Blessed be the killers, Part III
A strategy for removing the Bush administration

November 29-December 6, 2004

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2004-12-06.htm

      In Blessed be the killers, Part II 1 I offered some reasons to be hopeful, even in the midst of this time of terrible killing by the U.S. military. Now the Bush administration is issuing almost daily 'warnings' against the supposed threat of Iran's nuclear research and development facilities. Preparing the ground either for a U.S. or an Israeli 'pre-emptive' strike against Iran. Attacks without end are the main ingredient of the Bush administration's plan to keep the rest of the world cowed while pursuing absolute U.S. global dominance. We, the world's peoples, must prevent this ongoing barbarity. Here in Part III I focus on how we can stop the killing.


Picture taken by Associated Press photographer Nabil
on Saturday, March 22, 2003.2

      The most immediate action we American people can take to avert the assured catastrophic consequences of the alleged Republican electoral victory is to

Prevent Bush’s second inauguration
unless and until
we are satisfied he was truly
the American people's choice

where by “we” I mean a clear majority of the American people. If and when I firmly believe that the American people, as mediated through the electoral college system, indeed chose Bush for a second term, I will accept that as a fact, without contesting it further. But as long as I remain skeptical, even doubtful, I will reject all 'official' pronouncements. At this time, the evidence to convince me has simply not been made available.

      Instead of attempting to provide hard information, the government and the corporate media are endlessly repeating the mantra that 'this time Bush won', that even in the popular vote he bested Kerry by 3 million or more votes. I do not believe either
1) that all legitimately qualified voters were freely and fairly allowed, as should be our right, to take part in the vote, or
2) that the votes were honestly recorded and tabulated.
I believe the magnitude and success of the efforts to disenfranchise those groups of the electorate seen as likely to vote for Kerry were very likely so great that the election should be invalidated and an honest election held. If enough of us share this belief, that by itself is grounds for rejecting the November 2 process, even if it were possible (which it is not) to honestly and fairly count every vote that was cast.

      It is impossible to know at this time what was the true will of the American people ― who did we try to elect to the presidency? Impossible to know because of the blanket of lies and dishonest propaganda from the government, at many levels, and from the commercial media, intent on suffocating even the possibility of honest inquiry. Why is it that all the efforts to sort out what really happened (with the exception of the thus-far weak legalistic challenges of some minority candidates) are taking place "in the margins", outside of the so-called mainstream media and the established political institutions? Why is there such an effort to suffocate and block our access to the truth?

      An example of the whitewashing of reality to which we are subjected is in an editorial today (Dec 1) in The Cincinnati Post.3 I found it at 10:20 am on the Google - U.S. News page, perhaps 15th from the top, and at 11:30 am it's no longer listed. The editorial is titled "An ugly suggestion." It starts, "To hear the Rev. Jesse Jackson tell it, as he did during his trip this week to Cincinnati, the 2004 presidential vote in Ohio is suspect." The editor opines, ". . . we've seen nothing to date regarding the Ohio balloting to substantiate Jackson's ugly suggestion that the election was fixed." And after a bland account of how well, in general, the election supposedly went in Ohio, the editor concludes, "the recount demand will doubtless fuel the conspiracy theorists for a while longer . . . But as it stands, there is reason we can see for Ohioans to be concerned that "the fix was in'' for this election." Clearly that's a typo in the last sentence; what the editor surely wrote was, "there is no reason . . .".

      Another uninformative piece, this one not an editorial but supposedly a news report, is in the December 1 Boston Globe4. The entire tenor of the article, "Voting Errors Tallied Nationwide", by Brian C. Mooney is one of Yes, there were mistakes, problems with machines, errors by exhausted voting officials, but everything either was or will be corrected. For example, "On Election Day, or in later reconciling tallies of ballots and voters, local officials discovered problems and corrected final counts."
      "None of the recounts or inquiries is expected to affect the results of the presidential election, which Bush won by more than 3.3 million votes.
      "Those who believe that either or both of the past two presidential elections were manipulated by a vague conspiracy to elect Bush have done statistical analyses of voting patterns in Florida and argued that the voting discrepancies were much larger and systemic, but their studies have not stood up to scrutiny from academics and other analysts."
      The drowsy reader is encouraged to nod off, secure in the assurance that everything is OK. Hey, American democracy isn't perfect, but then nothing is. And it's not bad, so rest easy.

Short-selling the American people
Don't be in such a hurry to discount us

      One result of the commercial/governmental mantra that 'the American people chose Bush' is the torrent of contempt from outside the U.S. directed at our assumed lack of intelligence. I've seen condemnations of us by so-called intellectuals in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia and elsewhere, foreign 'intellectuals' who, like many U.S. 'intellectuals' have simply bought into the message of the mantra. 'This is what the American people want. And George Bush Jr. is their man'. I think that's a great mistake.5

      I think there is a fair chance that the American people didn't choose Bush. Moreover, we don't deserve to be looked down on, even if we did. If we did, then it would be important to understand why, and not just dismiss us as 'a bunch of ignorant klunkheads.' I think we common every-day Americans, like all ordinary people throughout the world, are basically decent and possessed of normal intelligence, but necessarily concerned with living our lives in reasonable circumstances, free of pain, of hunger, of fear, of sickness. We want lives rich with friendship, love, joy and dignity. We want our self-respect, and the respect of others.

      And I mean all of us, not just those who, like myself, might be seen as extremist radical left-wing revolutionaries, but people who may be seen as extremist right-wing Christian fundamentalists. We need to acknowledge that hatred, as well as love, is a deeply human emotion, and we ought to reckon with it honestly. You don't have to be a 'rocket scientist' to know that hatreds can be manipulated and the results of instigating hatred in large groups of people can be, and often are, horrendous. I believe that many who voted for Bush acted out of fear, and that hatreds are also often caused by fear. Because undoubtedly many of us did vote for Bush, the key questions we ought to ask are,

What are the conditions that stimulate fear and hatred?
and how can we get rid of them?

      I think hatred is stirred when someone's integrity is threatened, or more precisely, when the individual feels a threat. For example, after suffering a damaging physical assault you feel belittled and a strong feeling of hatred may inspire in you a desire for revenge, a way of striking back at the aggressor to regain your damaged sense of pride in yourself, your dignity as a human being. Fear is a threat to one's dignity, and thus an effective stimulus of hatred. A few days ago in Mexico City there was a ferocious attack on members of the Federal Preventive Police by local inhabitants in which two policemen, after being savagely beaten but still living, were then doused with gasoline and burned to death.6 Of all the police in Mexico ― federal, state and local ― it is this notorious police unit that is most feared and hated by the citizenry.

      In the U.S., since the Sept 11, 2001 attack, the Bush administration has instigated fear among Americans of possible attacks by extremist Islamic militants. Many Americans, shaken by the attack on our homeland, succumbed to the propaganda, became extraordinarily fearful, and not unnaturally, an insidious climate of hatred towards Muslims and Arabs began to appear. Outside the U.S. there is little question but that the fear of U.S. military action, with all its terrifying consequences, has given rise to enormous hatred of the Bush administration.

      Fear has been, and continues to be his administration's principal currency for manipulating the American people, and for carrying out his administration's foreign policy. If we accept that fear is a powerful instigator of hatred, as seems beyond doubt, and we want to get rid of the conditions that give rise to fear, I would say that unseating the Bush administration is an essential first step, but only a first step.

A strategy for removing the Bush administration
What about the timeline?

      The suggested strategy can only succeed if a substantial majority of us, the American people, is (or becomes) actively committed to taking control of the electoral process, which has, since the 2000 election, been more and more flagrantly seized by corrupted politicians and their wealthy (and corrupt) supporters/beneficiaries. If, despite blatant efforts to prevent timely investigations by citizen's groups, especially flagrant in Ohio and Florida ― efforts to "ride out the storm" long enough to have the inauguration a fait accompli ― if in spite of such stonewalling and delaying, enough evidence of fraudulent manipulation by Republican officials can be obtained and adequately publicized so that the citizenry becomes outraged, then I believe it would be possible to prevent the inauguration, as I advocated near the start of this article.

      Until now the so-called mainstream media have pretty nearly blanketed the "storm" in silence and, in the occasional lapses of their self-imposed non-coverage, disparaged the critics as in The Cincinnati Post editorial 3 calling Jesse Jackson's questioning whether the Ohio vote was 'fixed' "an ugly suggestion", and in labelling the critics as 'conspiracy theorists' in an effort to discredit us. Of course, and quite legitimately, we are conspiracy theorists, because we have been denied an openly transparent election. We want the evidence so that we can stop theorizing, once we know the truth. But they are trying to hide it as long as they can. Now, however, within this past week, a few reports are beginning to appear in the media.

Is the mainstream media blackout
beginning to crack?

      An Associated Press item datelined Dec 2, 2004, Concord, N.H.7 begins,
    "President Bush's former New England campaign chairman was indicted Wednesday on charges he took part in the jamming of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election Day 2002.
    "James Tobin, 44, stepped down Oct. 15 - two weeks before Election Day - after the Democrats accused him of involvement. ...
    "Tobin was charged with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment and aiding and abetting. He could get up to five years in prison. [emphasis added]
    "At the time of the jamming, Tobin was Northeast political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate. ...
    "Over the summer, Chuck McGee, former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted paying $15,600 to a Virginia telemarketing company that hired another business to make the calls. A GOP consultant with the telemarketing company also pleaded guilty. The two men are awaiting sentencing." [emphasis added]

      Heaven forbid we could imagine that crooked politicians might conspire! And the very notion that crooked and corrupted politicians may exist in America ― How absurd!

      Another mainstream article that points to a possible problem in the election was in The Palm Beach Post of Dec 1, 2004. It's initial paragraph reads, "West Palm Beach - A group conducting a "fraud audit" of the 2004 election sued Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore on Tuesday, accusing her of stonewalling requests for public records related to the Nov. 2 voting." 8

      The Chicago Sun-Times, a local but major circulation big-city daily, carried a straightforward, harsh criticism of the sham in Ohio, a piece written by Jesse Jackson, titled "Something's Fishy in Ohio", on Nov 30, 2004. That might be a healthy sign that even some mainstream media are feeling obliged to open up slightly ― probably to try to maintain a little undeserved credibility, but a month too late.9

      The same page on the truthout website that has the above-mentioned Jesse Jackson piece also has two other articles, one from the Nov 30, 2004 New York Daily News, by Juan Gonzales, titled "Ohio tally fit for Ukraine." It starts out,
    "Voter fraud in the Ukraine? Give me a break."
    It has been a month now and we still don't have a clear count of the votes for our own presidential race from the state of Ohio." It too is very critical of the conduct of the election in Ohio.10 Like the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Daily News is not a national newspaper, but a major circulation big-city daily.

      The fiercest, most scathing criticism of electoral conduct in Ohio on this page of the truthout website is from The Columbus Free Press, which is not a newspaper but a website and a quarterly journal. It's December 1, 2004 article,11 by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis, is titled "Will the Democrats Now Stand and Fight?" It begins,
    In Ohio 2004, it's the People versus the Party of Hate & Terror and the Party of Duck and Run...but will the Democrats now stand and fight?
    As the Reverend Jesse Jackson rocked a cheering crowd here in Columbus Sunday, a national movement was born. Shouts of "you got that right!" rang through the hall as Jackson preached that what Karl Rove and George Bush and Kenneth Blackwell are doing to the 2004 vote in Ohio would not fly in Iraq or Ukraine or Afghanistan.
    Jackson plans to return to Columbus on Thursday [Dec 2] as his organization Rainbow/PUSH files a legal challenge to overturn Ohio's election results. On Saturday, December 4, Jackson will join voter rights advocates for a symposium at Columbus' Africentric School . . .

1. Are enough people thoroughly outraged?
2. Are we psychologically ready to act?
3. And organized to act effectively?

      These are the three crucial questions. In order to get rid of the Bush administration, the answers to each of them must be an unequivocal YES. As I wrote in "Blessed be the killers, Part II", (on Nov 22)

      Is it madness to think it possible to stop the machinery of the nation-state, with it’s scheduled electoral college vote only 3 weeks away (Dec 13th), and the inauguration set for January 20th? That depends on the temperament, beliefs, organizational ability and commitment of that large part (possibly a majority) of the American people who voted against a second term for Bush. If we, or enough of us, are determined to know before an inauguration (of Bush or Kerry) if the election would legitimately have gone to Bush, which is what they want us to believe, we might be able to prevail. Certainly the government and the corporate press will do everything possible to prevent us from forcing a fair reckoning.

      I do not even know the answer to the first question. I know that many people are very upset at the 'official' result. One of them, "Andrew Veal, 25, of Athens, Georgia ... climbed into the pit marking the spot in New York where the twin towers once stood ... on Friday night [Nov 5] ... and shot himself [to death] ... [H]is colleagues from the University of Georgia ... said he was a passionate opponent of the war on Iraq, and of George Bush."12 The Guardian report leaves no doubt that this was a tragic act of protest.

The suggested strategy, and the timeline

      Ideally, from my point of view, the answers to the first two questions would already be YES, and to the last, We're getting organized right now. D.C. will be sealed off by 20 thousand semis, tractor-trailer 18-wheeler rigs, and a million cars. We'll have a gigantic carnival. No inauguration will occur until we, the American people are satisfied that our majority choice (as mediated by the electoral college) is being honored. The issue for us is not which of these two would-be world-empire builders occupies the presidency for the next four years, but that the choice be ours. And that whichever one it is will have to listen to us, and act in conformity with our wishes. And stop the killing. This will be our country, not his!

      That, of course, is my fantasy. Realistically, as far as I know, nothing more than protests are planned. The protests will surely be massively cordoned and intimidated by heavily armed state forces, the immediate agents of oppression and control meant to terrify the citizenry. According to the Washington Post, there will be "a military contingent that could include a combat brigade of up to 4,000 troops."13 Clearly, they're threatening more than police with tear gas canisters and pepper spray. The terrorists are trying to scare the shit out of potential protestors. As usual with fascists.

      If the answer to any one of the three questions is not yet YES, and it is therefore not possible to prevent the inauguration, then what? Then the timeline for removing control of the government from the Bush administration needs to be extended. The strategy I suggest goes well beyond simple protests. It envisions non-violent civil disobedience employing direct action. Protesting is valuable as far as it goes, but civil disobedience, with use of direct action, is far more effective. As I concluded in "Blessed be the killers, Part II",1

      "Civil disobedience is not to be confused with pacifism. Those who practice it, like pacifists, abhor violence. They anticipate that the repressive forces of the state will use violence against them. Their strategy and tactics take that into account, seeking to minimize and withstand the violence and to prevail (non-violently) in the struggle against state oppression. An inspiring discussion of the use of civil disobedience, with examples of successes and failures analyzed, is given by George Lakey in his essay, “Strategizing for a Living Revolution”.14 We need a great deal of creativity and cooperation to change the course of the United States. And that will be so whether Bush or Kerry becomes the next president."

The strategy has already worked three times

      The first time, four years ago, is described by Lakey at the start of his essay. (NOTE: Some words of caution!)15

      "Otpur ("Resistance" in Serbian) began as hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of young people took to the streets to rid their country of dictator Slobadan Milosevic. Impatient with the cautious ways of many of their pro-democracy elders, the youths organized in coffee bars and schools, posted graffiti almost everywhere, and used their street actions to embarass the regime.

      "Milosevic counter-attacked. His police routinely beat up the protesters, in the streets and more thoroughly in the police stations. His spies were everywhere. His monopoly of the mass media meant that the Otpur was described as hoodlums and terrorists.

      "In October 2000 Otpur won; joined by hundreds of thousands of workers and professionals the young people threw Milosevic out. His party was in disarray, his police in confusion, his army was split.

      "From the moment Otpur began it had a strategy. The young people were immensely creative in their tactics and at the same time realized that no struggle is ever won simply by a series of actions. Otpur activists knew they could only succeed by creating a strategy that guided a largely decentralized network of groups.

      "Cynical outsiders were skeptical when Otpur activists claimed not to have a leader, when the young people said they were all leaders and shared responsibility for their actions and their common discipline. What the skeptics overlooked was the power of strategy as a unifying force . . ."

      Although the strategy Lakey discusses in some detail for bringing down a corrupt authoritarian regime has proven highly effective, its successes during these past four years have in each case (Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine) been orchestrated by an outside imperial power, the U.S., as discussed in recent articles cited in note 15. Despite this unsavory aspect of the "successes" of the technique, as a mode of organizing a campaign to unseat Bush, it seems to me to offer not only an effective way to proceed, with a proven track record, but one that, if we Americans do it ourselves and not at the behest of an outside power, is completely justified.

The larger, long-range perspective

      Our immediate goal is to stop the killing. That means we've got to get rid of Bush and his murderous associates. But in truth Kerry's commitment to the American empire (and therefore to continuing the killing) is also not in doubt. So it would not be enough to replace a proven killer with a would-be killer ― unless the replacement knows that he too will be kicked out if he doesn't abandon the pursuit of empire and its obligatory wars.

      This task, the responsibility for turning our society away from the cataclysmic course it has been following, under both major parties but most blatantly under Bush, is ours. We Americans know that we are not born to kill ― that our newborns are as beautiful and rich in potentialities for having lives of love and mutual respect as any other peoples in the world. They don't have to be turned into torturers and pillagers, and tortured souls themselves, and it is up to us to stop the carnage that is killing both them and their victims, but also the spirits of us all. It is up to us to make of America a land of life and love and not of death and destruction.


Natalia and her father, Juan José García Ortíz, in their home in Guelatao de Juárez, a small indigenous mountain town high in the Northern Sierras of Oaxaca, Mexico. Juan, a Zapotec Indian, is a video film maker. Natalia's occupation is "being a child", as it should be. Photo taken on November 23, 2003, by G.S.16

      We must cherish the children, all children. They are the true treasures of all our lives. They bear the life of humanity. They are the link to the future, the only true, organic link. We must have a world full of laughing, playing children, and parents free of tortures, economic or otherwise, parents free to enjoy their children and to be enjoyed by their children. Those should be human rights.

Notes
1 "Blessed be the killers, Part I is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2004-11-13.htm, and Part II is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2004-11-22.htm.

2 The front cover of Processo, a weekly news magazine published in Mexico City, in its March 30, 2003 issue. The caption says: Washington doesn't believe in tears. On page 4 Processo gave the following information: Front cover photo: On Saturday morning, March 22, AP photographer Nabil came close to a cargo truck that transported injured to a Basora hospital, in southern Iraq. Some hours earlier allied forces had bombed the city. Nabil took the picture of an Iraqi girl in shock with her legs mutilated, in the arms of a turbaned man who is preparing to put her down into the truck. The following day the photograph was published in the principal daily newspapers of the world. Then the image appeared in posters during protest marches against the war in Iraq in cities such as Barcelona and London. It was converted into an icon of barbarity. For its testimonial value, Processo is publishing it this week on its front cover.

3 The editorial is at http://www.cincypost.com/2004/12/01/edita120104.html.

4 The URL for the Boston Globe article is lengthy. You can get it by copying and pasting (with no spaces between them) the following three parts: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/12/01/vot
ing_errors_tallied_nationwide/?rss_id=Boston.com%20/%20Ne
ws%20/%20Politics%20/%20Recent%20Globe%20coverage
    Alternatively, the article was posted on the truthout website. You can see it there, at
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/120204Y.shtml.

5 The only exception I've come upon to this facile readiness to condemn Americans for our assumed choice of Bush is in a November 8 article by Andrej Grubacic, titled, "Don't Blame the People", at http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2004-11/08grubacic.cfm.

6 The Mexico Solidarity Network weekly news and analysis for November 22-28 reported the incident as follows: A vigilante mob in the southern suburbs of Mexico City beat three police officers for several hours, then burned two alive while local television channels broadcast many of the gruesome details. The third officer was rescued when police intervened after more than three hours of mayhem. Neighbors thought the police, members of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP), the rough equivalent of the FBI, were involved in kidnapping children because they were taking photos during a stakeout in front of a school. Officials at first claimed the officers were investigating drug sales, but new information indicates they were undercover agents investigating the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARP). Four PFP officials were suspended without pay, including the deputy director of counterterrorism intelligence and the supervisor of the three officers. Police are widely suspected of covering up or directly participating in many crimes, and citizens throughout Mexico have increasingly taken justice into their own hands. At least 100 cases of vigilante justice have been reported in the past decade in Mexico, including two later in the week in the Mexico City area. The murders were universally condemned, though some politicians, notably President Fox, attempted to make political points by accusing Mexico City police of negligence because of their tardiness in responding to the situation. Hundreds of PFP officers walked off the job the following day in protest, accusing officials of waiting to deploy forces as officers watched on television while their counterparts were beaten. At least 29 people are currently in custody as police swept through the neighborhood the following day, using television images to identify suspects. At least two police officers were among those arrested.
      Meanwhile, eleven people were slain in the Cancun area, including at least five police officers. The murders were attributed to a local drug war between competing cartels.

7 The URL for the Associated Press report is lengthy. You can get it by copying and pasting (with no spaces between them) the following two parts: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GOP_PHONE_JAMMING?SI
TE=NYSTA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
It is also available at
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/120304D.shtml.

8 The URL for The Palm Beach Post article is lengthy. You can get it by copying and pasting (with no spaces between them) the following two parts: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/politics/content/local_news/epaper/20
04/12/01/c1c_votesuit_1201.html.
It is also available at
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/120304D.shtml.

9 The Jesse Jackson piece in the Chicago Sun-Times of Nov 30, 2004 is at http://www.suntimes.com/output/jesse/cst-edt-jesse30.html.
It is also available at http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/120304C.shtml.

10 Juan Gonzalez' New York Daily News article is at http://www.nydailynews.com/news/col/jgonzalez/.

11 The Wasserman and Fitrakis piece is at http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/956.

12 Reported in The Guardian on Monday November 8, 2004 at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1345868,00.html.

13 The Washington Post article of November 7, 2004 is headlined, "COPS AND US TROOPS GALORE!: Unrivaled Security Planned for Inauguration: Military Muscle, High-Tech Screening Are Features of First Swearing In Since 9/11." Staff writers Sari Horwitz and Spencer S. Hsu begin their report, "An unprecedented level of security will frame President Bush's second inauguration, with officials planning to use thousands of police from across the country, new screening technology for inaugural guests and a military contingent that could include a combat brigade of up to 4,000 troops." The report is at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31016-2004Nov6.html.

14 Strategizing for a Living Revolution, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2002-06-00Lakey.htm.

15 Note. I first became aware of George Lakey's work in late Feb 2003, and posted his essay "Strategizing for a Living Revolution" in mid-March 2003. His arguments in favor of non-violent civil disobedience including direct action seem quite persuasive. In my article, "Blessed be the killers, Part II", posted on Nov 22, 2004, I concluded by referring to Lakey's "inspiring discussion of . . . civil disobedience" in his essay.

    Four days later, on Nov 26, an article by Ian Traynor in The Guardian, titled "US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev" appeared, from which it appears unquestionable that the entire Otpur campaign was basically a CIA creation. Traynor states,
    "Funded and organized by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organizations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box ... In the center of Belgrade, there is a dingy office staffed by computer-literate youngsters who call themselves the Centre for Non-violent Resistance. If you want to know how to beat a regime that controls the mass media, the judges, the courts, the security apparatus and the voting stations, the young Belgrade activists are for hire. They emerged from the anti-Milosevic student movement, Otpor, meaning resistance." Traynor's article is at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1360080,00.html.

    Three days later, on Nov 29, an article by Thom Hartmann appeared on the Common Dreams website. Titled,"How To Take Back A Stolen Election", it draws heavily on Traynor's article. Harmann has been a careful and responsible critic of the procedures in the Nov 2 election. His article is at http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1129-26.htm. He proposes getting thoroughly prepared for the congressional mid-term elections in 2006, aiming to get Democratic majorities.

    I wrote George Lakey on Nov 27, the day after Traynor's Guardian article appeared, saying it "raises a messy question for me about the legitimacy of struggles, even if honestly motivated, that rely on "assistance" from an imperial power. I would appreciate your comments, and in particular whether you believe the article in The Guardian, and if so, whether you knew anything about the U.S. role when you wrote your essay." Thus far I have not had a reply (as of Dec 6).

    I also wrote Andrej Grubacic, who lived through the events Lakey wrote about (see 5 ) on Dec 1, inviting him to comment. He wrote back on Dec 4, saying,
    "Otpor is a CIA sponsored project and Lakey should know better than this.
    "Training CIA sponsored movements only because they are "non-violent" is not doing a favor to the idea of non violence ... Otpor- which is now a political party with a neoliberal program- has an Institute for Non violent Social Change where anti-Chavez activists are being trained, as well as students from Georgia and Ukraine (this is all public, they say this in interviews ...)."

    I believe there is no reason why, if Americans want to bring down the Bush regime, we can't mount a campaign utilizing the same techniques, but funding and supporting the campaign ourselves, without any meddling from abroad. In my view that would be totally legitimate, and I'd say, Let's go for it!

16 I met Juan in the summer of 1998 in Chiapas, when we were members of a Chiapas Media Project delegation that went to teach video film-making to indigenous campesinos in Zapatista communities, a project still ongoing, though now expanded to include communities in other states of Mexico.

― G.S., December 6, 2004

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