grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Pertinent US Government Documents

March, 2005
Download "The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America"
from Traprock (if you'd rather not leave a footprint at a military site) or from military website

2004
Download "The National Military Strategy of the United States of America"
from Traprock or from military website

September, 2004
Download "Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication"

Little Reporting on Paranoia in High Places

March 24, 2005

By Norman Solomon

Journalists often refer to the Bush administration’s foreign policy as
“unilateral” and “preemptive.” Liberal pundits like to complain that a
“go-it-alone” approach has isolated the United States from former allies.
But the standard American media lexicon has steered clear of a word that
would be an apt description of the Bush world view.
Paranoid.

Early symptoms met with tremendous media applause in the immediate
aftermath of 9/11. Skepticism from reporters and dissent from pundits were
sparse while President Bush quickly declared that governments were either on
the side of the USA or “the terrorists.” Since then, the paranoiac scope of
the administration’s articulated outlook has broadened while media
acceptance has normalized it -- to the point that a remarkable new document
from the Pentagon is raising few media eyebrows.

Released on March 18 with a definitive title -- “The National Defense
Strategy of the United States of America” -- the document spells out how the
Bush administration sees the world. Consider this key statement: “Our
strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who
employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes,
and terrorism.”

A high-ranking Pentagon official, Douglas Feith, offered this
explanation to reporters: “There are various actors around the world that
are looking to either attack or constrain the United States, and they are
going to find creative ways of doing that, that are not the obvious
conventional military attacks.” And he added: “We need to think broadly
about diplomatic lines of attack, legal lines of attack, technological lines
of attack, all kinds of asymmetric warfare that various actors can use to
try to constrain, shape our behavior.”

Translation: They’re after us! And “they” are a varied assortment of
individuals, groups and nations bent on harming us while impeding our
efforts to do good and protect ourselves. (The Pentagon document says: “Our
leading position in world affairs will continue to breed unease, a degree of
resentment, and resistance.”) Some want to murder thousands or millions of
American civilians, others want the United States to respect human rights
and abide by the Geneva Conventions, still others vote the wrong way at the
United Nations.

It’s all part of the same basic problem: Bad people are out to get us.
Whether destroying the World Trade Center or filing suit at the
International Criminal Court, evil ones and their abetters are engaged in
sinister efforts. In the words of the Pentagon’s new document, they all
“employ a strategy of the weak” against us -- the United States -- the
epitome of the strong.

You might think that such an assertion from the top of the U.S.
government -- appearing in a major statement of “defense strategy” -- would
cause a stir if not an uproar. But it has been a fleeting minor story,
bypassed by almost every big media outlet after a March 18 dispatch from the
Associated Press flagged it with this provocative lead: “America’s strength
is being challenged by ‘a strategy of the weak,’ a Pentagon document says,
listing diplomatic and legal challenges in international forums in the same
sentence with terrorism.”

One of the few major U.S. news outlets to report on the Pentagon’s
“strategy of the weak” declaration, the Los Angeles Times, merely mentioned
it in passing near the end of a back-page article. In contrast, outside the
corporate media, Inter Press Service did its usual excellent job of shedding
light on the latest twist of Washington’s foreign policy doctrines.
Overall, speaking for the U.S. government, the Bush administration has
turned Uncle Sam into the world’s preeminent paranoid, conflating nearly all
who oppose him. Actually, make that Him.

Like many who have succumbed to paranoia, the current incarnation of
Uncle Sam is apt to invoke God while swearing eternal vengeance against any
and every devilish foe. The satanic ones are sneaky all right. They may
cloak themselves in all manner of legalistic garb, prattling about human
rights and producing other pretexts for trying to stop us because we’re on
the side of the angels. But they’re after us -- they hate us for our
goodness and our purity, they cannot abide the light we bring unto the
world. Verily, as the Lord was commenting just the other day, America’s
geopolitical agenda is the essence of virtue, and all who wish to impede it
must face our wrath...

Of course the United States continues to attract more “enemies,” real
and imagined. Paranoids, including ones with a lot of blood on their hands,
often vehemently and righteously deny that they’ve earned any valid
hostility. On the contrary, all they deserve is gratitude and loyalty.
It remains to be seen when -- or whether -- mainstream American
journalists will rouse themselves and begin to openly assess the paranoid
aspects of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. If the new National
Defense Strategy isn’t a sufficient wake-up call, what’s it going to take?
_________________________________________
Norman Solomon’s latest book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death,” will be published in early summer. His columns
and other writings can be found at: www.normansolomon.com

 

March 15, 2005 - page created by Charlie Jenks