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Art & Healing

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In this week’s JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with film director Oliver Stone about how his experience fighting in Vietnam has informed his work -- including his famous Vietnam trilogy in PLATOON, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, and HEAVEN & EARTH -- and influenced his worldview. Stone, the recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, described how filmmaking helped him work out his feelings and move on to the next phase of his life.

“When you first see combat, it's like pro-football. It goes much faster than you think and more awkwardly than you think, and it's not particularly grand or anything. You try to save your life, and you see death, and you get used to it, and after a few engagements you get better at it... You crystallize the fear. You have to lose the fear. You have to get past it. Because otherwise you're gonna freeze up... You get angry and that's not a good emotion, either. But you get awfully pissed off... When I came back from Vietnam, I was an angry young man and had violent thoughts, and I went through a period of adjustment. I was very lucky in the sense that I went to NYU Film School, and I got a chance to make films. And that was a release, an artistic expression, and I did three Vietnam movies. So, I think over the course of those three movies, I learned a lot more. And I worked out some of my deepest feelings that I didn't even recognize at the time.”

What do you think?

  • Has artistic expression helped you work out issues in your life? Explain.

  • Is art a viable healing strategy? Why or why not?

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    Anna D.
    I was just concerned about your welfare. (:-)>
    While I am not sure what you said; I will defend your right to say it with my life.

    "Anna D.
    I do not know what you are smoking but you should give it up before you are totally messed up."

    Getting into personal destruction without any FACTUAL data, aren't you, D.C. Eddy?

    The FACTS are that Afghanistan is a narco state - will all that opium in the CIA's hands finally bring down the cost of "health care" in the USA?

    They threw Prince under the bus...and now he wants to be a HIGH school teacher and give up the mercenary career...

    Anna D.
    I do not know what you are smoking but you should give it up before you are totally messed up.
    Like it or not; religion is an important human source of strength and is intended to do good not evil. Unfortunately, at the present time religion is more of a problem than a solution. That fact still does not eliminate the necessity to raise above survival of the fittest to a world ideal based on human compassion.

    We need to move into the no-man's land between Pakistan and Afghanistan and disarm Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Posted by: D. C. Eddy

    Move into the narco state...?

    D.C.Eddy, glad you finally stopped blowing the "religious" opium up our arses here on these blogs...

    Give 'em enough rope...

    Jerry Day
    You are right...
    We need to get out of Iraq which is the wrong war and consolidate our efforts to stabilize Pakistan. We need to move into the no-man's land between Pakistan and Afghanistan and disarm Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    I was perplexed by your otherwise very engaging interview with Oliver Stone. You discussed whether the President knows something we don't. I think what you're missing is it's not just about Afghanistan anymore. I am aware that Taliban forces (if not Al-Chaida) have been within 50 miles of the Pakistan capitol and threaten to destabilize the country at any time. Those nuclear warheads make our presence imperative.

    Anna D and D. C. Eddy,

    Your concerns are valid. Confuseus once said: “Sometime a delicious spicy chicken is actually a foul fowl in disguise.”

    "On Tuesday, the Senate Health Committee voted 12-11 in
    favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Senator Tom Coburn
    that would require all Members and their staffs
    to enroll in any new government-run health care plan.

    Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go to his
    Website and sign his petition (very simple - just
    email address is required). I have immediately
    done just that at:§iontree=29,55

    less than a minute to sign up to."

    Your interview with Oliver Stone illuminated in an essential way the tragedy of war, very much including this recent misadventure in Afganistan. In an often vast TV wasteland, the combined force of your insights, experiences and courageous truth-telling was moving. Please send a copy of it to the White House immediately!

    Thank you, by the way, for speaking truth to power, while searching for the best in the human spirit, week after week. We'll miss you in April, no doubt about it.

    "NOTHING will ever be above their pharisee-like, looking down their nose,
    criticism of YOU is still coming...
    They have CHOSEN to HATE YOU.
    Nothing on you...? Couldn't entrap you...?
    They WILL make it all up....
    Breathe in, lie on earth can ANYONE believe in their [justice]"science" ...?"
    Very well stated. Posted by Anna

    A Judge confirms a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceedings.
    It is an award for "mismanaging a company" to the brink of bankruptcy.
    Chapter 11, Bankruptcy Law - "Legal license to commit fraud" knowing that the
    institution management will be protected and well awarded of $850.00 dollars
    an hour, for the prepared of the "ponzi scheme" "Reorganization plan",
    that deprives a person of the property rights; Rights that should have been protected
    under the Articles of the Constitution.

    Anna D. You are the shiznit. I want to write you a mash letter and post up here for the whole world to see. I could go on about how cool you are, but you already know that--so keep on with your bad self. Keep on writing!

    D.C.Eddy, "We are locked into a capitalist system. Without money; people are desperate and subject to tyranny. Money is both the root of all evil and a necessity to do good."

    Maybe YOU are locked into a certain UNREAL perspective?

    The LOVE of money is the root of all evil...

    MONEY (symbols or CONFIRMED DATA, if you will) evolved as a means to grease the wheels of life-maintenance...instead of actually needing to drag your produce, or wha'ever, into the "bank" so that the bankster could stick his fat dirty finger into your barrel of butter and decide it was not tasty enough to be worth 5 cents, so here's 4 for it

    (and there goes the INTEGRITY of the barrel because who knows what bacteria was on THAT finger),

    MONEY was invented to eliminate that whole PUBLIC scene.

    LABOR seeks efficiency so even though the INTENTIONS of money - LABOR'S INTENTIONS - was "good", the transfer of "power" from labor to the parasitic bankster is the HOAX that the world can't support as REAL anymore.

    If MONEY was a SUPREME BEING, you'd still be using Roman coins, wouldn't you?

    But it keeps happening, LABOR will always cut out the middle man

    (who DARES to stick fingers in the butter to deliberately RUIN the producer's profit margins)

    by PRINTING up their OWN "MONEY"...

    In a Wall Street minute, the 4 BILLION coveting the "american lifestyle" devoured the FRUITS...

    not long enough for the revolutionaries/"terrorists"/religious extremists to declared themselves god's chosen rulers over ALL...

    Back to churning the butter :-) - and thanks to the internet, we can all agree sticking the finger in the barrel is gross


    if I PREVENT the bankster from the ACT, I'm not the one who is going to be socially crucified as "violent"...

    David F.
    Your post;
    "This was probably the first violent comedy that I had ever seen'.

    Your post is a classic example of the corruption of human thinking.
    Killing people is not funny; it is the product of a sick mind.
    The movie, "Natural Born Killers" is an example of the corruption of people's minds. When the bell rings; people drool. It is operative conditioning.

    Sure this movie isn’t for everyone, especially kids, but I loved it.

    Posted by: David F.

    A good parent is the big kid in the room that the other kids recognize as someone being really good at some skill needed for life maintenance.

    If so much of ADULT "art", "politics", "religion" and "business" is not fit for kids, then WHY did the ADULTS create it...?

    Double edged sword, isn't it?

    If "art" can "heal", then certainly "art" can be a POWERFUL tool for perfidy.

    Big difference - HATING the ACTS versus HATING GOOD, albeit imperfect, PEOPLE.
    Anna D.

    In religious terms it is hate the sin; love the sinner...
    While the spirit is true; the flesh is false.
    The flesh is based on self-gratification and survival of the fittest.
    The spirit transcends the flesh and tries to do what is good and honorable.
    "There lies the rub".
    We need social systems that support good not evil.
    At the present time our systems are corrupt and many good people are persuaded to do evil.
    We are locked into a capitalist system. Without money; people are desperate and subject to tyranny. Money is both the root of all evil and a necessity to do good.
    The Golden Rule is more like, "those with the gold rule" and those without gold suffer deprivation.

    Is “Natural Born Killers” Stone’s only comedy?

    This was probably the first violent comedy that I had ever seen (they’re getting to be a dime a dozen, nowadays). I know if I, or someone close to me, had been a victim of a violent crime, then I’d probably have a different perspective, but this movie really busted me up. Harrelson, Lewis and Dangerfield’s characters were all absolutely crazy with psychosis, but their dialog was hilarious (maybe a step or twenty further than Roseanne Barr’s). However, Downey Jr.’s role cracked me up the most. The way he acted like an idiot tabloid reporter, and the parallels between this character and a real tabloid reporter were what made this movie so absurdly funny (O'Reilly comes to mind). Sure this movie isn’t for everyone, especially kids, but I loved it.

    Need to get PRECISE:

    I wrote - Too many people have learned to HATE them more than they HATE.

    Should be - "Too many people have learned to HATE the ACTS - what has been done, what is being done, what is planning to be done - MORE than how they HATE the PERSON.

    Big difference - HATING the ACTS versus HATING GOOD, albeit imperfect, PEOPLE.

    That's the biggest difference, the irreconciable difference...and that's the "war" "they" are AFRAID to fight...

    Thomas wrote, in part, "Who wants to believe that their government is totally corrupt and that the real power is held by a cabal of evil criminals who are completely devoid of morality or remorse?"

    Yeah, so what...?

    - snark -

    Thomas, doubt not the POWER of easy-riding "lists"...

    You must project the PERFECT blend of empathy and apathy to be a psycho LEADER...

    As noted - THOUSANDS of "no child left behind" sociopaths are still being "trained" to take it ALL from 30 million UNEMPLOYED - the 600 trillion in "derivatives" has NOT been declared UNREAL...

    Second time it's happened for me...while taking a Xmas job for working poor wages at a Macy's, some HIGH UP MUCKY MUCH brought a doll on a stand to me to ring up...and when he saw I was TOO STUPID to realize that the stick the doll was skewered upon was a SEPARATE cost, and even after he mentioned it I said the stick was going to be for free for my mistake - this HIGH UP MUCKY MUCK managed to put some kind of convoluted, secret MARK against my credit rating that could not be erased by all the king's horses and all the king's men even though everyone I talked to at the credit bureau agreed the "mark" was and error and there was no evidence to support it...

    They LIVE and RUN on HATE.

    They blow up your house and take pictures of that split second of horror and anguish and then post it everywhere they can to PROVE you are "angry, bitter, and out of control"...

    I could go on and on, but the BOTTOM LINE is that EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, in the USA is finally realizing that whether you kiss their ring on a bowed knee to get a slave wage that they give with one hand and with the other take it all and say you still owe more,

    or whether you start with your bare hands and dirt and STILL make something of yourself and run a life-sustaining business,

    or whether you get on a PBS blog and prattle on in poetic righteous indignation

    NOTHING will ever be above their pharisee-like, looking down their nose, criticism of YOU is still coming...

    They have CHOSEN to HATE YOU.

    Nothing on you...? Couldn't entrap you...?

    They WILL make it all up....

    Breathe in, lie on earth can ANYONE believe in their "science"...?

    They are beating their chest and bellowing because their SCAM of health insurance companies is being brought down...

    It's bad - clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, and jesus-on-a-stick ahead of me...

    I still CHOOSE to do the right thing - and that's WHY the pre-emptive "war" is MORE "lost" by the day....

    Too many people have learned to HATE them more than they HATE.

    Psychos and sociopaths ARE dangerous, so beware, all...

    It was "anatomy 101", D.C.Eddy...thanks for proving my point about a pint never being able to hold a quart...if YOU don't understand someone, it MUST be because they aren't sticking to the topic...?

    Let's speculate from this angle - having the unmitigated POWER of atomic bombs and biotechnology and "psycho logic" galore all at your fingertips (and on the internet :-) ) and NO WORRIES about the COST...

    that the USA "president" HAS, supposedly, post Bush cabal's writs into "law"


    OMG - WHAT if that kind of SON OF GOD told everyone to FIND THE WAY TO PEACE...

    would POWER evaporate?

    "Such a mixture of powers would be a temptation "too great for any one man." Even a good man, of good intentions. Madison worried that: "The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."

    If you want to plan 7 generations out, all you need to do is go 7 generations back...after all, isn't a 2000 year old human sacrifice still celebrated at least once a year so that I can commit iniquity and it's already forgiven...? And what about the "chosen ones"....? That's a 5000 year long armageddon episode now...

    I found it FASCINATING that Bush and Kerry and Oliver were all in the same "class"...

    It's big cajones AMAZING that "they" are deciding on another 911 thingy or a "draft"...? Swine flu epidemics and 30 million PERMANENTLY UNEMPLOYED, just psycho logical softening of the growing domestic "insurgency" against their POWER...

    I can only HOPE against HOPE that the "terrorists" (CIA and Federal Reserve Board - GLOBAL ECONOMY drug and war lords) are are confused by the "music" as you are - LOL

    All roads POINT to "Rome", don't they?..."buy our oil, or DIE"

    Anna D.
    Amazing post! I am still tryng to get my head to quit spinning. What did you say?
    What ever it was it sounded great. (:-)>
    Maybe you should try it to music.
    Something like the lost cord.

    Posted by: D. C. Eddy

    Anna D.
    Amazing post! I am still tryng to get my head to quit spinning. What did you say?
    What ever it was it sounded great. (:-)>
    Maybe you should try it to music.
    Something like the lost cord.

    After reading several of the responses to your interview with Oliver Stone, I feel as if I am in a parallel universe! Those who believe global warming is a hoax or that Oliver Stone is a lunatic are condemned by their own ignorance. I can only advise them to move to another planet or pick up a non-partisan newspaper.
    I worked with Oliver Stone many years ago as an actor in one of his early films. Though my career as an actor was relatively minor, I did consider that film and the experience of working with Mr Stone the high point. It was, unlike most of my other credits, a film "about something," which is extremely rare in the world of entertainment.
    Oliver Stone is the real thing. He had an authentic experience as a soldier in combat, something I doubt most of the people responding negatively to this interview can claim. He is, and has been for most of his life, a thinker, a man with an enormous vein of creative energy and talent, much of which he has shared with the public to our great benefit. To challenge his right to comment on war, whether in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else is a fool's errand. Who else but a "grunt," on the ground, under fire, knows more about war and its horrific costs? Who else but a wounded veteran of combat can speak with more authority as to the consequences of war and its ongoing casualties? JFK was the last president we elected who had real combat experience, and he was assassinated before he had the chance to change his mind about Viet Nam (which we now know from his papers and the testimony of those close to him was his intention).
    I would challenge anyone to find a better, more qualified individual to speak against the costs of war than Oliver Stone. He is the genuine article and a gifted, pertinent voice in this dialogue. Because he espouses ideas that are in direct conflict with those of George Bush junior and Dick Cheney should be evidence enough of his right to speak. Bush and Cheney escaped combat by using their high-powered connections. They led us into two wars we have no business waging and may never see the end to.

    I was disappointed with the Oliver Stone interview. Mr. Stone has no expertise on the issue of Afghanistan or U.S. policy in that region. Mr. Stone is to be commended for serving our country in Vietnam. But that does not suffice as qualification to put him forward to discuss the current war in Afghanistan or the war Policy. Indeed, Mr. Stone offered no insight on that topic, other than his personal opinions based on information reported in the news.

    Mr. Stone has every right to express his opinions. I'm not someone who feels that people in the entertainment industry should not comment on matters outside the scope of their profession. However, I expect more from the Journal. No disrespect to Mr. Stone, but I don't tune into the Journal to hear uninformed celebrity musings about the cost of "predator missiles," the relationship between the Pashtun and the Taliban, or the wisdom of President Obama's policy on the Afghan war.

    I love the Journal. It is the finest news show on television because the guests have deep knowledge of a particular subject and provide incisive, in-depth analysis. Unfortunately, this episode failed to deliver on that.

    Mr. Moyers your program with Oliver Stone was excellent. You mentioned a topic that is getting some traction as of late, namely "the draft". If all those required to join were to do so, our nation would be better served in a variety of ways. Please continue the dialogue on this subject of great impact. Thank you.

    Thomas wrote, in part, "Furthermore that Turkish intelligence operatives, Mossad and the Pakistani ISI have operated freely within this country and with great success to obtain sensitive information, including Nuke weapons data, from members of Congress by whatever means necessary. She names those compromised."

    Ah yes, back to "science", aren't we? :-)

    Sestak seemed very worried about the 2000 plus "physicists" in Pakistan...

    Think about the "fantastical thinking" information that is an endless feed of "health news" these days on the internet, TV, and in print media. If the majority of people in the USA have been, or would have been if they applied,

    rejected from colleges and universities for not being smart enough to pass human anatomy courses,

    then what, exactly, is the point of so much "intelligence" being provided as "entertainment" to people who don't qualify to process such "intelligence"?!

    But yet everybody blathers on as if experts on "genetics" once they read a "fantastical thinking" topic du jour about "health care"...

    The same situation is present when it comes to "politics" - ie. Jay Leno takes great joy in asking people on the street basic questions about civics to prove how effective "every child left behind" education WAS...

    Since when was "leadership" the personality profile that LAWYERS possess...?

    We can yaddayadda until the cows come home and go back out again, but the REAL bottom line is that the CIA and Federal Resereve Board are CONSUMING, basically, ALL the fruits of everyone's labor from the past 10,000 years - when the "revolutionaries" who murdered and stole the Czar's wealth consumed all that booty (Czar Nicolai was a BILLIONNAIRE at the turn of the 20th century), the thugs and vipers evolved "derivatives" of all kinds for "risk taking"...

    Don't get me started on "religion"...


    Move 'em out to Dubai and Las Vegas - "god" has a GPS and will find and enthrone his "chosen people" to RULE THE WORLD AND SUCK UP ALL LABOR AND LABOR'S FRUITS through the Fed and CIA...


    Nothing safer than to be so far off the grid and at teh bottom of the food chain to be "safe" from psychotics and sociopaths...oh sure, occassionally they sniff around me to ascertain who the "alpha" dog would be in any attempt to "use" me...their only operating brain process - the reptilian brain stem - functions adequately enough to direct them out of my "aura" range...

    It is possible to raise children to be IMMUNE to ALL the crap they "sell" - be it "religion", oil, drugs, booze, WMD, or "science" toys that spy on the microbes crawling in your armpit...

    Now back to strategic misinformation - even the "resistance" can use that strategy - lol

    They are trying to figure out how protons travel through unpervaded's going to be too easy, I almost should feel "guilty" about supplying fun facts for fantastical thinkers...

    Lyle Smith,
    Just because we did it does not make it right...
    You have a right to your opinion but unfortunately your opinion has cost millions of lives and wasted our economy. We have incurred the wrath of God and our nation is paying dearly for its mistakes. It is the same story as the Jewish history.
    When will people learn that nothing is gained by greed and war?
    We are on the path of self-destruct and do not have the courage to recognize our mistakes and fix the problem.
    "Those who live by the sword; die by the sword".
    The sword is as a wet noodle as compared to today's Weapons of Mass Destruction. We need to fix our own problems and be an example of good not evil.

    I watched your show as I do every week and I liked what Mr Stone had to say. I think most people are so naive and ignorant about our government. The war actually started in 1946 when we started supporting the French who were battling with the north then. Once the money flowed in the ego's couldnt stop or back out. What I see in the comparison of Afganistan and Vietnam and why they are the same. We never invaded the main base of the enmey in Vietnam as we are doing the same in Afgan now. That is why both will be the same type of wars and will not be one we will win. Ego and money ruled in 1964 as well as it does in 2009. That of which is common sense and logic will be forgot.

    To Jack Martin :
    Sibel Edmonds testified before the "9/11 Commission" for more that three hours but none of it was included in the final report nor has a transcript has been made public. She is certainly courageous to speak out. I'm sure many are quite unhappy about her revelations but have decided to just ignore her...for now anyway. You are right to assert that the public is afraid to admit the truth even to themselves. Who wants to believe that their government is totally corrupt and that the real power is held by a cabal of evil criminals who are completely devoid of morality or remorse? Who wants to think that their own government is somehow complicit in the murder of nearly 3000 people on 9/11 and/or is protecting the actual perpetrators from exposure and prosecution? Or that those who designed and executed the ongoing wars are homicidal maniacs every bit as evil as the leaders of the German Nazi régime? It's what I believe, based on the evidence, but I don't expect anyone else to because it's a very painful and sad dimension to live in.

    Thomas: Thanks for the Sibel Edmonds link about "Lesser of Evils..."

    This girl got in trouble because she could speak a foreign language and needed a job. There are things we know; things we know we don't know; things we don't know we don't know; and often things we wish we didn't know. The general public is afraid to admit what they suspect. Misplaced faith: Fatal error. Long live Sibel Edmonds who broke her personal fear barrier.

    Lyle Smith: What about the "abbillitty two spel"?

    What's your theory on 11-22-63?

    To Lyle Smith :
    Your comment "Never once has America been the Aggressor...." is total fiction and a form of delusional psychosis on your part. Just consider the lies and false information told and created by the Bush/Cheney régime to sell the genocidal war against the Iraqi people. The result? Maybe 1,000,000 dead, total destruction of their society, hundreds of thousands displaced, D.U. everywhere, priceless antiquities looted/destroyed, a terrorized populace living in a police state, and a barely functioning government as a result. First class war crimes and crimes against humanity and the "connections" between Iraq and 9/11 are completely false (of course 9/11 was a false flag operation). All of this was a deliberate and pre-planed operation to commandeer the remaining energy supplies of the world, break anyone or anything in opposition and make many billions in the process. Obama has destroyed his presidency by signing on to continued mayhem in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Finally it's poor salesmanship on your part to mention God in these discussions. I wager SHE is mighty P.O. at Amerika right now.....

    Oliver Stone is just that, Stoned. He is always trying to make himself out to be something he isn't. Bill, in regards to your one sided narrow view of things. You failed to mention the hard fact truth that no lib wants here, is that President Kennedy got us started in the veitnam war. which got us all in the quagmire that it was. Why don't you ask the tough questions to Mr. Stone about proving the alligations he has made about others who were commiting war crimes,He can't come up with athything that would prove his point but still make s him self out to be so above such things. I noticed that you conviently left out that the terrorist attacks came as a result of a true infidel, Jimmy Carter by allowing the shaw of Iran to seek asylum after the horrable treatment of his own people. Carter made us the new enemy./. Why havent you blamed him for his political favor extended to the evil people? How about covering a true story of why we were thrown into 911 because our beloved president Clinton, who was served bin laden for attakcs on our millitary and killing several of our bravest men and woman. In stead he finds that it isnt politically corect to get him even though we had many reasons to detain him.
    911 is jimmy cater and clintons job that george bush inherited. thank God bush wasn't a coward, and stood up for us people of the united states. and Kick the Islamic asses that deserved it. by the way your beloved congress voted for it, be fore they denied having done so.
    Thank goodness this curent administration of lies, half truths, take no blame when they screw up. will soon be voted out of office so decent people who actually care about other things that truly matter to us poeple who arent fooled by PBS and every other liberal show. Now to be fair. put on a real hero, like Olli North, who could debunk the bs just told to us by awannaby movie maker. Pbs needs to show THAT Global WARMING IS A LIE TOLD BY ALL OF YOU. LETS HERE FROM THE MAIN FOOL HIMSELF. AL GORE. JUST CHECK THE FACKS THAT NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO SEE.Your show would have alot more credibility if you could handle the truth that we as a nation was attacked and they need to be defeated by force and strentgh. not by appeasing them. You look ever bit the coward obama is. Never once has America been the aggressor, but it is a God given right to defend ouselves from our enemies.Please try to show a fair and balance view point instead of drinking obamaa cool-aid.. Bill You're Just not that smart of a guy. Sorry. qui gon gin said it best about The ability to speak does not prove you're intelegent.

    To Anna D.
    You, like me, are definitely outside the MATRIX. Unlike the CIA (once in never out) in this case "once out never back in". I loath the MSM immensely and never watch most of it ever (I don't have cable and will never get it. However there are some OK international news organization on DTV). Perhaps the most odious of all of it is the so called Sunday talk shows (there all bad) especially "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on ABC. Every week they trot out the same retired generals, neo-con hacks, militarists and corporate shills with same old arguments in defense of continuation of the wars and the enrichment of the American power elite. Alternative views are never really presented or debated. Perhaps the biggest "rotten apple" award must to the late Tim Russert for allowing Dick Cheney to flat out lie repeatedly and Condolezza Rice in response to any questions about the Iraq invasion or run up to the war to repeat the mantra "WMD! WMD! WMD!" ad nauseum for years!
    I'm truly baffled by the creation of the CIA and the immense power ceded to that organization. It is a separate government with a secret budget and there is virtually no oversight from the congress or judiciary. "They" can do whatever they wish (assassinations, drug running, false flag operations, blackmail and bribery to name a few) and there are no consequences even when crimes are committed and exposed. Now after the passage of Patriot Act II the president has unilateral power including the right to imprison anyone, without charges or due process, in perpetuity. And the use of the "state secrets" act has been used repeatedly. This novel law prohibits individuals and organizations from exposing any information deemed dangerous to "national security" if so ordered to not do so. So potentially criminals within the government can use this to prevent the investigation of themselves and their nefarious deeds. If you don't comply then you are the criminal and subject to severe penalties. Clever that.
    For more on this and other interesting things go to Turkish American whistle blower Sibel Edmonds new web site She was hired by the FBI after 9/11 to do translations and who upon discovering some eye popping revelations of corruption, bribery and blackmail at the highest levels of Congress by foreign intelligence services she attempted to expose it. She was then fired and ordered to shut up under the power of the "state secrets act" not once but twice. She has finally decided to rebel and reveal what she knows. Under oath she has stated that Osama Bin Laden was a CIA asset right up to 9/11. Furthermore that Turkish intelligence operatives, Mossad and the Pakistani ISI have operated freely within this country and with great success to obtain sensitive information, including Nuke weapons data, from members of Congress by whatever means necessary. She names those compromised.

    My favorite "learning moment" from this week's episode:

    Moyers digs out gems from better "relationships" and "conversations" among FREE WILLS in the past:

    "Our founders knew too well the habits of European kings who went to war at the drop of a royal hat or for the lust of a royal heart. Matters of life and death, they argued, should never be so easily decided by one man. In the now quaint but still elegant language of their day, they understood - and these are the words of James Madison - that: "In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them." But that was not a good idea, Madison said. Such a mixture of powers would be a temptation "too great for any one man." Even a good man, of good intentions. Madison worried that: "The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."

    You can't "lose" someone to a "peace movement"

    Thomas wrote, in part, ""The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." in part, "--William Colby, former CIA Director, quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy

    AD - Sometimes, especially because the "channelors" of the TV propaganda are young and carefully culled for certain personality traits

    - most notable narcissism and blind ambition -

    a moment flits across their face as they are "reading" the telepromter or, if illiterate, the plug in their ears is feeding the words

    that indicates that they experience that moment of PERSONAL lucidity where they KNOW that they don't know what they are talking about...they know that they don't know...and because of the $$$ paid them to be cockatiels and the rest of their personality profile, they'll expend whatever "animal" intelligence programmed in their few active brain cells and in their "genes" to bs their way - from ENDLESS snarky gossip up to and including quoting from massive databases of made-up FACTS paraded out as "science"....think about it....

    (Moyers did note in this episode the KNOWN treachery in the human heart that led the men writing up the constitution to make sure that the power to start wars was NOT, repeat - NOT - in the hands of a "king" and just read through these posts to see the whole parade - greed, ambition, selfishness, etc.)

    This is in every way a PSYCHO LOGICAL war, and the consistent INIQUITY in it (remember, no one recovers from iniquity) is twofold - two OPIATES - "religion" and the TERROR of physical pain. The "corporate" cancer is completely self-contained - oil to run their weaponry and drugs to control the "pain"...

    The major problem is the QUALITY of the human beings that the CIA et al find in foreign lands to do "business" with! They find the WORST criminals in EVERY culture on earth that they are looking to suck dry of "booty"! They destroy EVERY CULTURE through the selective destruction of the BEST people - the people who ARE the living culture!

    We need to take a page from the CIA when it comes to "war" - that special page they wrote up for themselves where THEY are doing whatever the hell they want without authorization from ANYONE, right? They ARE "anarchy".

    Thomas - "I think we must accept the sad reality that America is under de-facto military rule and has been for decades."

    AD - Ever since WWII - Eisenhower DID try to curtail the "Frankenstein" that was created to "end" recycled bouts of armageddon BECAUSE OF THE MONEY...

    The dark JOKE is the "perception is reality" schtick they project when they put on a pope's hat and proclaim themselves to be the MORAL LEADERS of a "god", himself.


    Not sure what "gene" got activated that made me IMMUNE to that schtick...but I am. So are a certain % of the 30-40 MILLION USA citizens PERMANENTLY deleted from the flow of THEIR paper "capital" and "credit"...

    Safer? Yup, imagine how quickly 4 BILLION will devour the last egg-laying chickens of the 30 million usa PERMANENTLY "economy" will be - wha't?

    And seven generation out..?

    - cricket cricket -

    "You need to tune up your intellect a little if you want to comment on the Bill Moyers blog.

    Posted by: BillM | December 4, 2009 11:01 PM"

    The Coward Dies 1000 Deaths, The Brave Man But One.

    Thirty six years after ending the draft and we have become what we once fought to end. Only a coward would see military service as punishment, authoritarian regimes in this country over the past 30 years have flourished with the likes of you !

    Mr. Moyers,
    Thanks for your consistently high quality program and the presentation of such vital stories (that are so frequently suppressed by the MSM). I sadly doubt that upon your retirement that PBS will have the courage to replace it with anything as hard hitting, truthful or probing.
    Here is a link to the full two hour 2008 presentation by Richard Gage ( "9/11 : Blueprint for Truth - The Architecture of Destruction" I urge you to view it in it's entirety.

    Your interview with Oliver Stone was the most honest I have ever seen. He would make Joseph Conrad proud. He sure made me proud to be a veteran.

    Listen up everyone! Check out this multi-part video by William Schaap "The Media, CIA, FBI & Disinfo."

    The real terrorist in this once great country? Government,Wall street,Banks,Major corporations,special interest groups and Lobbyist too name a few.Democrat/Republican whats the difference they have had over 200 yrs to do the country and its tax paying citizens right and have FAILED us all.Time for a new party new direction people.

    I was struck by the interview of Mr. Oliver Stone by Mr. Moyers. Neither mentioned we haven't had a Constitutional Declared War since WWII. Only Congress can Constitutionally Declare War!

    I find it especially repugnant, that Congress passed "The War Powers Resolution," not even a Law, to control when & why we go to war. Mr. Stone's interview depicted very well where this approach has taken us.

    We must return to our Constitution.

    The dismal performance in truth telling and the obvious disinformation campaign(s) about 9/11 and the wars by the MSM since 2000 certainly suggests the following is increasingly the case :

    "The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
    --William Colby, former CIA Director, quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy

    I think we must accept the sad reality that America is under de-facto military rule and has been for decades. President Obama's capitulation on Af-Pak after weeks of phony and media hyped "discussions" was inevitable and reveals how little power the president and congress really have.

    While I disagree with Oliver Stone's articulation of why the proposed strategy will result in failure, I do find myself questioning why Obama appears to be compelled to take a moderate stance. I get the impression that this war will take much longer than the 18 months he's given and I do not get this information from the doves. Frontline has done a fantastic job of following the conflict with micro and macro examinations of the war and have supplemented their observations with notable figures such as Steve Coll, Lt. Col. John Nagl, General McChrystal, etc. It's constantly described as a long term commitment reminiscent of nation building over a span of decades.

    The General himself has noted that this war will not be won by the military, but if not by them then who? I'm reading reports of aid agencies that are losing their ability to project resources outside of safe zones...will 30,000 troops for 18 months provide the security necessary to fill that gap? And can those resources even ameliorate tribal concerns in order to foster a stronger central government?

    It sounds like too much with too little time. The constraint itself, if a result of financial woes, looks as though it should be viewed as symbolic of the greater effort.

    Hey wait a second folks. I never said or implied that Stone was in the CIA. This could be a possibility, but so are a lot of other things. Sometimes people have problems expressing themselves (just ask my wife), so all we are doing here is just speculating.

    As for the Phoenix Program, I think this would be a viable solution to cut down on collateral damage. Because I really (really, really, really) hate it when the innocent get hurt just because one a-hole wants to prove to another a-hole that he (or she) has a, more or less, bigger dick. A problem with this type of program would be if our own president were to misuse it in a way in which it might benefit a cause like globalization and/or revenge for his Poppy. Wasn’t there something a couple months ago about Cheeney having a similar program? Talk about in the wrong hands. (These damn socialist neocons ruin everything.)

    Oliver Stone repeats an idea I have heard spoken many times, that the Afghan people are not like us, because they are so nationalistic and will fight us tenaciously.

    I think this is a puzzling idea.

    How is this different from the American spirit? What do you imagine we would do if an occupying force entered America with a stated goal of remaking our nation in their image?

    The guiding principle for the War in Afghanistan should be the Golden Rule.

    So much ado...

    My parents went through the hell of World War 2. For 3.5 years they were fighting fascism after Hitler armies occupied European part of Soviet Union. They went to fight the war because they saw enemy's armies at the gates of their homes. They were fighting for their parents and siblings lives, their unborn children lives - my life. That was a just war, and nobody had to explain why it was.

    But who can HONESTLY explain why our soldiers are risking their own and taking others lives thousands miles away from US, in Iraq and Afghanistan - two counties whose PEOPLE have nothing to do with 9/11?

    Sure, one can try to brainwash me with the tales about links to mighty Al-Qaeda and bad Saddam Hussein. But it won't work in my case, because I know from my old folks - not from the Bush-Cheney-style propaganda - what a JUST war was. In my soul, I am a survivor of that war!

    I feel now pity for president Obama, he seemed to me like a good person.

    The monks and nuns in Vietnam waged peace in the time of war. They would make an interesting movie. It would be refreshing to see such a movie. I have read some of the experiences of Thich Nhat Hanh during this time and they were very interesting and would make for some interesting viewing. Would Oliver Stone be interested in making such a movie?

    Like alot of liberals, Mr.Moyers obviously thought that because Stone went to war (Vietnam especially) that he must be against war.

    But what was seen in the interview was that Stone had no problem with the war or killing people there. he repeatedly justified his murder of a man who's only crime was defending his country from a foreign aggressor.

    Despite repeated probing, by Mr.Moyers, Stone repeatedly failed to show any genuine regret over the war or his actions there.

    Nor does he seem to be much concerned over this current war, as he seams, like so many people, to subsrcibe to the "war on terror" myth.

    Mr.Moyers should have interviews someone like Prof.Howard Zinn or Ron Kovic, for a perspective of a veteran who, unlike Stone, actually learned something from his war experience and became a better human being.

    @ steve - The "evidence" is in the video of the interview as analyzed by David F.

    A teacher is a typical cover for a CIA operative. The merchant marine time is another great cover. I'll bet there is not one person in the world that can back up that claim. Who would remember some kid that was a "wiper".

    The account of how he killed a man seems to real. Too full of details. And he slipped up in the interview with Bill Moyers when Bill kept pressing him for details. His cover story didn't hold up. He just kept repeating the same things robotically.

    Read David F.'s post. He covers the inconsistencies pretty well.

    And in the interview, Oliver Stone advocates the use of Special Forces in Afghanistan. He also talks in favorable terms about the CIA Phoenix program in Vietnam. These are both brutal covert operations.

    Why does Stone on the one hand say he is against the war in Afghanistan and on the other hand advocate a covert CIA/Special-Forces war?

    I think Bill Moyers exposed him pretty well by having him read that passage.

    I took away from the show that Mr. Stone has experienced war and he has worked out for himself lessons drawn from traumatic experiences. I have found that most persons who have experienced combat do not wish to speak of it because it is so unpleasant. To most persons, killing another person, even if required to stay alive, is traumatizing. One must deal with it somehow: to some, repression is the way, to others, making films. Most are not the same after the killing. He is trying to deal with old demons. I have seen dead people in wartime. It is very unpleasant and some rationalization helps.
    Kudos to him for going. More kudos to take the trouble to analyze that time and express it in his art. JB

    Frank, what evidence do you have any evidence to support your assertion that Stone was CIA?

    @ David F. - You have picked up on the exact same statements that disturbed me about the Oliver Stone interview. So let me repeat my earlier comment:

    Oliver Stone is lying about the first time he went to Vietnam. He went as a CIA agent and not a "teacher". The passage he read from the book is true. Who knows if he went through some sort of MKULTRA brainwashing program as part of his training.

    Unless I was hearing things; Oliver Stone said that Nation building in someone else's nation is a waste of lives, resources and money. No matter how long you try; it will never succeed. Never is a very long time and we do not have the will or the resources to survive that long. We need to do our own nation building.
    On the Economic front, anal retentive conservatives are responsible for the economic and social disaster we are presently experiencing. Their sociopathic fear is that someone other than their rich friends might be able to afford the cost of living without having to work three jobs. It jerks their jaws. They have spent the last forty years undermining working people's lifestyle. It is the demand side of economics that supports our society and that supports the supply side of economics. The conservative trickle down economics are destroying everything good about this country and supporting everything that is demeaning and brutal.
    We need a dynamic system of economics that supports a dynamic social system not the worship of a stagnant economic "pie in the sky" system that leaves us at the mercy of greedy people and our enemies.

    Bill, I love your show and think you're by far one of the most intelligent, informed journalists on T.V.

    Oliver is obviously totally against our involvement in Afghanistan and you seem to have very grave reservations because of our debacle in Vietnam, but I'd like to offer another opinion.

    A stable, Al Qaeda free Afghanistan is very desirable and could be vital for Afghani women, but a stable Pakistan is absolutely essential. If we leave Afghanistan now, there is almost no hope of stabilizing Pakistan. If we don't stabilize both Afghanistan & Pakistan together, we're going to be in some very deep shit if the Taliban & crazies take over the region. Then the situation will be exponentially worse -- and may even involve renegade Nukes in the hands of terrorists, or an India-Pakistan nuclear war.

    I think President Obama probably feels the same. Unfortunately, we have to work with Karzai which may spell failure, but we've got to try now, or probably resign ourselves to enormously more dangerous problems later.

    I won't and can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to fight in a war. But I found as I listened to you and Oliver Stone that I held many of the same views as you and Stone. I have enjoyed this segment a lot. My dad fought in WWII, and now my grandson is going into harm's way. And I have another grandson who is joining the military. Right now, the military offers an excellent opportunity for youth in an economy where there are no good paying job opportunities. I just regret that we are spending so much money "in the name of freedom." But I am thankful for this opportunity for my grandsons. Yes, I know that I am contradicting myself. But it is a difficult time right now for me with my two grandsons. I don't want them going into harm's way. But, yet, I am thankful for them to have the opportunity to gain an education and skills that they might not otherwise have. Thanks for this doing this segment on war. I really enjoyed it.

    After watching the Vietnam portions of the interview, I had a feeling that something was missing. So, I watched it a couple-three more times and found some peculiarities and contradictions. Here is Stone’s statement about the letter from his 1966 book, "Oliver Stone: A Child's Night Dream."

    It's a fictional letter I wrote to my mother. I had not been in Vietnam yet. I had been in Vietnam as a teacher. And I had also been in the Merchant Marine in 1965.

    Now isn’t this an extremely odd letter to write to your mother? First off, how many people write fictional letters to their parents? And secondly, how many people write to their parents about the satisfaction of killing? (Was something bothering him? )

    Also, what about him saying that he wasn’t in Vietnam and then immediately correcting himself by saying that he was there as a teacher? At first, I thought that he had just made a simple mistake by saying “Vietnam” when he meant to say “Vietnam War,” but then I notice that he didn’t want to talk much about this either. He quickly changed the subject and started talking about being a Merchant Marine. Moyers caught this and tried to bring him back on topic, but Stone changed the subject back to the Merchant Marines again (and as far as I know, his time as a Merchant Marine had absolutely nothing to with Vietnam) (also, without much details, his responses sort of sounded rehearsed (teacher, marine; teacher, marine; teacher, marine)).

    I also found this statement to be odd:

    And I went back into the Army, and I joined as Bill Stone, William Stone.

    What does Stone mean by saying “I went BACK into the Army?” So, if he went back, then this must mean that he was there before. Or maybe it was because he was on a “going back to” theme at the time he said this, and maybe he just meant to say that he went back to Vietnam, not the Army.

    So, are these just honest mistakes or Freudian slips? Now don’t get me wrong, I personally think Stone is a great artist who has opened my eyes to many lies, but what I took away from this interview was that during his youth he had first chosen evil (I wonder why), and then after he saw it first hand, he chose to spend the rest of his life exploiting the lies used for covering it up.

    I saw his body after I killed him. He's still there…

    (oh and btw, if Garrison’s integrity wasn’t enough, I think the forensics should speak for itself.)

    Dear Bill,

    I loved, loved, loved your interview with Oliver Stone. Yes art heals in that it empowers us to go beyond ourselves, our quotidian existence, our story, and imagine other possibilities and circumstances of this this huge salad bowl called life.

    I hope that you will PLEASE invite journalist Chris Hedges on your program. His new book "Empire of Illusion" is a must read canary in the coal mine for the current dreadful state of America.

    Keep up the great work!

    Thank you and WNET 13 for your hard work. You are a national treasure!

    I needed to clarify the sentence...

    "...about the TRUTH that there is no way to be "healed" once you've become "de-sensitized" to iniquity through participation with iniquity because if you become a "sensitive" person after chosing to participate with iniquity, you will go "insane"..."

    "God" may not be sending so much "bad luck" or "suffering" on to ONE person than they can't bear it, but man can certainly keep piling it on.

    So much hay has been made out of "good people doing nothing" during WWII when genocide was going on...but look at how much "terror" man is piling on as many people as possible "FOR THE MONEY".

    Civilization is not built and maintained by an elite class of "walking dead" - the "walking dead" being those who CHOSE to participate with INIQUITY.

    Moyers and Oliver are doing all that they can do - now - after all the "facts"...

    which is to warn the ones they see embarking down the same WRONG path for all the same WRONG reasons...

    so thanks, Gentlemen, for that...

    With upwards of 30 million Moms and Dads thrown out of the river of capital and credit - PERMANENTLY (tune in to the business cable shows to HEAR that as the truth of their genocidal "plans"),

    being "grunts' with free time on their hands means that they can HELP assist the "war effort" by raising children who are IMMUNE to the freedom-zapping "fear" disease that is fed by both forms of opiates - "religion" and "drugs"....

    The "truth" about how the Twin Towers imploded won't be as revealing of the "truth" as what happens when grunt citizens clear out their 'hoods of the "businesses" that provide the CASH for "terrorists" I said before, it has been a LONG time since the "grunts" themselves declared a "war" that they ARE willing to "fight" and "sacrifice" for - it should come as no suprise to anyone that it might not be the "wars" that have been started in, for, or against our names so far....

    Bill Moyers is being "threatened" to keep the so-called truth about 911 secret? Ha!

    No, the real truth about 911 can be found by viewing the excellent "The Power of Nightmares" by Adam Curtis which ran on BBC and can be found on Google video.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    How can you continue to subvert and censure the fact that the government's theory (myth) that 19 hijackers conspired to attack the US at the direction of leader in a cave in Afghanistan, cannot stand up to independent peer reviewed science? For you to sit there and talk about corporate wars, death, and poverty when the madness might come to an end with the truth, is heartbreaking to watch. I keep praying for a brave, respected , journalist of your stature to interview architect, Richard Gage about his worldwide organization, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. They are now approaching 1000 members including an architect whose father designed the Sydney Opera House. Richard is currently speaking in Japan after speaking in Australia and New Zealand. As the public awakens from their psyop induced stupor, members of the media are appearing more and more complicit in the crime. The very least you can do is tell us you are being threatened or censured when it comes to topics like 9/11 and stolen elections. If that be the case, encourage the public to look elsewhere for the full story. Until that happens, I have chosen to limit my donations to independent media where investigation and fact checking are not self contained within a reality resembling the Truman Show.

    'You need to tune up your intellect a little if you want to comment on the Bill Moyers blog.
    Posted by: BillM | December 4, 2009 11:01 PM'
    I have "tuned it up" as best I can and submit that I agree with Col. Andrew J. Bacevich U.S. Army(RET) author of "The Limits of Power" and "The New American Militarism" who first stated that it is immoral and morally corrosive to ask less then 1% of our young to bear this unending burden of war while NO SACRIFICE is asked of the majority of Americans. As I commented, we are not even asked to pay a War Tax! Instead, we are encouraged to go shopping! We are deploying these U.S. Army Soldiers and U.S. Marines over and over again into combat! Have we no shame, what kind of people are we? I do not think it takes much of an "intellect" to recognize that if there was a "Draft" the Bush-Cheney War Crime of lies in Iraq would most likely never have been initiated. The Republican “neocons” with their “dream” of regime change in Iraq have created a “nightmare” of grief in America! Bush-Cheney used the "Volunteer" U.S Military as expendable mercenaries, deploying troops repeatedly into combat without any national shared sacrifice. It is immoral and it does not take much of an "intellect" to realize this fact! At least with the Draft, the sons of the political elite and the wealthy will perhaps participate in contrast to cheering their university/college football teams on as this fall and enjoying the "good life" on campus!

    Thank you Bill Moyers for stating you disagree with The Presidents decision to send more troops to Afganistan. This may give more citizens courage to speak from their heart and get our troops and citizens home now from the war.

    I pause to accept all that Oliver Stone's Vietnam experiences were "for his country". First, the poem before his enlistment; then teaching in Vietnam, I assume to help the country; then, enlisting to go kill the culture he taught. Were his experiences more for self and creation of his movies? Yet, he did bring up many points that we learned from.

    To Jane:

    There can be no dispute that 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy since there was obviously more than one participant in the planning and execution. The science based evidence I was referring to puts the lie to the "Government's Conspiracy Theory" because it refutes the main conclusions as presented in that theory. In fact the 9/11 commission stopped it's analysis at the onset of the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 and never even considered the issue of WTC7. The rapid and totally symmetrical destruction of all three buildings and the associated video, audio, thermal and chemical evidence is simply and very conveniently missing. Not very through I may say. But what would one expect from a investigation opposed by the Bush/Cheney régime for eighteen months and only empowered under public pressure by an act of Congress. The Executive Director was Philip Zelikow who was best buddies with the Bush family and Condoleezza Rice. Apparently he controlled the document flows, the pace and direction of inquiry and edited the final report. But my main point was that the premise of any discussion about the American military assaults in Iraq and Afghanistan in the media is that the official 9/11 story is simply unassailable. That's the kool-aid that many Americans including yourself happily quaffed.

    I find it depressing that practically everyone, yourself and Oliver Stone included, is so willing to blindly accept the Afghanistan-911 link.

    You don't have to scratch very deeply to turn that assumption on its head.

    I guess that's why most journalists are keeping their hands in their pockets these days.

    Regarding the on-going stories of conspiracy of 911, put it to rest. If it had been a president in office with a D after his/her name all these theroies would not be talked about, nine years later by all the extreme far left radicals on TV. Bush and the first lady brought this country together and his approval rating was off the charts for their concern and action, during this time. Maybe the word jealously is an appropriate word, rather then conspiracy. Knowing Ventura as a child, I must say, he hasn't changed.

    Questions on the table for consideration after the interview with William Oliver:

    What do you think?

    •Has artistic expression helped you work out issues in your life? Explain.

    Isn't the question, "How did "art" influence Oliver's free will choice to go to war to seek "fortune and fame"?

    •Is art a viable healing strategy? Why or why not?

    What's with all the "healing" focus...? Education, especially education based on HISTORY, should be all about PREVENTION, no? FREE WILL CHOICES people make have consequences from which you CAN NOT recover, from which you can not be "healed". Offering up IDEAS that spinal cords and limbs and brains can be put back together because supposedly someone did it with a mouse in a secret CIA lab is the latest psycho babble technique used in the SELLING of "war"! Scheesh, wondering when the "Humpty Dumpty" poem is going to be deemed un-politically correct...

    "Art" will always be in the eyes of the beholder, so to speak. I used to think that the lack of appreciation for BEAUTY was because USA was "young" as a "culture" and had to focus on setting down the basic needs before having the leisure time to make, for instance, a BEAUTIFUL fork instead of producing just a utilitarian fork...the ongoing lack of beauty indicates that the other two legs of the "culture" stool are ALSO missing - truth and goodness...

    By rejecting the culture of Yale, Oliver still ending up embracing the "dark side" of Skull and Bones...

    Grandpa, a survivor from the WWII "era" who was born and lived on the border between Poland and Russia, spent 3 months in sustained intellectual effort teaching me, as a 15 year old, the TRUTH about what happens to a person when they kill another human being...I am quite convinced that a movie will never be made about that kind of "love"...

    Building up a "civilization" completely focused on "preventing" the IDEA of "armageddon"

    actually WAS the "armageddon", itself...

    Probably the only way for an individual to sanely live with their personally haunting "consequences"

    is to warn the "young" -

    loudly, repeatedly, in a million and one ways from every possible perspective of the prismatically complex issue,

    to reach all 12 basic types of "thinkers" -

    about the TRUTH that there is no way to be "healed" once you've become "de-sensitized" to iniquity through participating with it because if you become "sensitive", you will go "insane"...

    We'll leave the role of "religion" as the "opiate of the people" for another day...let's just focus on the opium, itself, as booty...

    So what do you think of Obama and his ideas about Afghanistan.
    I sincerely believe he is somewhat nuts about sending some 30,000 more troops to this country.
    Bring the troops home before another 900 are killed in action.
    Too much of our tax money being spent for this useless war.
    Let the Afghanistan people get themselves out of this mess.
    Some security, what security.
    Our country is at no risk with the Teliban.
    Too bad Obama cannot see the forest for the trees.
    Yes I voted for him, but I doubt that he will be reelected again in 2012.

    Posted by: Thomas | December 5, 2009 7:38 AM
    Watch Jessie Ventura's Conspiracy Theory program on Wednesday,December 9 @10PM about the 9/11 conspiracy. Dish Network and Directv have this channel. Many website believe that a conspiracy took place.

    I forgot to add that Bill Moyers is also one of our very best -- like Oliver Stone and the young men "from Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee" who were there in Vietnam with him.

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers!

    Oliver Stone's appearance last night on Bill Moyers' Journal brought tears to my eyes, several times.

    How, I keep asking myself, did it happen that a genuine Mensch like Oliver Stone was a Pfc. and infantry patrol point man ("the lowest of the low" in Mr. Stone's words) while the most disreputable, dishonorable and ruinous insults to all decency in the form of LBJ, McNamara and Westmoreland were tolerated as the "highest of the high"!

    But, no mistake about it, that same insanity and mindless rush to national suicide is still with us. The names have changed -- to Obama, Gates, Petraeus, McChrystal, etc. -- but the same old insanity continues apace.


    Because of the MANY people all around us who support it and form a VERY large constituency that empowers these "highest of the high" who truly should be in a mental institution. I'm NOT being facetious in saying this!

    It's frustrating and exhausting to live in a country that allows and even supports this outrage.

    But just WHAT is the fundamental, underlying cause of these repeated headlong rushes over the cliff? Although there are layers and layers of inhumanity derived from it, the FUNDAMENTAL cause is RELIGION, religion that is totally divorced from any genuine spirituality. Perhaps better said, it is a near-death lack of a spirituality that should live in our hearts and makes us DESERVING of survival.

    Short of a GENUINE spiritual renaissance in this country, the warmongering and rush to national suicide WILL continue -- powered fundamentally by a highly successful, tin-horn, virgin-birth, talking-bush, living-inside-a-fish,ABSURD religion.

    As Voltaire instructed us: Those who can make you believe absurdities can lead you to commit atrocities.

    Thank you, Mr. Stone. Not only are your movies the best ever, YOU are one of our best, too.

    Stone was nonplussed when Moyers asked him why he thought Obama was sending in more troops to Afghanistan. I suspect two reasons since it's obvious to everyone troops on the ground isn't the answer to our problems with Al Queda: political expediency and inability to control the Military Industrial Complex.

    Regarding political expedience - just like John Kennedy, Obama has goals to accomplish and he can't afford to lose votes because of displeasure from members of that voting constituency. Escalating the Vietnam conflict was Kennedy's mechanism for buying time to accomplish other goals. The same is true for Obama. For me this is a reflection on how poorly our government works. Foreign policy should never be held hostage to any President's domestic agenda.

    As far as controlling the military goes, consider the following quote from page 209 of David Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest."

    "What the president was learning, and learning to his displeasure (once again, the Bay of Pigs had been lesson one), was something that his successor Lyndon Johnson would also find out the hard way: that the capacity to control a policy involving the military is greatest before the policy is initiated, but once started, no matter how small the initial step, a policy has a life and a thrust of its own, it is an organic thing. More, its thrust and its drive may not be in any way akin to the desires of the President who initiated it. There is always the drive for more, more force, more tactics, wider latitudes for force."

    Just like LBJ couldn't control the military after inheriting the conflict from Kennedy, Obama can't control the military after inheriting the war from Bush. Obama's administration is even sounding like the Bush administration for God's sake. It's shameful.

    I am amazed how the mythology around 9/11 is continuously used by both MSM and progressive media (including this generally outstanding program) to justify mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan. The idea that on 9/11 a rag-tag group of hijackers, with dreadful flying skills, managed to evade the most sophisticated air defense system in the world, crash planes into the twin towers, destroy the entire WTC complex and hit the Pentagon is nothing more than the most simplistic and uninformed thinking. WTC1 and WTC2, both weighing approximately 500,000 tons, where clearly blown to bits from the top down at near free fall speeds. The vaporization and pulverization of most of mass of each structure strongly indicates massive internal explosions from demolition charges (widely reported by first responders and survivors). And WTC7, which was not hit by any airplane, collapsed at free fall speed at 5:20 pm the same day. That gravitational acceleration alone is responsible is so improbable as to be impossible. The science is basically irrefutable and has never been addressed by the US government. Clearly the perpetrators would have needed access to all three buildings weeks or even months in advance to prepare, something quite impossible for non-state actors like Osama Bin Laden. The hijackers, if they were even real, where most likely were patsies in a much larger game. The corporate controlled media has done masterful psy-ops in the suppression of all serious questions about the events of that terrible day and used it to brainwash the American public of the righteousness of nine years of unrestrained genocidal warfare.

    For those who would scoff at the above or those more interested I suggest a visit to where the facts and science are presented by professional architects and engineers.

    Finally, Osama Bin Laden under the name Usama Bin Laden is on the FBI 10 most wanted list but not for any crimes related to 9/11.

    In your conversation with Oliver Stone terrorism was equated with the 'other!' What about American military and corporate terrorism? The list is endless.General Smedley Butler had it right in equating our military adventurism in collusion with U.S. corporate interests with Al Capone's bloody gang. The examples are endless: Nicaraugua, Chile, Cuba, Grenada, Philipines,Vietnam,Bhopal, Bolivia,Shock and awe in Iraq,Drone attacks in Pakistan, Guantanamo, Abhu Grahib, support for the Contras......on and on. Journalists, afraid for their careers, still hidde behind the myth of American exceptionalism! Our way of life has been subsidized by the misery of the third world and it continues to be so!

    Two of Mr. Stone's comments with regard to war struck me as particularly sagacious: 1.) his reference to an adage - attributed to Einstein, I believe (and adopted by 12 Step Programs worldwide!) - which reflected upon the futility of "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different;" and, 2.) his statement which pointed out that it is corporate America which profits most from war.

    Whether or not one agrees with every guest's point of view, BMJ never fails to provide much to learn and further ponder.

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for your invariably excellent presentations!


    Mr. Moyers, I almost missed the interview with Oliver Stone because it was presented in a way that sounded like it would be a "Hollywood Story". I am very happy curiosity caused me to tune in anyhow.
    A great and moving story, Mr. Stone. The open, honest answers, thoughtfully presented, gave clear understanding of a soldier's view of war. While one imagines that one knows the hell of war from pictures, listening to someone who has experienced it brings it into hard focus.

    Reading some of the previous comments, one thinks that some people "hear" a lot more than what was said. My own understanding is Mr. Stone thinks war really is not a solution to a problem. However, if one is in one then one had better fight.

    When Mr. Bush sent our country into war in the Middle East, I knew it would be another Vietnam situation. The reason being the history and culture of that part of the world is based on a war like approach to problems. For hundreds of years they have been fighting each other for whatever reason. Peace or a ceasing of fighting is only used until another approach is found to get around the enemy.

    Mr. Moyers, thank you for having Mr. Stone on your program. As always it was time well spent. As they say, food for the mind.
    I have enjoyed your "TV presence" since the days you so ably served Pres.
    Best wishes, Audrey Murphy, Calif.

    Bill Moyer’s Journal

    Of war and Afghanistan,

    When serving our nation during Vietnam I was one of them whose participation was always from the sky overhead, and never viewed the enemy face to face therefore my experience of war differed from that of soldiers on the ground. I fully understood the personal demeanor and dilemma of Oliver Stone during your interview with him aired locally this evening, December 4, 2009. Frankly, I do not think it possible for most US citizens to comprehend your statement that addressed the draft issue, of which my belief coincides with yours, which is where I opt to quit that subject.

    I agree with Oliver Stone that Obama openly sending another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan will not prove profitable to the US causes or purpose for being there. By the open revelation of fact, there is no protection afforded our soldiers with Obama’s pompous public speech. Instead, in all probability the reverse will prove true, which allows opposition forces to further entrench and dig deeper into the terribly unfriendly terrain of Afghanistan much like the Viet Cong did in Nam. Obama’s perceived scholarly public address ignores the fact he gave opposition forces more time to prepare for the new onslaught of US soldiers, which inevitably will cause an increase in their overall casualty numbers.

    The Obama approach to Afghanistan (also Iran and North Korea) is akin to telling the fox, we are going to send 30,000 soldiers to kill you.

    Anyone with commons sense knows an intelligent fox would simply go dig a new hole in the ground elsewhere.

    Jim W., USAF Vietnam Veteran of Missouri

    Bill, thank you for an interesting interview with Oliver Stone. I didn't know Oliver Stone was a combat veteran, so it was good to hear him speak about war and his own experiences.

    I also thank you, Oliver, for your willingness to talk and the in your answers. I got a lot out of the interview.

    To Ken: I think many of you missed the point of the Oliver Stone interview.

    Based on the evidence presented by Oliver Stone, there will always be tortured, unhappy young men eager to carelessly invest their being in war.

    A military draft with "no Cheney deferments" would accomplish nothing. Many of us who were young and 2-S deferment eligible in the 1960's chose to enlist and seek to be assigned to Vietnam.

    As long as there is a war, there will be no lack of young men eager to seek the meaning of their life in a kill-or-be-killed situation.

    I know what a draft does. I lived through a draft. Like Stone, I had a 2-S deferment and enlisted anyway.

    What a draft does is this:

    It forces innocent young men (and women) who are living the well ordered life that any parent wants for his/her child to consider themselves somehow deficient for not wanting to go to the other side of the world and kill "gooks."

    It may be hard for a Hemingway or a Stone to understand, but there are young people who are heroes in their desire to live orderly and civilized lives. A draft throws all that into a cocked hat.

    A draft would tear this country apart to no good end.

    The Vietnam War did not end because of the turmoil caused by the draft. You've got it backward. The public turmoil actually fed the war. The draft turned citizen against citizen. Those who didn't want to go were seen as betraying those who did go.

    Once the draft was changed to a lottery system, much of the anger died down. With a lottery, it all becomes a matter of bad luck and the private misery of the unlucky.

    The misery of bad luck -- whether death of the uninsured cancer victim down the street, or the kid who comes home in a box -- these are things we are comfortable ignoring. We've been ignoring these tragedies all our lives.

    Let's try to tighten up our rhetoric just a little. Stop spouting platitudes. Think before you repeat a mantra you've heard somewhere.

    Do you really think it is an original idea to advocate sending Congressmen's children to war? Didn't Al Gore, the son of a Senator, seek to serve in Vietnam? Is that your idea of a magic fix?

    You need to tune up your intellect a little if you want to comment on the Bill Moyers blog.

    Good program not for the subject manner but for my understanding of Stone's tortured soul and what drives him. He obviously made his life choices in honest search for his inner joy and peace. I would rather the program been about his past Wall Street movie and his thoughts on its effect on the American people today.

    Sometimes Stone gets things wrong and his effect being a very great filmmaker has disastrous effect on our country and its citizens. He makes these mistakes, not intentionally, but in search for the truth. Sometimes his search for truth is clouded by his misconceptions. For example, JFK’s assassination was by one man, Lee Harvey Oswald. I would rather believe that Johnson set JFK up by leaking information so an attempt on JFKs like could be taken in Dealey Plaza rather than some haphazard conspiracy. Johnson’s actions after the assassination were very suspicious by destroying evidence, his behavior on the plane to accept command, and his comments afterwards.

    However, the biggest evil that Stone has perpetrated on the American people was his Wall Street Movie. The overriding theme, “GREED IS GOOD” and let markets correct themselves is the biggest lie and deception he ever laid on the American People. Greed is what drives this country and is EVIL. Every injustice by our government on its people since the American Civil War has been caused by greed’s corrupted influence in our government. Stone concedes that war is a corporation racket. He is right. The greedy corporations have influence on our politicians to the point that their policies and not the American citizen interests are propagated.

    If Stone wants to find his moral compass to get his inner peace, he must atone for the evils of his movies. Stone needs to attack the corruption in our government process by instilling ETHICAL behavior by our elected officials. Maybe then, Stone can retrieve joy and self-respect in his heart and do right for the American people.

    Oliver Stone explained his motives for enlisting and seeking to fight the Vietnam War. I could relate to his desire to be anonymous and to reject the benefits of a "protected" youth. Those were among the most important reasons that I enlisted, as well.

    He spoke of the temptations of suicide that plague the young. He spoke of the desire at that age to be accepted and approved by companions "at the bottom of the barrel." These I also recall from my youth.

    These are among the reasons I would never want to be young again. Youth is a frightening time.

    But, I wonder, is it right for those of us who have reached some level of maturity to exploit the vulnerabilities of youth by recommending war?

    Mr. Stone's views on war reflect great insight. His views are obviously based on a good mixture of realism and idealism. Sure, combat experiences helped shape his conclusions but we probably need more of that in our National leaders. But Stone needs to spend some quality time in Texas. It is NOT endless scrub. East Texas is the size of 2 or 3 NE states combined, with as much greenery and water. And all of Texas has a rich variety of beauty, including the parts that might be called "scrub" lands by someone with a too-narrow view of beauty.

    Mr stone was right on one thing. People have to be trained to kill and he has been well-trained. He ponders and meditates while justifying killing in war as part of a job.

    Mr stone believes in war and if we follow his beliefs we are doomed as a species. That's the bottom line--violence begets more violence

    I have written a response to Obama's Afghanistan speech in the voice of Mark Twain. Here is an excerpt.

    Mark Twain responds to President Obama on Afghanistan

    Revenge is something that's part of a man's nature. Nobody needs to be taught that. Whole religions have been created to try to unteach it without much success.

    It doesn't take a West Point graduate to figure out that revenge is the best motivator for a soldier. So the Generals send their troops out there into battle - in harms way. Knowing one or two of them will come back missing an arm or a leg, or paying "the ultimate sacrifice". And after that it's all you can do to keep them from going out there again and again.

    That's how the soldiers are taught who the enemy is. The enemy's not their commanding officer who's putting them through hell, it's that other guy that's shooting at them from the other end of the field. From then on the boys are turned into some kind of brutes. It's kill or be killed.

    And some of them, once they've tasted blood - well they get a liking for it. It becomes like a sport - hunting down their prey. And since we give them superior arms, they have the upper hand. So it's pretty much a turkey shoot once they get the hang of it.

    Your interview with Oliver Stone reminded me of those tragic years of Vietnam! Stone's Vietnam movies are hard to watch, but which brings out the horror of war. In a sense, Oliver Stone is much like Hemingway but hope his end is not the same! I agree, I am confounded by President Obama's decision, but hope against hope that he and Sec. Defense Gates have thought this through! Generals always want more troops and time! Afghanistan is the "Graveyard of Empires" and may be ours as well! It is obvious that this "War on Terrorism" is going to be long termed, decades, and what I strongly support your suggestion of a return to the DRAFT without any Cheney deferments! Let us have all Americans participate, to share in the sacrifice, especially the Republican neoconservatives who so advocate war but never serve! It is immoral and morally corrosive to ask less then 1% of our young to bear this unending burden of war while NO SACRIFICE is asked of the majority of Americans, not even a War Tax! Instead, we are encouraged to go shopping! We are deploying these U.S. Army Soldiers and U.S. Marines over and over again into combat! Have we no shame, what kind of people are we?
    Oh, I am a Navy Vietnam Vet!

    I was deeply moved by your interview with Oliver Stone. If only President Obama had had your discussion with him, maybe he would not have made the tragic decision he just made. Why doesn't Oliver Stone run for President? !Thank you, Bill.
    Anne Rusling (Mexico)

    Oliver Stone is lying about the first time he went to Vietnam. He went as a CIA agent and not a "teacher". The passage he read from the book is true. Who knows if he went through some sort of MKULTRA brainwashing program as part of his training.

    I was deeply moved by your interview with Oliver Stone, and hearing him describe his experience in Viet Nam - "classy" is the word which comes to mind -someone who has been through hell and back and still manages to be thoughtful,insightful and ultimately a person of great charm, a humanist of the first order - A wonderful interview with a man of depth and understanding of the world we live in - if only President Obama had talked with him for an hour or so, maybe he would not have made the tragic error of following the long line of war-mangers who have gone before him.
    Thank you, Bill.
    Anne Rusling (Mexico)

    For a soldiers view Mr. Stone is well credentialed, though he does not represent all soldiers' views.

    Fighting communism vs preventing nuclear weapons from being controlled by terrorist seems a stretch.

    Oil & nuclear weapons will keep us in the region well past President Change's term or terms.

    God will determine when peace arrives for man & not man.

    Billy Bob Florida

    Thanks for jogging my memory about a national service requirement. Everyone in the US should be required to give two years of service to our country. We could choose between military and civilian service. I missed the draft because I got diabetes at age 18. Now I'm 70 and would like to serve in some way. I'm a Quaker and a pacifist so I would choose civilian but as you and Oliver Stone said, there are those for whom military would be a good choice.
    It'll take a brave politician to put it through but there are lots of us who feel that the USA deserves our service.

    Thank you, Oliver Stone, for saying what I have known for a while. The "War on Terror" cannot be won, but we can fight terrorism by methods other than war--law enforcement in this country and covert ops and the like over there. We have people in our military who can fight that way. Why waste so many other untrained lives?

    Great show, Bill, as usual!

    I found stone's comments, basically justifying war and killing to be repugnant. He even erroneously invoked Buddhism in upholding one's quest to do one's duty in war.

    I agree with Einstein--not with people of Stone's ilk--who said-"The pioneers of a warless world are the men and womwn who refuse military service. "

    I'll follow the teachings of the spiritual teachers from the Buddha, who preached the path of harmlessness,Jesus and Einstein.

    Mr Stone's ponderings and reflections veil his basic militarist view--war is just a job to do.

    "Has artistic expression helped you work out issues in your life?"

    Yes, writing music helped me with my wife's miscarriages and with all the murder in the world, esp. of children. See the music here.

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