Seven Stories Press

Here's How Your Unique Behavioral Psychological Profile Is Being Used to Manipulate You

Opening with one of the key questions of our time, How do we know what's true?, Josh Fox, the Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated creator of the documentary that started the anti-fracking movement, Gasland, traces the arc of propaganda and misinformation from 9/11 to Trump from the perspective of the front lines in his debut book and new solo performance, "The Truth Has Changed" (Seven Stories Press, 2018). From 9/11 and the Iraq war, to fracking and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to Hurricane Sandy, to relentless smear campaigns against climate scientists, to the fight for 100 percent renewable energy, to Standing Rock, to the 2016 presidential campaign, to Cambridge Analytica, "The Truth Has Changed" mines Josh’s personal experiences to examine their impact on democracy and on the collective psyche of the United States.

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Why Are Americans So Obsessed With Apocalypse - and Convinced It Will Happen in the Near Future?

The following is an excerpt from the new book The America Syndrome: Apocalypse, War, and Our Call to Greatness by Betsy Hartmann (Seven Stories Press, May 2017):

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Chomsky: The Economic Facts of American Life in the 21st Century

The following is an excerpt from the new book Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky and edited by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott (Seven Stories Press, 2017). This excerpt was previously published at BillMoyers.com:

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Noam Chomsky: The Republican Party Is the 'Most Dangerous Organization in World History'

The following is an excerpt from the new book Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky and edited by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott (Seven Stories Press, 2017): 

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Kurt Vonnegut's Call to Humanity to Save the Planet From Four Decades Ago Is Just as Timely as Ever

The following is an excerpt from the new edition of If This Isn't Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut (Seven Stories, 2016). 

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The Conservative Belief in Human Supremacy Is Destroying Our Planet

The following is an excerpt from the new book The Myth of Human Supremacy by Derrick Jensen (Seven Stories Press, 2016): 

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Are We Obsessed With Tech and the Distant Future Because the Near Future Looks So Scary?

The following is an excerpt from the new book  Trees on Mars: Our Obsession with the Future  by Hal Niedzviecki (Seven Stories Press, 2015):

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The U.S. Is Still Executing People, But the Anti-Death Penalty Movement Is Growing

The following is an excerpt from Mario Marazitti's new book, 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty (Seven Stories Press, 2015). Reprinted with permission.

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As the Country Falls Apart, It's Time for Our Revolution

The following is an excerpt from Ted Rall's book, The Anti-American Manifesto (Seven Stories, 2010).

You can feel it. Or maybe you can't.

It doesn't matter whether you feel it or not. It's happening. The story of the United States of America as we know it -- not merely as the world's dominant superpower, but as a discrete political, economic, and geographic entity -- is drawing to a close due to a convergence of emerging economic, environmental, and political crises.

Nothing lasts forever, empires least of all. And this one, which only began to expand in earnest circa the year 1900, doesn't feel like it has the staying power of ancient Rome.

Not at all.

But we're not here to talk about the vague possibility of collapse at some point in the future. We are here -- in this book and within this historical moment -- because the collapse feels as though it is currently in progress.

We are here because the U.S. is going to end soon. There's going to be an intense, violent, probably haphazard struggle for control. It's going to come down to us versus them. The question is: What are you going to do about it?

Definitions:

Us: Hard-working, underpaid, put upon, thoughtful, freedom-loving, disenfranchised, ordinary people

Them: Reactionary, stupid, overpaid, greedy, shortsighted, exploitative, power-mad, abusive politicians and corporate executives

In 2008, like the people of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, we put our hopes into a young new leader. He is the kind of fresh-faced reformer who just might have been able to do some good had he been put into power decades ago. "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job," read the headline in the satirical weekly newspaper the Onion after Barack Obama won. He has failed. It is by design that internal reformers like Mikhail Gorbachev and

Obama inevitably come too late to actually accomplish anything. Even if a leader like Obama were inclined to push for the sweeping reforms that might save American late-stage capitalism from itself, as did Franklin D. Roosevelt -- and there is no evidence that the thought has crossed Obama's mind -- his fellow powerbrokers, fixated on quarterly profit statements and personal position, would never allow it.

The media talks a lot about reform. But it's too late for nips and tucks. Reform can only fix a system if the system is viable and open to change. Neither is true about the United States of America.

A veneer of normalcy slapped -- sloppily slapped -- on top of a stinking pile of obviously out-of-control unsustainability can no longer disguise the ugly truth: The United States of America is finished. Shopkeepers still take our dollars, foreigners still fear our bombs, but watching the crazy federal deficits, the wildly expanding international military presence, the putrid joke that is our healthcare/education/employment system, and a natural world in free fall (mainly due to the crap pumped into the air and water by the people and corporations of the United States) makes the debate over whether Democrats are better than Republicans feel surreal.

Government exists to serve economic power. In the U.S. and globally, economic power is concentrated in business, namely the large corporations whose profits account for more than ten percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Corporations can't operate without the government. They are codependent, yet independent of and barely responsive to the nation. A nation goes on with or without its government, with or without the big businesses we take for granted.We are not the government that serves those companies. They are parasites, vampires, hideous monsters that underpay and overcharge us and get fat on the spread. Who are we then?

We are their victims. We are weak and pathetic. But only by choice.

We can wait for the system to collapse of its own accord, for the rage of the downtrodden and dispossessed to build, for chaos of some sort to expose and destroy it. But implosion might take a long time. And when it happens, we may find ourselves even more powerless than we are now. They -- the hardcore, racist, undereducated, fundamentalist Christian, anti-civil liberties Right -- are preparing to step into the breach, to seize power. They can't wait to unleash their venomous hatred on the city-dwelling commie hipster fags they despise. They are armed. They recognize that the system is doomed. They've seen this coming. They're organized and willing to merge their disparate brands of conservatism under a common
leadership. Most importantly, they get it. They don't need to be convinced that everything is in play. They're putting it in play.

Christian fundamentalists, the millennial end-of-the-worlders obsessed with the Left Behind series about the End Times, neo-Nazi racists, rural black-helicopter Michigan Militia types cut from the same inbred cloth as Timothy McVeigh, allied with "mainstream" gun nuts and right-wing Republicans, have been planning, preparing, and praying for the destruction of the "Godless," "secular" United States for decades. In the past, they formed groups like the John Birch Society and the Aryan Nations. Now the hard Right has a postmodern, decentralized non-organization organization called the Tea Party.

Right-wing organizational names change, but they amount to the same thing: the reactionary sociopolitical force -- the sole force -- poised to fill the vacuum when collapse occurs. The scenario outlined by Margaret Atwood's prescient novel The Handmaid's Tale -- rednecks in the trenches, hard military men running things, minorities and liberals taken away and massacred, setting the stage for an even more extreme form of laissez-faire corporate capitalism than we're suffering under today -- is a fair guess of how a post-U.S. scenario will play out unless we prepare to turn it in another direction.

Although the U.S. has fascist tendencies, it is unlikely that an ascendant American right would embrace fascism in its classic form. But a post-collapse reactionary government would likely have some attributes of fascism. Robert Paxton, who was my history professor at Columbia and is widely regarded as the nation's leading expert on the field, wrote the book on the subject (The Anatomy of Fascism). As Professor Paxton told me in 1991, the United States is the nation that is the most likely to go fascist, the one that has the most of the necessary ingredients -- including distrust of parliamentary democracy, extreme militarism, and a highly industrialized society -- required for a true fascist state. As things stand, there will be no one to prevent this nightmare.

So this book is a call to arms. And an appeal to self-preservation to those who know we can do better.

If Not Now, When?

A war is coming. At stake: our lives, the planet, freedom, living. The government, the corporations, and the extreme right are prepared to coalesce into an Axis of Evil. Are you going to fight back? Will you do whatever it takes, including taking up arms?

History does not really repeat itself. No two historical moments are ever the same. The circumstances that govern a given street corner in Pittsburgh at 8:00 p.m. on December 9, 2011, will never recur.

Yet the motivations and needs of human beings remain constant. There are always parallels with the past, lessons to be learned, bits and pieces that will apply to present and future circumstances. There are even a few eternal truths.

Thinking about the present situation, the historical analogy that best seems to fit the current crisis is the collapse -- to be exact, the period shortly before the collapse -- of the Soviet Union. The parallels are instructive and scary:

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'Bombing and War Are Not Going to Work - We Need a Whole New Strategy with the Islamic State'

The following is an excerpt from author and renowned terrorism expert Loretta Napoleoni's new book, Islamist Phoenix (Seven Stories Press, 2014).  Napoleoni will speak with journalist Chris Hedges and Ted Rall Tuesday, December 2 at an event at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, titled, "The Islamic State and the Crisis in U.S. Foreign Policy." For tickets, call 212.874.5210 or visit www.nysec.org.

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'My Son Was Shot in the Back of the Head': What It's Like to Lose a Loved One to Police Violence

The following is an excerpted chapter from Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People, Andy Lee Roth, Mickey Huff, and Project Censored (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2014). For more information on Project Censored, please see http://projectcensored.org. For more about their publishers Seven Stories Press, please see http://sevenstories.com.

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Your Cellphone Could Be a Major Health Risk, and the Industry Could Be a Lot More Upfront About It

The following is an excerpt from “Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other Wifi-age Devices” by Martin Blank, PhD. Published by Seven Stories Press, March 2014. ISBN 978-1-60980-509-8. All rights reserved.

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Keep the Arctic Cold: Why the Rush to Drill Alaska Must Be Stopped

I wrote a letter to the editor as a follow up to the generous review “In the Beautiful,Threatened North” by Ian Frazier in The New York Review of Books of the anthology, Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point that I edited. My letter, “Can Shell Be Stopped? has just been published in the New York Review. 

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Noam Chomsky: How Close the World Is to Nuclear War

The following is an excerpt from the new book Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe, by Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk, which takes the form of a series of interviews with MIT Professor Noam Chomsky (Seven Stories, 2013).

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Did You Hear The One About the Nuns Who Weren't Allowed to Vote?

The following is an excerpt from Greg Palast's brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories Press, 2012), with a foreword by Robert F Kennedy Jr. and comics by Ted Rall.

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Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: Karl Rove and the Republican Dark Art of Election Theft

The following is an excerpt from Greg Palast’s new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, including a comic book by Ted Rall and an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (7 Stories Press, 2012).  

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The High Toll of High Heels

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Bad Shoes & the Women Who Love Them (Seven Stories Press) written by Leora Tanenbaum and illustrated by Vanessa Davis.

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Top Military Recruitment Lies

Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War and Build a Better World published by Seven Stories Press, August 2007. Reprinted here by permission of publisher. Copyright © 2007 Aimee Allison and David Solnit

Top military recruitment facts

1. Recruiters lie. According the New York Times, nearly one of five United States Army recruiters was under investigation in 2004 for offenses varying from "threats and coercion to false promises that applicants would not be sent to Iraq." One veteran recruiter told a reporter for the Albany Times Union, "I've been recruiting for years, and I don't know one recruiter who wasn't dishonest about it. I did it myself."

2. The military contract guarantees nothing. The Department of Defense's own enlistment/re-enlistment document states, "Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay allowances, benefits and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/re-enlistment document" (DD Form4/1, 1998, Sec.9.5b).

3. Advertised signing bonuses are bogus. Bonuses are often thought of as gifts, but they're not. They're like loans: If an enlistee leaves the military before his or her agreed term of service, he or she will be forced to repay the bonus. Besides, Army data shows that the top bonus of $20,000 was given to only 6 percent of the 47,7272 enlistees who signed up for active duty.

4. The military won't make you financially secure. Military members are no strangers to financial strain: 48 percent report having financial difficulty, approximately 33 percent of homeless men in the United States are veterans, and nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

5. Money for college ($71,424 in the bank?). If you expect the military to pay for college, better read the fine print. Among recruits who sign up for the Montgomery GI Bill, 65 percent receive no money for college, and only 15 percent ever receive a college degree. The maximum Montgomery GI Bill benefit is $37,224, and even this 37K is hard to get: To join, you must first put in a nonrefundable $1,200 deposit that has to be paid to the military during the first year of service. To receive the $37K, you must also be an active-duty member who has completed at least a three-year service agreement and is attending a four-year college full time. Benefits are significantly lower if you are going to school part-time or attending a two-year college. If you receive a less than honorable discharge (as one in four do), leave the military early (as one in three do), or later decide not to go to college, the military will keep your deposit and give you nothing. Note: The $71,424 advertised by the Army and $86,000 by the Navy includes benefits from the Amy or Navy College Fund, respectively. Fewer than 10 percent of all recruits earn money from the Army College Fund, which is specifically designed to lure recruits into hard-to-fill positions.

6. Job training. Vice President Dick Cheney once said, "The military is not a social welfare agency; it's not a jobs program." If you enlist, the military does not have to place you in your chosen career field or give you the specific training requested. Even if enlistees do receive training, it is often to develop skills that will not transfer to the civilian job market. (There aren't many jobs for M240 machine-gunners stateside.)

7. War, combat, and your contract. First off, if it's your first time enlisting, you're signing up for eight years. On top of that, the military can, without your consent, extend active-duty obligations during times of conflict, "national emergency," or when directed by the president. This means that even if an enlistee has two weeks left on his/ her contract (yes, even Guard/Reserve) or has already served in combat, she/he can still be sent to war. More than a dozen U.S. soldiers have challenged "stop-loss" measures like these in court so far, but people continue to be shipped off involuntarily. The military has called thousands up from Inactive Ready Reserve -- soldiers who have served, some for as long as a decade, and been discharged. The numbers: twice as many troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan per year as during the Vietnam War. One-third of the troops who have gone to Iraq have gone more than once. The highest rate of first- time deployments belongs to the Marine Corps Reserve: almost 90 percent have fought.

Counterrecruitment for a better world

Ready to create a truly grassroots, people powered movement? Anti-war activism is changing. The familiar sights and sounds of large protests are giving way to quieter, but far more resonating, one-on-one work in classrooms, career centers, and communities. Whenever you hear people decry the lack of large-scale protest in the United States, even as the latest polls show more than 60 percent of people are opposed to the current war in Iraq, remember that the model for effectively challenging war is taking a different shape.

People from all walks of life are finding inspiration and success in working locally to educate students and mobilize against military recruitment where it happens. We can see counterrecruitment asserting itself as a viable movement as independently organized actions in Seattle, Austin and Los Angeles contribute to a national context in which public schools around the country limit military recruiter access, a huge success by any measure. Schools and communities are now considering deeper questions about the increasing militarization of our culture and recognizing the need for schools to teach and weave peace into the minds and aspirations of our children. We believe that 100,000 marching one day every six months is not as effective as 1,000 people talking to students every day.

In January 2006 the National Security Advisory Group, which includes former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, issued a report entitled "The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk." The report predicted a major recruiting crisis, pointing out that fewer than needed recruits, as well as first-time enlistees, could result in a "hollowing" and imbalance in the Army.

The fact is, at the end of 2005, the active Army fell 6,627 recruits short of its annual goal of 80,000. In addition, the Army Reserve fell 16 percent behind its recruiting target for the year, and the National Guard 20 percent short of its annual goal. Today approximately 9,000 soldiers are not permitted to leave the service because of "stop-loss" orders, which retain soldiers on active duty involuntarily after their period of enlistment is complete. Another 2,000 soldiers have been involuntarily recalled after leaving active Army service.

Despite this compulsory service, the Army Reserve has trouble achieving its target numbers. After the 2005 recruiting disaster, the military pulled out all stops in an effort to "make quota" in 2006. Army brass replaced the Army Recruiting Command's top officer in October 2005 with Stanford-educated Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick. "A lot of concerns, I think, that the parents and applicants have are about Iraq and Afghanistan," Bostick told the Tampa Tribune in October 2006. They also replaced Leo Burnett, their lead public relations agency, who created the "Army of One" campaign, with McCann-Erickson, who after a $200 million contract and year of research came up with "Army Strong" as the new recruiting slogan.

In their comprehensive new strategy, the military added 1,200 new recruiters and spent millions on a public relations blitz that included TV ads, video games, websites, cell phone text messages, helicopter simulators in the back of 18-wheelers, internet chat rooms, sports and public event sponsorships, and even ads on the ticket envelopes for Greyhound Bus lines ("This ticket will take you to where you are going, but the National Guard will take you to where you want to be").

The Army also increased its relationship with NASCAR, the National Hot Rod Association and the Professional Bull Riders Association. The plan calls for recruiters to visit schools and malls a few days before an event, offering free tickets and the chance to meet famous drivers or bull riders.

In addition, the military dramatically lowered its educational and test standards and other qualifications. The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new, lower-aptitude test standards in 2006. They allowed neck and hand tattoos, increased the allowable age to 42, increased the enlistment bonus up to $40,000 and offered $1,000 to soldiers who persuaded friends to sign up. They have granted an unprecedented number of "moral character" waivers; around 17 percent of the first-time recruits, or about 13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests and drunk driving. But even that was not enough to "meet quota."

So, they also lied. From 2004 to 2005 the Govern ment Accounting Office found 6,600 allegations of recruiter crimes. Incidents included concealing medical information that would disqualify a recruit; making false promises and helping recruits get around test requirements. In 2006 the pressure was even greater, and seen in an ABC television investigation from Nov. 2, 2006, that sent undercover students into ten recruiters'offices in New York and New Jersey.

The program reported that more than half of the recruiters were "stretching the truth or even worse, lying." They found "nearly half of the recruiters who talked to our under-cover students compared everyday risks here at home to being in Iraq." A Patchogue recruiter was caught saying. "You have a 10 times greater chance of dying out here on the roads than you do dying in Iraq."

It also reported that "some recruiters told our students if they enlisted, there was little chance they'd go to war. One recruiter told a student his chances of going to war were "slim to none."

After all this, the military claims to have met its 2005-2006 goals of recruiting 80,000 people to fill its ranks. It has provided no independent verification of its alleged statistics, but it has launched a major public relations effort to counter the bleak news from the year before.

The Armed Forces Journal reported in March 2006 that recruiters "face an increasingly reluctant pool of potential recruits, opposition from anti-war protesters and perennial bureaucratic inefficiency in the recruitment system." Scrambling in all of these ways to meet their numbers, the Army, more than ever before, needs fresh blood -- recruits straight out of high school.

Is counterrecruitment just a way to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Counterrecruitment is not simply a tactic to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a broad-based, strategic approach to challenging the roots of unending war and militarization. The full potential of a progressive peace and justice movement will only be realized when there is an observable link between efforts to stop war and efforts to address inequality in class, race, ethnicity, immigration status and other socioeconomic factors that determine who ends up being sacrificed in our government's wars.

As recent statistics demonstrate, there are limits to how far Bush and the neocons can go with their plan for global hegemony when the resources for it are running dangerously low. Fortunately, the peace movement is in a position to further diminish those resources. If we apply ourselves to countering military recruitment, it is in our power to both limit the government's capacity to wage new wars and build a stronger base to challenge the nation's spending priorities. Simply put, counterrecruitment is a strategic and effective way to challenge the pro-war, anti-education priorities of our government.

War and empire

As U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler put it in 1933, "There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."

Racket is one term, empire is another to describe why the U.S. government spends $441 billion a year on a military of over two and a half million soldiers (2,685,713 with reserves), and why it has more than 700 military bases spread across 130 countries with another 6,000 bases in the United States and its "territories."

Understanding what military recruits are used for in the world, understanding war, and creating viable alternatives to both are essential if we want to break out of the deadlock of militarism. Since the collapse of the "other superpower," the Soviet Union, "empire" has become a common term among both critics and advocates referring to the unparalleled U.S. system of economic, political, cultural, and military domination of the world. The New York Times Magazine ran a 2003 cover story titled "The American Empire (Get Used to It.)" describing the United States as a reluctant but benevolent global empire. While Bush claimed in his 2004 State of the Union speech, "We have no ambitions of empire," months later Karl Rove snapped at a New York Times reporter: "'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

Some see the start of American empire in the wake of Second World War or after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Others trace it back to the invasion and conquest of numerous indigenous nations in North America from the 17th century onward, the development of a slave economy with tentacles reaching into Africa, and the 1848 seizure of Mexico's northern half, which is now the Southwest. Another wave of aggression abroad began in the 20th century.

Smedley Butler describes the U.S. military's role in this emerging empire: "I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to major general. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscleman for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."

The modern-day version of "war as a racket" and gangsterism for capitalism can be seen in the occupation of Iraq. Critics call the U.S. war in Iraq a failure, but behind the scenes, it has established several permanent U.S. military bases, allowed corporations like Halliburton to make billions from unfulfilled contracts to reconstruct war-destroyed schools, hospitals, power systems and infrastructure, and is in the final process of turning control of Iraq's vast oil resources over to war profiteers such as Chevron.

The U.S. occupation's "Provisional Authority" under Paul Bremer also laid the legal groundwork for much of the Iraqi economy to be privatized and then taken over by U.S.-based corporations. Thus Butler's racket and its toll abroad. What does it cost us at home?

The price of two and a half million soldiers, aircraft carriers and military bases across the planet, and a massive array of weapons of mass destruction is high. It saps resources for healthcare, education and housing. It also requires keeping the domestic population in check through propaganda and the corrosion of civil liberties and human rights. Stifling domestic dissent, criminalizing immigrants, and torturing and illegally imprisoning citizens of other nations have all been stepped up under the guise of the so-called War on Terror.

In his book The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, Ivan Eland writes, "Intervention overseas is not needed for security against other nation-states and only leads to blowback from the one threat that is difficult to deter -- terrorism.

In short, the U.S. empire lessens American prosperity, power, security and moral standing. It also erodes the founding principles of the American Constitution." As we write this book (late 2006) nearly 3,000 U.S. soldiers and over 200 soldiers from other occupying countries have been killed in Iraq, at least 20,895 U.S. troops have been wounded, and a new Johns Hopkins report puts the number of violent Iraqi civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion at more than 600,000.

War's side effects are bleak for the environment and human society; its direct and intended effect is mass death. Down the current road of imperial dominance and warfare at will, the use of weapons of mass destruction is nearly inevitable, with apocalyptic consequences.

But there are alternatives to the expense of maintaining a military and the atrocity that is war. One that has been developed over the last 50 years is called social defense. Brian Martin, Australian scholar and author of Social Defense: Social Change, describes social defense as unarmed "community resistance to aggression as an alternative to military defense. It is based on widespread protest, persuasion, noncooperation and intervention in order to oppose military aggression or political repression. There have been numerous nonviolent actions, to be sure, some of them quite spectacular, such as the Czechoslovak resistance to the 1968 Soviet invasion, the toppling of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines in 1986, the Palestinian Intifada from 1987 to 1993 and the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989."

Imagine if even a fraction of the resources put into military defense were available for the general population to organize social defense.

Replacing global empire with domestic democracy and well-being requires redefining democracy -- pursuing ways to shift decision making and power from corporations and government to "we the people." It's not enough just to oppose something.

We need to envision, educate about, and then actually organize alternatives to the system of empire and war, to corporations, and to the lack of democratic participation in decisions that shape our lives and communities. What begin as pragmatic actions, like keeping youth from joining the military, are most effective when they have as their end the transformation of the root causes of war, undemocratic governance, and injustice. Every immediate action, when understood and explained as part of a bigger picture, can be another step toward this longer-term goal of getting to the roots of our problems and building a better world.

Today's movement

Arlene Inouye, who began her activism during Vietnam, continues her work today in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she founded the Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS). Her support of a bright, young student named Sal illustrates how counterrecruitment works simultaneously to resist war and build alternatives.

Arlene says, "Sal is a bright JROTC student who lacked support for success in school and beyond. His father was deported to Mexico about two years ago, and he was told by the military recruiter that if Sal enlisted, his father could come back to the United States. His father begged him to enlist after high school. Sal later learned that the military was lying and that he couldn't help his father come home."

During the spring of 2006 there were student walkouts and marches supporting immigrant rights throughout Los Angeles. Arlene explains, "The activism around immigrant rights helped Sal to see the hypocrisy of fighting in a military that is being sent to the border and has been reported to shoot down undocumented people who try to cross.

"During a rally, Sal took off his JROTC uniform in front of the press, encouraging other students to resist war and drop out of JROTC. Unfortunately, most won't because of concerns about their grades. This student who is articulate and smart is failing school and lacks the support he needs. I have mobilized help for him at the school and call him regularly. He just got back from a peace camp given by our partner organization, and that was a powerful experience for him."

Creating a supportive community to enable Sal's dissent, and help him forge an alternative path, is at the heart of counterrecruitment. As demonstrated by Sal's example, the best movement is as much about envisioning and building a new world as it is about resisting the injustices of this one.

For more information on Army of None, visit the website.
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