, Woodstock, and lots of community organizing and buses of marchers going to Washington and peace vigils on campuses all over, then yes, bring back the draft.

But as Bush, Cheney, and even Clinton showed, it isn't that hard to escape sacrifice.

But on the other hand, let's hit the conservatives and Republicans who support the war where it hurts they ideologically: bring back LBJ's war tax.

I would love to see a separate added tax computation added to the 1040, one that has you subtract say $30,000 from adjusted gross, and multiple it by 1% to calculate what is called a WAR TAX which is added to the tax total.

I'm pretty sure the tea party anti-tax populists and neoconservatives will suddenly become extremely anti-war, and will be leading marches on Washington protesting the war.

In fact, let's call it the LBJ War Tax as he was the last president who was honest enough and responsible enough to ask all the American people to pay at least part of the cost of war.

Oh, and as a bonus, higher taxes would surely boost employment as it did when Reagan hiked taxes in 1982, 83, 84, 85, as Bush and Clinton did in the early 90s, and way back in the 30s, as Hoover's December 1932 signing of a tax hike, and FDR's many tax hikes.

A good war tax to collect the $3 trillion for the global war on terror and the American worker would certainly be a very good thing for the nation.

Thank you for your frank, honest and perceptive essay on Afganistan. Too few of us have been bearing the cost of this war and the blunder in Iraq. That pledge does say "ONE nation under God".

And thank you for your program which is always the gold standard in journalism.

Listen closely when Bill Moyers talks about war, because he knows what he’s talking about having experienced the nightmare of Vietnam as a member of President Johnson’s administration. In our hearts, we know he’s right about the draft, because military service should be accepted as a responsibility of American citizenship for our able-bodied youth. Also, people think twice about war when it involves their own flesh and blood. Unfortunately, military service is so rare among the American elites and middle class these days, that when Jeb Bush’s son, P Bush, gets patriotic at the advanced age of 31 and joins the US Navy, it’s front-page news. Could his political advisors be grooming him for elected office?

During last year’s political campaign, the Obama/Biden website contained a nine-page document titled “Universal Voluntary Citizen Service, Helping All Americans to Serve Their Country.” Expanding military service to “Enable more Americans to serve…” was included in this document among other proposed community service options. At the time, I took this to suggest bringing back the draft, which I strongly support.

My daughter is a recent Annapolis grad, so this family is doing their part. Thank you Mr. Moyers for supporting the draft; after all, we’ve been engaged in two wars going on nine years and we already have a back-door draft.

Couldn't we just provide every member of Congress with a nice box lunch and make them sit down and watch this entire program together, no Joe Wilson outbursts allowed????? I'd be willing to contribute to the lunch :0) Anybody else???

Sorry, this comment is not Re: the constraining comment of the day of the blog site.
It is about your make-nice segment on your program with
that buckley-ite jerk.
Bill, you are a student of Tillich and Niemoller and so on,
nicht? Transport yourself back to 1928 , are you gonna
make-nice with nazis?

Dear Mr. Moyers:

I LOVED your essay!!! I feel EXACTLY the sentiments you expressed! Please continue to push the buttons of our governing class!!! They need to hear more dissent from newsmakers and from we the constituents! This county's prorities NEED to be turned around and one important way IS to re-instate the draft!! A draft means we ALL share in the losses, not just those with few opportunities, the poor, the disillusioned;it means protesters will have a voice b/c soldiers are often taken against their will; it means that war has a consequence to all those who set us upon its course! It means those on top stand to loose their kind and for that, they will think twice before they set foot in a foreign land. Or at least, they will eventually get out!
Thank you so much Bill for your interviews, your provocative questions and your very poignant, outspoken and important guests! GREAT guest choices!!!! Keep more of the Danners, the Potters, the financial crisis guy and gal and the Isreal/Palest. report guy coming!!!! Thank you!!!!

Excellent commentary, as usual, Mr. Moyers. Restore the draft? If it is to be done, it must be structured so that is is fair, unlike in wars past. I agree, if the 'governing class' is GOING to have it's wars, they must find a way to raise the canon fodder for it. Some way other than getting people thrown out of work and out of their houses in order to get them to turn to military service in order to get HEALTH CARE AND A ROOF.
I think a better answer to a "war" in Af-Pak or Iraq would be to spend the amount of money spent on soldiers and drone-misslels on building and justice. HEY, that might even work HERE in the US!

What a nest of liberal vipers this place is! Lol, sure bring back the draft. If you are not willing to defend your country then you should be exiled. No one should have to serve more than a one year tour of duty in a war until EVERONE has served a tour. Vietnam was not lost by our military, it was lost by the cowards who sniveled under their beds safe at home. Anyone who thinks you can fight a war without killing civilians and the innocents have never served in a war zone. I served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam and never killed civilian or innocent on purpose. However, when shot at I shot back. I also served in Europe when terrorists were planting bombs under civilian vehicles in our military family quarters area. You sick liberals keep whining. I foresee a day in the not too distant future when the war will be here in your backyards and it will be your innocent children caught in the crossfire. You liberals have had it too good and it will soon be time for you to pay your dues. Unfortunately, you are the ones who are so afraid of guns you will not own one nor know how to use one. Socialism and communism will never be an accepted way of life in this country. Get an education and get a job if you want health care. Have children and raise a family if you want security in old age. Stop being a bunch of whining government owes me a living parasites.

Dear Bill,

Your editorial tonight on the war in Afghanistan was incredible, powerful and moving.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

D. Hanig
Olympia, WA

Loved your thinking and words on Afghanistan, the draft, and the "elite" of the beltway. My gosh, what are we doing. I was talking with a veteran of Korea this evening and he said it best. "Have we not learned anything from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq?" That's a rhetorical question many of us would say that we know the answer to. Amen and keep the good words and great interviews and topics coming. Thanks.

Brookhiser is a nice enough guy, but even Buckley could see he doesn't have the stuff anyone could follow wholeheartedly. Brookhiser does provide an unusual exception these days - a thinking conservative.

I absolutely agree with the reasoning behind Mr. Moyers' impassioned call for reinstating the draft, but I support the basic concept of some sort of "national service" requirement for all young people, regardless. Many would continue to serve in the military, no doubt. Others could choose to serve in "job corps," "teacher corps," "peace corps" types of organizations that could provide any number of valuable services to our nation. There are many economic arguments to be made in favor of such a system, but the most compelling argument for me is social. I have heard it said that one of the great benefits of the draft - at least as it existed in the 1940s and '50s - was how it brought together young Americans from every possible racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-cultural background, and placed them in an environment that more or less forced them to value and depend upon one another as fellow human beings, regardless of all of those factors that most eventually came to see as irrelevant. This basic respect for their fellow citizens carried over into their lives in the workforce after completing their term of service.
Today, the absence of any analogous "social leveling" mechanism makes it entirely possible for reasonably intelligent people to develop such ill-informed and prejudiced notions about their fellow Americans that they literally hate them and see them as unworthy of any consideration at all. Look for the evidence of this hatred and intolerance in far too many posts on blogs representing every bit of the ideological spectrum. It's there, and it is more than a little disquieting to anyone who cares about the future of our nation.
By the way, Mr. Moyers, your rationality and genuine respect for thoughtful discourse provide a breath of much-needed fresh (and clear) air in the media today . Thank you.

Amen! Yes reinstate the draft for the duration of the Afghanistan campaign, Yes! My daughter is an army officer and helicopter pilot. She would disagree with me. But I am the one who lived through her deployment for 15 months in Iraq. Why 15 months? Because we did - and still do - not have enough soldiers.

I am the one who lived terrorized that I would see officers at my door and then had terrible pangs of guilt that I felt relief. Those are emotions that my friends cannot understand nor relate to: their children are safe and sound at home.

Everyone in this country needs to sacrifice while some sacrifice their flesh and blood. Yes reinstate the draft. Amen!

I think before we reinstate the draft, we should require that all of our representatives, senators and anyone lobbying for the war serve in Afghanistan for a month or two on the front line. That should solve the issue and be a less expensive change. And what about the Secretary of Peace job, wasn't that a good idea for not a huge expense. Someone to ensure that we at least try diplomacy. I'm afraid reinstating the draft would just take a really long time and meanwhile this meaningless war continues, but I do take your point.

During the Vietnam War an interesting thing happened. Americans shielded themselves from dealing with the murderous and self-destructive issues in Vietnam by choosing to relegate it to anonymity. In 1968 Richard Nixon said he had a "secret solution" to "bring peace with honor". From 1968 to 1972 the three existing television networks decided to avoid any analytical (documentary)programming. From 1968 to 1972 there was not an average of one documentary program per year per network examining the reality of that miserable tragedy. The networks were complicit in relegating their reporting of the war to snippets of nightly news. They made made reporting of the war comfortable by not looking too closely at it's broader aspects and overwhelmingly brutal realities .
Words can't express my appreciation for your examination of the true dimensions of the moral,political, and humanitarian failure of American policy in the Middle East. Edward Murrow and Walter Cronkite would surely be proud.

"This war, like most wars, is filled with terrible irony. For what do the people of Afghanistan want? They want what their neighbors also desire: food for their hunger, health for their bodies and a chance to learn, progress for their country, and an end to the bondage of material misery. And they would find all these things far more readily in peaceful association with others than in the endless course of battle. These countries of Central Asia are homes for millions of impoverished people. Each day these people rise at dawn and struggle through until the night to wrest existence from the soil. They are often wracked by disease, plagued by hunger, and death comes at the early age of forty. Stability and peace do not come easily in such a land. Neither independence nor human dignity will ever be won by arms alone. It also requires the works of peace. The American people have helped generously in times past in these works. Now there must be a much more massive effort to improve the life of man in that conflict-torn corner of our world.

In the forties and fifties we took our stand in Europe to protect the freedom of those threatened by aggression....Now, the center of attention has shifted to another part of the world where aggression is on the march and the enslavement of free men is its goal....If we allow the extremists to win in Afghanistan, it will become easier and more appetizing for them to take over other countries in other parts of the world. We will have to fight again some place else — at what cost no one knows. This is why it is vitally important to every American family that we stop the insurgents in Afghanistan.

The United States is pledged to the principle of the self-determination of peoples and of government by the consent of the governed...We have helped and will help to stabilize the economy, to increase the production of goods, to spread the light of education and stamp out disease."

David Petraeus, Stanley McChystal, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emmanuel, Barack Obama? No, Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1965 and 1966. I only changed the names of the place and enemy.

I have two words to describe Bill Moyers' commentary on continuing the war in Afghanistan and suggesting the draft.



Although since 1886 the legal purpose for all corporations has been the bottom line -- profit, not all corporations ignore their social responsibility. Some Quaker and other NGOs have refused to support the military since the time of the American Revolution. But, in spite of warnings from presidents Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Eisenhower, banks, Wall Street, and economic theory still hold tightly to their mantra that "greed is good" -- that self-interest alone is responsible for the wealth of America. A couple of actions softened that thinking during the 1980s. One was university and street demonstrations calling for economic withdrawal and boycotts, of corporate investments supporting apartheid in South Africa as well as more attention of peace, ecology. and civil rights. A reminder of the Boston Tea Party. The other was the consciousness raising of a few investors and the establishment of SRI (Socially Responsible Investing). At first the economists and "the market" took SRI as a joke. Publication like Esquire touted responsible investing as "feel good investing."

By the 1980s SRI mutual finds were springing up throughout the USA and overseas. Among the early screened funds were Pax, Calvert, Dommini, and Parnassus. These investment program called for not only the screening of corporations for peace, environment, health, civil rights and worker safety, but also the launching of stock holder initiatives in those and other areas. An important addition to the movement was the initiative of the Dommini Social Index in 1990. This index of some 400 SRI corporations, showed that in 10 years they grew more than the S&P 500 stock index. Investors now had a benchmark to measure the performance of screened investments versus their unscreened counterparts. Measures like this propelled the SRI movement into the mainstream. Now a majority of the investors recognize that self-Interest was , in fact, bad economics, and that social responsibility was good economics. Between 2001 and 2003, shareholder advocacy activities increased by 15 percent, growing from 269 social and to 310 in 2003. Likewise, the average percentage of votes received on these resolutions increased from 8.7 percent in 2001 to 11.4 percent in 2003. Today there are over 400 SRI organizations with a total investment approaching $3,000,000,000 growing in the order of 25% per year.


SRIs are a positive and constructive variation on the overreach of corporations But there are many other alternative economic experiments suggesting the possibility of a new corporate world order.

In 1980 during a trip to Bangladesh I heard a buzz in development quarters about a unique program started in 1976 by an economist/banker Mohammed Yunus with the assistance of banks of the country. Yunus was experimenting with very small loans to poor people without any collateral or credit rating. These impoverished people, most often women, needed $10 to $100 or so to buy tools for cottage businesses, set up a table in a local market, or buy a couple of chickens to start and egg business. Yunus’s plan was to meet with a small groups of such women in their villages and to suggest that the small group work together on a small short term loan to one of them. When that was paid back another loan would be made to another small time local entrepreneur.

From 1976 to 1979 the experiment was confined to a small region around the capital of Bangladesh In October 1983, the project became an independent bank, The Grameen Bank, owned by its borrower, and served by “bare foot” bankers who traveled from village to village making loans and collecting repayments. Today Grameen Bank, owned by the rural poor who own 90% of its shares, while the remaining 10% is owned by the government.   As of December, 2007, it has 7.41 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. With 2,481 branches, GB provides services in 80,678 villages, covering more than 96 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh.

The success of the bank is nearly the opposite of the standard banking system. In this system the more you have the more you get. A loan is dependent on collateral and credit rating. In the Grameen bank credit is accepted as a human right. Those who have the least are given the most help. It holds that poverty is a potential waiting to be tapped. This theory holds up. the Grameen bank has a much higher rate of return and a much lower rate on nonpayment than do most other banks.

My own excitement over this concept of development fell on deaf ears in the World Bank and other financial institutions. Why make $100 loans when with equal amount to time you could be make million dollar loans that we require no more paper work and bring in a much larger profit with much less effort.

If the financial institutions showed little interest by the 1990s the nongovernmental development agencies were taking notice, and since 2000 the concept under the new rubrics. of micro credit, micro loans, peer lending, have become standard financial tools from Ghana to Brazil and Papua New Guinea to India. Even the wealthier nations have joined in. My home county Franklin County in Maine has a peer lending program. In the USA. World wide Grameen like program have over million clients and disbursed more than $472 million in loans.

Their success was not missed by the banking institution. In one critical article an American banker stated “we have always been peer lending institution.” What he didn’t mention was that the banks’ peers were the other institution with a billion dollars or more.

Mohammed Yunus did not suffer such inconspicuousness for long. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic for “turning the banking practice upside down.” His fame as well of his ideas have spread. This year (2008) he is taking his ides on poverty to a new level with his new book “Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty” that explores the economic causes of poverty as well as his social innovation that could solve it.


I would be unfair if I left this topic with out giving credit to the “Trickle Up” foundation. About the same time Yunus started the peer lending movement a couple in New York City, Glen and Mildred Robbins, had observed Third World poverty. As they traveled the world, particularly Africa, they discovered poor women whose productivity could the increased a thousand time by the purchase of a slightly more appropriate technology. Without the support of any institution, they took $1000 of their own money and made 100 personal loans to individuals with nothing but their word on repayment. Their small loans never made headline news but hundreds of villages still remember those passing visitors. And many other individuals volunteered and donated to expand the program. Because of their success they established the Trickle Up Program.

Since its unheralded start the Trickle Up Program has helped some 150,000 entrepreneurs, the average program no has 5 participants. TUP makes over 10,000 loans per year. It has representatives around the world Africa, Asia and South America. A review of one loanees in one year found that: for 81% their business is their main source of income; 76% provide better, more nutritious food for their families; 69% feel more financially secure as they face the future; 55% can afford better medical care; 52% can afford to send more of their children to school; 52% are wearing higher-quality clothing (52 percent); and 27% have improved their housing.

Certainly all involved in this program desire high praise. But its success as a people to people program without the need for government or corporate help is possible the most remarkable part of the story. It should move us all to recognize our own potential for changing the world through mutual aid.


A new dimension to micro finance has been established in the peer to peers lending program, MicroPlace, established by The New America Foundation, e-Bay, Calvert SRI. This program allows the less affluent socially-minded Americans to invest to bring the working poor out of poverty and make a financial as well as a psychic return with their savings. MicroPlace on e-Bay is a place for the average American to maintain his retirement account while helping other move into the working world, and to become part of today’s economic system.
We in no way want to belittle the important changes in the milieu of American business. But we can not forget that the economic system is still bound by the dominator paradigm. For most of America the purpose of life is still, and is supposed to be, self-interest, competition and material accumulation. As long as the Courts, the press, and the Congress hold to the personhood of the corporation with their only purpose to make a monetary profit. The Damascus sword is hanging over the heads of all other ethical values. Programs like those above give us hope that the corporate agenda might be tweaked for the good of all. But we may also see an alternative to corporate economics in the steady growth toward a cooperative commonwealth. We will explore, below, some examples the alternatives to money economics in which people come before profits.


Early in the days of the concentration of private wealth the concept of cooperative community economics was forming. As new technologies came on line the cost was putting cottage industries out of business. The new machines were more expensive than the home made alternatives. The corporate greed solution was for wealthy land owners to buy the machines and rent them to the workers, or to gather them in an existing buildings and pay the workers a minimal wage for their labor. Charles Dickens paints heart wrenching portraits of the corporate world in many of his novels. A potential solution came to a group of poor unemployed spinners and weavers in England. In 1844 they formed the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers.

The driving goal of these pioneers was mutual aid. They would help one another. The would buy food and supplies together, help build houses for their community, set up training and educational programs, and help members obtain the tools needed for employment. Every member who joined the co-op was equal to every other. Sex, race, religion, social position, and politics had no standing among members. Every member had one vote, an an equal share of any capital purchased and an equal share of any profit made by that capital. Their first agreement was to gather whatever money members could donate. In a few meeting they were able to gather 12 pounds. Their first rent was at 31 Toad Lane. It became their store font their meeting space, their office space, their school room and it soon housed spinning wheels and looms so members could add co-op income to their goods and services. This model grew to compete with other factories in the area. It was also copied by other communal groups to become the world wide co-op movement we know today.


An outstanding example of the co-op movement today is the Mondragon network of cooperatives in the Basque county in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain. A local priest, Jose´ Maria Arizmendiarrieta initiated the idea of the firs Mondragon co-op and shepherded its growth to become the largest cooperative network in the world. The MCC network in 2006, accounted for 3.8% of all jobs in the Basque Autonomous Community and for 8.6% of employment in industry. Its cooperative bank, Caja Laboral- Euskadiko Kutxa, profit before taxes increases by 24.3% over the first nine months of 2007, One of its cooperative factories, Fagor, makes one out of every three pyrolytic ovens sold in Spain. Its co-op supermarket chain, Eroski. continues its rapid rate of growth in 2007, with the opening of 50 new stores.

This amazing growth started with Azmendi's recognition that, in spite of his teaching in the local traditional schools, his students were unable to find jobs and the local community was unable to supply job opportunities. His approach to the solution was two pronged. One to provide job training, and two to provide local jobs. In 1956, using the first letter of the surnames of , 5 of his young graduates, he founded the first cooperative,ULGOR (It is now called Fagor Electrodomésticos). In following year other worker co-ops organized in much the same way. In 1959 a new level of service was provided to the workers and to new start up cooperatives, the Caja Laboral Popular ("People's Worker Bank"), a credit union. The bank also invited other co-ops to participate in the network and helped failing small business to revive as co-ops. The 150 co-ops in the network in 1980 formed MCC (the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation}. and in 1990 extended their education function with the foundation of Mondragon University.

As of 2007 MCC had over 83,000 employees in 256 companies with 44% in the Basque area 80% of whom were co-op members. Over 65 of their worker cooperative plants were outside of Spain including plants in Brazil France German, India Italy and including 18 countries in all of which the United States is one. Where laws permit the cooperative organization is used so that over half of all employees are co-op members and the goal is to be closer to 100% by the end of 1980. Mondragon has proven that cooperatives can compete on a global scale with greed based corporations while at the same time maintain their values of personal and community well being.


Our own favorite cooperative community experience was with the Seikatsu Cooperative Consumers Club in Japan. We were part of a small experimental tour of alternatives in Japan. We arrived in Tokyo after a long flight from Maine to be housed on a organic farm in the heart of Tokyo. The farm had been in the Ohara family for many generations. It now grew organic vegetables for the Emperor and for the Seikatsu Club (SC), SC is a club of 230,000 japanese housewives. It started in 1965 when one Tokyo housewife convince 100 others to buy milk together directly from the local farmers cutting out the middle men and reducing costs to the farmers and the price to the co-op members. Now housewives around the nation are organized into hans of eight families each. Each han elects it own representative who meet in branches of about 50 hans that make their own plans and send representatives to a general assembly that elects SC's Board of Directors.

While we were there a Tokyo branch of some 50 kimono clad housewives met with 6 or so farmers who grew produce for them only. One issue taken up was the need for a larger supply of a specific green vegetable used in one of their traditional Japanese celebrations. In the discussion the farmers agreed to increase the amount produced on that special day to what the han members called for. This like other produce was sold in supermarkets owned by the SC. These supermarkets reduced the number of products on the shelves by selecting only those that met the organic, environmental, health, and price standards.

At another time we met for a traditional Japanese high tea ceremony high up on the side of a mountain fruit orchard with the owner who had been a Japanese officer during the war. We learned the intricacies of the ceremony and examined the super large fruit on the well manicured trees. As we wound our way down the narrow foot path we'd climbed to get there we passed a group of Japanese women climbing up to inspect the fruit and bargain with the owner for its purchase by the Seikatsu Club. At their store front in the town below we learned that when suppliers could not provide the quality of goods these house wives wanted they set up their own manufacturing plant. One example was a chemical-free soap powder for dishwashing.
As well as providing healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly products the SC promoted recycling, an employment service for women, equality for all, resource conservation, and a democratic society.


Cooperatives had an early introduction in the United States. Benjamin Franklin's vision of a new nation was one of cooperatives -- free citizens on their own organized for mutual aid. Time after time, Franklin gathered people together to form new institutions to meet citizen needs. Franklin founded the; Library Company (1731), Union Fire Company (1736), American Philosophical Society (1743), University of Pennsylvania (1749), Pennsylvania Hospital (1751), and The Philadelphia Contributionship (1752). When in 1747 the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania declined to participate in a military action to defend the port of Philadelphia from a British threat to capture it, Franklin raised a volunteer militia. His militia elected its own officers. When the first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774 in a hall owned by a cooperative of carpenters, with the cooperative Library Company on the second floor. Samuel Adams and the Continental Congress took advantage of and thanked the library for its service during the Congress. In 1785 when the group gathered to draft the Declaration of Independence the Library again offered its books. Nine signers of the Declaration were also members of the cooperative Library Company. The freedom of The United States of America was thus assured by the concept of cooperatives.

Since those days the US cooperative movement has grown immensely. There are now over 40,000 cooperatives providing more than 100 million Americans with $123 billion in good and services not to count the millions of housing co-ops, health co-ops, credit unions and other specialty forms of cooperative business and living .

Most of these are in one or another cooperative federation. Many for cooperatives bonds with other cooperatives to exchange products and mutual aid. A few live completely within their cooperative network. Some work towards a "global cooperative commonwealth" -- a network of cooperatives each producing what others need coordinated so that everything anyone needs is produced and distributed to them. They see a future global cooperative commonwealth that could replace the current corporate agenda. A true adoption of a Gaian paradigm


One of our favorite American cooperative services is the Cooperative Fund of New England. Although my family rainy day fund, now being saved for old age, is productively saved in an SRI. We tithe 1/10 of it for loans to emerging cooperatives through CFNE. CFNE is a joint fund to which individuals or organization loan, or donate, money for the use of helping co-ops or or other democratically controlled local organizations. Loaners to the fund may choose the return they need -- from 0 to 4%. Loans are made to existing or starting co-ops or all kinds -- Food Co-ops, Worker co-op, collectives, housing co-ops, Land trusts cooperative schools, etc. In 1975, their first year of operation, they had $60,000 in loans In 1993 they had $1,000,000. In 2007 they had $5.000,000.

In the past, loans have usually been for working capital. In 2007 CFNE initiate an affiliate The Cooperative Capital Fund of New England, Inc. (CCF) is a socially responsible investment fund that will invest in cooperative businesses in the form of "patient capital", or equity-like financing. CCF seeks to assist the New England cooperative industry to grow and flourish by
providing capital that acts like equity without requiring cooperative businesses to give up control
over their own management and destiny.

The rapid growth since 1993 reminds one of the rapid grown in the 1980s of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) and the impact it had on corporate economics. The pool of money in the savings of the millions of middle class Americans must be close to equal to the few wealthy American at the top. But we middle class citizens are not in the position of starting new foundations or making large grants. We are in the position of loaning a small percent of our savings until the moment of family need. Cooperative Community Loan Funds like CFNE might have a larger impact on transforming society from one of corporate greed to one of community well being.





*************END CH 10 ALT. TO ECON.**************

Hi Mr. Moyer,

You have called for the U.S. to bring back the draft. Did it prevent the mistake in Vietnam?

Any new draft should start by first enlisting every person who has called for it, and they should be required to serve for as long as it lasts. May you be the first to go.

Have a nice day,

Mr. Moyers,
Have you lost your mind. Oh lets cut off our nose to spite our face. The poor boys and working class dont need your kind of help .
Bring back the draft...How about we hit the streets like we did when we had a draft and stop this contemptable War..

Mr Moyers' plea to restore the draft is dead on! A goal of eliminating the draft in the 70s was to quiet the nation-wide protest of the Viet Nam war. The theory being that if a very small part of the population is used to fight a war, the rest of the population won't object. Restoring the draft, as Mr. Moyers points out, will involve the entire nation in our war, thus ensuring leadership that thinks more carefully before throwing our sons and daughters and our national treasure into quesionable and poorly waged wars.

We felt the essay was right on the mark. Although the draft has not always deterred our leaders from engaging in war, the prospect has to be raised as a condition.

thank you.
thank you for saying it: "our governing class."
thank you for showing the casket: our dying men and women.
thank you. thank you. thank you.

i have already begun "sharing" it.

Thank you, Bill Moyers for your always inciteful provocative comments. The very audacity of a Dick Cheney and buddies to send people to a war they provoked although in the last great controversial conflict they "had other priorities" People who start wars should be the first ones to fight in them, and not in the rear commands either.

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