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Maria Stepanov Sommerfield
Digitally Exploring the Cyber Universe
Digitally Exploring the Cyber Universe


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Still one of my favorite speeches. You can find the full text here:

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
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Heathcote Williams: an Iraqi Child
#StopWar #Peace

An Iraqi child
Is drawing bombers, like those
Which nearly killed him.

The bombs have left his face
Swollen with fierce injuries –
Marks of angry pain.

He draws the bombers,
Though his arm and some fingers
Are amputated.

Now they're bandaged up,
With three crayons firmly taped
To the ends of his stumps.

He draws bleak, black lines
Chronicling his history.
"Who did this to me?"

"They had many planes.
They'd brought bombs to fit into each
Of their cruel planes."

"Why didn't they think
Of the people below?
Who drove all these planes?"

"One was called George Bush;
And one was called Tony Blair
With his friend, Campbell.

They'd made good friends
With lots of oil companies.
They wanted your oil.

To get into power
They'd made friends with newspapers
Who all said, 'Yes, bomb Iraq'.

Rupert Murdoch, boss
Of News International,
Told a hundred and twenty

Of his newspapers
To write a leader
Urging readers' to support war.

No one was immune:
Even The Guardian
(Financed by AutoTrader),

Was saying 'Bomb!'
Claiming that Gulf Wars
Were 'humanitarian' wars'".

"The simple cause",
Wrote The Guardian
In a pre-Iraq-war leader,

"At the end, is just."
And with the magic word,
'Humanitarian', cunning PR

Could make the liberal media
Mouth-pieces for war propaganda.
There was a lifestyle

To be supported by Iraq's cheap oil,
So opinion formers in wine-bars and clubs
And in Parliamentary tea-rooms

And in TV studios' hospitality suites –
While not discussing their expenses
Or their mortgages or their fees

Or their cars or their lifestyles
Or their favourite restaurants
Or their children's private schools –

Would dip a toe in the zeitgeist
And then bloviate
About regime change,

Like self-important sheep
Housing wolves:
'I mean, obviously

One has to get rid of Saddam...
Gassing his own people.
It's a breach of international law

For heaven's sake...!
The man has rockets. Chockfull of sarin,
VX, mustard gas, anthrax, you name it.

Didn't you see the Evening Standard?
Front page.
They could all reach London

In about forty-five minutes flat.
According to Tony..."

Tony, who in March 2002,
Received legal advice from the Foreign Office
That an attack on Iraq was illegal
Under international law...

Tony, who would make himself a stranger
To all moral standards
Save for the acquisition of wealth...

And millions are now his,
Thanks to consent
Being manufactured
By media gossips hovering round
Water-coolers, and by his craven civil servants,
And thanks to missiles being launched –
Nato's evil acupuncture
That turned Iraqi skies orange.

1,690, 903 Iraqi people were executed
For the 9/11 crime that they never committed
(But with which they were charged);

Baghdad was floodlit by bombs -
By bombs' continuous explosions -
And in Iraq no one's health was improved,

Just death from vile airborne cancers;
Birth defects that impoverish nightmares
And amputations on an industrial scale.

But the oil's easier to get at now
And Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve,
Would admit, "…that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge
What everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

The Iraqi boy might query, and then ask,
"So they're happy now?"

"Well, they're all very rich."
"Maybe they'd buy my drawing?"
The boy says.
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By Dennis Kucinich: Seventy two years ago this week, the United States ushered in the age of nuclear terror by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated 200,000 and injuring another 100,000 who would eventually succumb to their wounds or radiation poisoning. At the time, the American public was led to believe that the bomb helped end the war and “saved lives.” This was never true.

As commemorations occur around the world to reflect on the bomb and its centrality to our past and present lives, it is an appropriate time to ask, “Was the use of nuclear weapons against civilians necessary for victory in Japan?”
There is a trove of information revealing that many senior U.S. military officials believed the bombs were not needed to end the war in the Pacific. President Truman approved of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s destruction, but many of the top-ranking brass, from Douglas MacArthur to Chester Nimitz, knew better.
Secretary of War Henry Stimson informed Dwight D. Eisenhower, general of the armies, that the bomb would be dropped on Japan. In “Mandate for Change,” Eisenhower’s autobiography, Ike related this exchange: “I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’”
There are many more such testimonials, if someone takes the time to look:
--“When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the Emperor.” That’s from “The Pathology of Power,” by Norman Cousins.
-- “We didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.” That’s Brig. Gen. Carter Clarke, quoted in “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb,” by Gar Alperovitz.
--“The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.”-- Henry H. Arnold, commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.
--“The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part from a purely military point of view in the defeat of Japan. The use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” - - Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
--“Certainly, prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability, prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if atomic bombs had not been dropped.” -- Adm. William D. Leahy, chief of staff to President Truman, in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.

--“The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.” --Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay.

This is only a partial list I compiled in preparation for my efforts in Congress in 2012 to stop the creation of a national park in honor of the Manhattan Project, which created the bomb. (I held up the legislation for two sessions of Congress. The measure passed after I left the House.)

The dropping of the atomic bomb was not a military necessity, but a grim political calculation to dissuade our World War II ally, the Soviet Union, from global ambitions. A three-pronged Soviet army attack upon the Manchurian region that Japan controlled, with an army of a million and a half men, commenced two days after Hiroshima was destroyed. Japan’s army lasted through three more weeks. While a hot war ended, an ideological cold war emerged as a psychology of one-upmanship gripped political elites in both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, incubating new nuclear threats.
The use of nuclear weapons by the United States against Japan requires a new era of truth and reconciliation between our two nations and between America and the world. Today America is being fed another false narrative, for strictly political purposes, that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons.
The argument goes the U.S. must strike preemptively to stop Iran, notwithstanding a lack of evidence that Iran is developing the bomb. I gave countless presentations in debate in the House of Representatives warning of the consequences of threatening Iran with a military attack (and in some cases unleashing our nuclear weapons against Iran) and urged diplomatic resolution.
The Obama administration, led by Secretary Kerry, has crafted an agreement with Iran that sets the stage for an era of cooperation in nuclear threat reduction. Will America take a new direction? Or will we continue to be held captive by our own history and our own limited politics?

In 1945, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Japanese were sacrificed to American geo-politics and the use by our political leaders of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Beginning in 2003, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and many of our soldiers, were sacrificed to American politics over a phony threat of WMD. In 2012, the lives of thousands of Libyans were sacrificed to American politics and a false narrative of “responsibility to protect” and “humanitarian intervention.” The decision to attack Libya brought increased destabilization and spawned the growth of terrorism.
If the past 70 years have taught us anything it is that when it comes to our politics, truth gets buried so deeply and for so long that when it is finally exhumed few recognize it. It is time we start asking some hard questions about our own history as a nation, about the choices our leaders made and continue to make in our name, and whether those choices have made or will make the world safer or more dangerous.
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I honor the legacy of all who have died in war, by working against war. I will work against it, today, tomorrow and till I die. I follow in the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior who said, "I want to say one other challenge that we face is simply that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. Anyone who feels, and there are still a lot of people who feel that way, that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping through a great revolution. President Kennedy said on one occasion, "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." The world must hear this. I pray to God that America will hear this before it is too late."
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One of the greatest speeches from an American politician ever. If you haven't heard it take the time to listen.
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One of the greatest speeches of all time. Listen to it.
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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Mahatma Gandhi
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