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Those Damn Hippies are Still Trouble:
How the 60s still affect us.

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A funny thing happened on America's journey into the 21st Century to greater freedom and prosperity for all, a colossal train wreck otherwise known as the election of Ronald Reagan. Unlike the 60s being ushered in by a young vibrant and dynamic president promoting equality for all, the 80s was usher in with a old president prone to taking naps promoting trickle down (feel free to read that as piss on me economics) economics caring only for the rich.1 No wonder the decade of the 80s became called the decade of greed. Just as the age difference of the two presidents was in sharp contrast so were the policies of each as well as the times. One was a progressive believing that America could provide for all of its citizens; the other didn't give a damn for the unfortunate and chose to implement regressive policy. One chose to unite all Americans the other promoted class warfare. One promoted civil rights for all, the other tried to dismantle civil rights.

Not only was the two decades ushered in by major differences in policy, the general out look of Americans had changed greatly. As a nation we entered the 60s with a can do attitude unlike the 80s we were a nation of self-doubting Thomases, full of doubt and guilt. Americans entered the decade of the 60s full of hope for a better future, two cars in every garage unlike the 80s where many saw only a more dismal future with many giving up hope of ever owning their own home. One saw the greatest technological achievement of man, with Americans walking on the surface of the moon the other saw the space program going up in smoke with the explosion of the Challenger.

One was a decade of rebirth and growth the other was decade of decline and decay. One saw the highest standard of living achieved for the American workers the other saw the standard of living falling for the vast majority of workers. The 60s saw the birth of the grass root environmental movement, the 80s gave birth to the extremist group, Wise Use led and backed by multinational corporations hell bent on destroying and plundering the environment. One saw the investment in and building of new plants and equipment the other defined investing as leverage buyouts financed by junk bonds that built nothing. One saw us building the infrastructure like the interstate highway system the other saw reports of bridges that were unsafe and the decay of the infrastructure.

One saw the baby boomers coming of age, a generation of activist for a large part the other saw the generation X coming of age a generation of pathetic whiners in a large part.2 One is a decade mistaking thought of as a violent decade, the 60s when in actual fact the 80s were a far more violent decade. These are just a few of the stark contrasts between the two decades. But even more importantly one was the bold implementation of new policies named the New Frontier and the Great Society; the other was merely a reaction to the former too ashamed of itself to even give itself a name.

The first thing to understand about the 80s was it was a decade of reaction to the 60s. Just as reaction to the Civil War era came to dominate the country for decades afterwards, the sixties have came to dominate the country well into the 1990s. Like the Civil War the decade of the 60s saw the nation divided on the issues of the day. No time since the Civil war has the nation been as divided as it was during the 60s. Nor does this reaction to the 1960s appear to be abating anytime soon.

Perhaps one of the reasons that the Civil war and the 60s have both exerted so much influence in the following decades was there were no clear victories or closure. Unlike the New Deal era in which VJ Day provided the victory and the closure, there was no closure and no victory following the Civil War. Yes, the war was over and the slaves were free but to what extent did their freedom extend? Closure to that issue only came with the shameful decision of "Separate But Equal" in 1896, thirty years later. Likewise there has been no clear victory from the 1960s; civil rights and the feminist issues are both still in a state of flux as is the meaning and lessons from Vietnam.

It is the opinion of this writer that closure will only come with the passage of some landmark legislation or court decision. Unless we can confront the hard right soon, the decision is likely to be as shameful as the "Separate But Equal" ruling. This then would placate the hard right but leave the true resolution of the problem to future generations. At the moment the nation is simply to polarized to embrace an honorable solution. The only hopeful signs that we may eventually come to an honorable solution has been the lost of elections by members of the hard right giving way to more moderate voices.

Robert Reich, an economist made the statement that the New Deal liberalism was held together by the shared experiences of overcoming the depression and the war. Stated simply it was the politics of "we" not of "us and them". Kennedy and Johnson were the last Presidents to understand that. In speeches of both the telltale sign of "we" appears. Starting with the election of Nixon politics started to be centered on the "us Vs them". Certainly Nixon considered the anti-war movement to be part of "them" and the "us" part was the silent majority. This style of confrontational politics was continued under Reagan and Bush.

This writer was living in the Portland, Oregon area at the time of the 1994 elections. The Republicans gained control of the state house that year. The house had previously established a memorial award in the name of Frank Roberts for those that had performed exemplary public service. Roberts had been a life long public servant and a Democratic legislator. He was well liked and respected on both sides of the aisle, his wife Barbara was then governor. The Democrats asked for the award to be granted in the following legislative session, however in a raucous, mean spirited move they refuse to even consider the award. The award could have been granted to anyone, it was entirely a bipartisan award, the Republican temper tantrum that year not only was a disservice to the people of Oregon it was dragging the name of a good man through the mud.

Eventually this confrontational style of politics culminated in the impeachment of Clinton over a lousy blow job. Now how's that for a high crimes and misdemeanors. Only two of the articles of impeachment were passed along a razor thin party line margin to the Senate the other two were even too much for some members of the Republican Party. What is even more remarkable about this is that following the 1998 elections and the historic loses of the Republicans has been the lack of leadership in the house. First Newt resigns his seat and the speaker's position and runs off to hide under a rock. Then the new speaker designate, Livingston does the same on the day the vote for impeachment was taken. Yet this is the party that claimed they could run the country better than Clinton could. Perhaps they need some practice on how to run their own party before we allow them a shot at running the country and stop acting like a bunch of pious hypocrites. Both Newt and Livingston were outed in sexual escapades of their own by investigative reporters.

This is divisionist politics at its worst, even the opinion polls show that the American voters do not favor a impeachment by almost a three to one margin contrasted to the almost universal call for impeachment of Nixon. In fact the Republicans have set a dubious record of sorts following the impeachment vote of the House, the majority of voters, 59% now disapproves of the Republican Party. Yes, they even had to have one more article of impeachment than what Nixon faced. It's not the type of politics that the voters want. The voters want closure for many of the issues from the sixties. There is no better example of this than Jesse Jackson's triumphal march across Wisconsin in 1988. Yes, Jackson lost the primary there, but the people there reached out and embraced him conveying a sense of trying to heal the racial wounds of the nation even in the small rural white towns.86

Doinne goes on to argue that Jackson defense of the common people was what united white and blacks in Wisconsin. That Jackson saw the whites of modest means as victims of racism just as blacks were. Jackson argued that racism is not the sin of the white masses but rather the tool of choice of white elites to divide the nature coalition of the common man.86 Throughout this chapter we will show how the Republican Party has used this tool to gain and maintain power. And make no mistake about it; it is a tool of the fascist. It is a reactionary tool. Just as the hard right was trying to turn back the clock after the Civil War to slavery times the right wing extremists today are trying to reset the clock back to the 1950s to a time before the civil rights and feminist movement had achieve gains.

One of the themes of Reagan's campaign was the return of the hostages in Iran, Iran had already gone fascist replacing the Shah with a religious theocracy. How then did a small backward nation dare to take embassy personnel of the U.S. prisoners? Before answering that question we must first explore the root causes. We'll briefly look at the historic events stemming from the 60s that exerted so much influence on the 80s to provide a backdrop to the 80s. From this backdrop we can then gain a better understanding of the root causes of the events leading to the rise in fascism in America and also the world. Hitler used a divisionist policy to gain control of Germany; he blamed the Jews. In America the hard right uses the same tactic to gain control. Their extremist platform simply is not appealing to the vast number of voters so they must rely on dividing the country. They pit blacks against whites, rich against poor, employers against employees, environmentalist against capitalist, the retired against the workers, the young against the old and the educated against the uneducated.

This writer attributes the following events and movements from the 60s as the most influential in the following decades. They are still exerting powerful influences well into the 1990s both globally and domestically, roughly listed in their order of importance.21 Note the majority of these reasons are connected in more than a casual way to Vietnam.

1. The loss of Vietnam War and the end of U.S. hegemony.

2. The shift in wealth to the Mideast after the formation of OPEC.

3. Rise of Japan and Germany as economic powerhouses.

4. The rebirth of fundamental religion worldwide.

5. The resignation of Nixon.

6. The passage of civil rights legislation.

7. The sexual revolution of the 60s.


9. The decline of unions.

10.The change in party leadership of the Republicans and Democrats

This writer can think of no single event or policy from the 60s; that exerts more lingering effects domestically and internationally than the defeat of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. Face it we lost the war. I don't care that Nixon called it peace with dignity, we lost the war. As much as the simple lost of this war caused trouble domestically and internationally, denying the simple fact generated even more trouble. We blamed the military leaders for the lost. We blamed the lost on the draft. We blamed the political leaders for the lost. We blamed the lost on the high rate of drug use by our forces. We blamed the war protestors for the lost. We made excuses claiming that we had beaten the enemy in the Tet offensive. This damn war spanned the administrations of five presidents from Truman's covert aid to the French in Indochina to Nixon's expansion of the war into neighboring Cambodia. No one has yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel. We won't see that light at the end of the tunnel until as a nation we put aside our pride and face up to the fact that we lost the war and quit using it as a damn excuse.

Nor should any of the veterans that served during Nam misread this as an attempt to blame them or in any way distract from their honorable service to this country. The soldiers of Vietnam were honorable men that fought for what they believed in. Likewise, this writer places none of the blame on the anti-war protestors and like the soldiers the protestors were people fighting for what they believed. Rather you should be reading this as an attack on those directly responsible. This writer does not put the blame on any of the presidents except those that are noted. As for the presidents they were essentially powerless to stop the ever-deepening quagmire of Vietnam. Nixon and Johnson both could have probably withdrawn from Vietnam and survived politically as by that time public opinion was shifting against the war and they both deserve some of the blame. But lets give LBJ credit where credit is due, he chose not to seek reelection and further divide the country, a honorable action no mater what side of the fence you are standing. Nor do I place any of the blame on the reasons listed above.

It is now known with certainty that Nixon actively worked to stall the Paris peace negations of LBJ. Using Anna Chennault, the widow of a WWII general, Nixon persuaded South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to sabotage the Paris peace talks since Nixon would give him better deal than Johnson would. When a wiretap revealed the Chennault channel to Johnson, Humphrey refused to capitalize on the information fearing it would provoke a national crisis.74 Here is the first example of how the hard right used the war to divide the nation for partisan gain and to hell with a honorable peace and what is best for the nation. We likewise note the statesman character of Humphrey in setting aside personal and partisan gain for the betterment of the nation.

No, this writer places the blame and there is plenty to go around on the right wing extremists and their rabid fear of communism, they were the ones that successfully created the rabid anti-communism paranoia in this country. We were right to oppose communism. But to what limits was this opposition to communism healthy before becoming harmful? Just as there is a fine line between a social drinker an alcoholic there is a fine line in opposing communism in the name of patriotism before the opposition becomes an unhealthy phobia. The old adage "Better Dead than Red" is just one example of the inflammatory rhetoric of those times. Pursuing the fight against the enemy until it divides the country or to the brink of widespread dissention is not patriotism. And yes, Nam did just that.


To fully appreciate the anti-red hysteria of the early 60s one needs to have lived through this era. This writer has done so, he can remember the duck and cover drills in schools, like a slab of a Formica desk was going to protect anyone from a nuclear blast. I can remember taking the 7th grade final in science, in which three fourths of the questions were related to civil defense. One needs to remember the frantic rush to establish and build civil defense shelters. But we continued building bombs until we could nuke the whole Soviet nation sixty times over. The fools were not content with just destroying a nation they wanted to shake the ashes as well. It didn't mater a twit to the these fools if we had destroyed the whole damn planet in a all out nuclear exchange as long as some one remained to claim the ashes for capitalism. In such an exchange the lucky ones would have been at ground zero, the survivors would have cursed the fools for their ideological war until they died a horrendous death from radiation poisoning, starvation or disease.

I can remember with an amusing grin the anti-red propaganda stories, that were required reading in schools. Anyone remember Animal Farm? In short the war drums were beating loudly. Not a single voice was raised for sanity to do so would have been unwise if not unhealthy. Kennedy was criticized unjustly for the failure of the Bay of Pigs, for his failure to use force during the Cuban Missile crisis, for his policy of dente with the Soviets. He even had to use the FBI to shut down an illegal CIA training camp for Cuban gorillas. The CIA actively tried to sabotage his policy of dente by plotting to blow up Soviet ships in Cuba harbors. How did the CIA become so out of control that it openly defied the President?

After all didn't Khrushchev beat the podium with his shoe at the UN claiming he was going to bury us? Does anyone remember Khrushchev and Nixon's kitchen debate? Amazing that they couldn't find more pressing subjects to debate than kitchen appliances. Had not Tail Gunner Joe found communist moles in the government a few short years before by waving and ever changing lists of names in front of the media? All the domestic politics were cloaked in the anti-red hysteria. The bill to construct the interstate highway system was passed because it was needed for national defense. The space program was launched to beat the Russians to the moon least they launch an attack from there. Parts of the farm program were justified in setting aside a store of grains so we could overcome and survive a nuclear attack.

The John Birchers and others were distributing lists of the communist plot to take over the country. Those lists blamed the decline in morals as part of the communist plot. These lists circulated in the late fifties and early sixties and had already blamed the yet non-existent sexual revolution as part of a communist plot to subvert America. They likewise blamed the banning of forced school pray as part of the plot. Yes this writer can remember being forced to pray to a god that he neither accepted or believed in, he didn't like it then and he detests it even more today. This writer can even remember being told after the Kennedy half dollar was released that the initials of the designer located under the bust was proof that Kennedy was a communist, in the crazed minds of the hard right they looked like a hammer and sickle. This was not patriotism; it was nothing short of a phobia perpetrated on the American public by a bunch of paranoid raving loons. But who were these paranoid loons and what was their motivation?

In case there is anyone that questions that Eisenhower was essentially powerless to stop the ever deepening commitment to Vietnam, let me remind them that the John Birchers were calling Eisenhower a communist. They labeled him as a fellow traveler. If he had not chosen to support South Vietnam he would have been impeached, ran out of office or possibly have been the target of an assassination. One only has to read Richard Dudman's book published in 1961 to get a feel for how the rabid right was able to influence and control public opinion at that time.6 He lists many of the retired military officers that were members of John Birch Society and the closely aligned American Security Council, the listings could be more closely described as a who's who of retired high-ranking military officers7. General Walker being the name that is commonly remembered and the furthest out of touch with reality. Walker was the general that distributed John Birch literature while on active duty in Germany. Subscribers to the ACS reads like a list of corporate America, in addition founders of many of these corporations were members and sources for funding. Another name associated with the ACS is Donner; the Donner Foundation supports many right wing groups and institutes. In another chapter we will take a closer look to the funding activities of the Donner Foundation including donations to groups that were involved in the impeachment attempt of Clinton.

Dudman goes on to allude that these far right organizations of hard right corporate leaders and their close association with both retired and active military personnel, who supported hard right causes and extreme measures may have been the object behind Eisenhower's cryptic warning of the military industrial complex in his farewell address8. Besides the large number of former military officers members of the ACS included the heads of many corporations: Sears, Motorola, U.S. Steel, GE, and Illinois Central Railroad. Others involved in the Birchers included the Koch and Hunt both heads of oil companies.42

Lets note here that the American Security Council had roots from three racial and anti-Semitic, pro Hitler groups from the 1930s according to Alan J. Weberman.33 The groups were America First Committee, American Vigilante Intelligence Federation and the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. Weberman also claims that William Regnery was a co-founder of the ACS. This is the same Regnery that owns Regnery Press that has been responsible for many of the anti-Clinton books. Lets note also the similarity in behavior that borders on treason of the hard right in their effort to impeach Clinton and the early 1960s hard right's distrust of elected and appointed officials. Needless to say, the factual content of the books from Regnery is more fictional than truthful.

Yes, this writer believes that a large part of the cold war was due to the rants coming from the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address. If there is one single point that is outstanding about the Eisenhower administration it was his failure to lead. He deferred decision on issue after issue hoping for the best. Was he beginning to see the danger of his lack of leadership? This was Ike's last public address as President, obviously he would only include issues that he felt were important. He certainly was well aware that it would be part of his legacy. Was he beginning to see that the Cold War was nothing but a cover to transfer the wealth of the masses to the few elite? Was he beginning to see the dangers of absolute corporatism that has become the privileged child of the Republican Party today? Folks he didn't include that warning for no reason, he sensed that it was a real and imminent threat to democracy. Eisenhower was anything but an alarmist.

Yes, he later tried to modify his statement somewhat. But this is proof of nothing. If anything it raises another disturbing question. Was he powerless to stop it? Ridiculous you say? No, it would not be the first time that the President of the United States learnt that corporate leaders had more power than the President as the following example shows.

On February 27, 1942 Thurman Arnold, head of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, armed with documents under his arm and followed with a team of aides marched into 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Following him was Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Knox and Sectary of the Army, Henry Stimson. Arnold laid down the charges of Standard Oil's continue favoritism of Hitler in rubber deals and patent arrangements. Taking pains to ensure they understood that he had the proof outlining that the Rockefellers, Teagle and Farish had acted against the interest of America. At the end Arnold coolly proposed a $1.5 million fine and a consent decree by which Standard would turn over to the government all patents that Frank Howard had picked up in Holland. Farish rejected the proposal on the spot. He pointed out that the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force depended on oil from Standard. In other words he blackmailed the government on the spot. To settle the issue Farish proposed a fine of $50,000 spread out over a list of corporations so long that no one would be forced to pay more than $600.78 Arnold, Stimsom and Knox realized that they were powerless against corporate America.

Nor is that view of the rabid anti communists hardly extreme, the public allowed Tail Gunner Joe to run amuck in the early 50s. Its even more damning considering that many of the victims of Tail Gunner Joe were labor leaders and people from the media. These were precisely the people that could stand up and expose corporate America for what it really was. There were calls at the time through out the nation for the impeachment of Earl Warren as a communist extending all the way into the early 60s. The Birchers even promoted a writing contest for school pupils, the winner would be chosen on who could give the best reasons for the impeachment of Warren; they likewise had billboards through out the south primarily, calling for his impeachment. An outgrowth of their influence was the non-recognition of China until 1971 and then only Nixon a politician with a reputation for hard on communism dared to recognize China. There was several groups that actively opposed communist China most notable was the Committeeof One Million. Remember that two tiny islands about thirty miles off the coast of Mainland China were an issue in the Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates. Instead as a nation we clung to the absurd policy of recognizing only the tiny nation of Formosa as the government in exile of China. But few writers are willing to look or acknowledge the power that a few extremists backed by corporate America have in directing nation policy or public attitudes.

There is one additional group to blame for the involvement in Vietnam that the press likewise has overlooked. That would be the multinational oil companies. As a teen coming of age during the 60s, I can recall spots on the evening newscasts of reporters interviewing a company commander. The commander would explain that presently he was guarding the oil company's exploration efforts in the sector that they had just cleared and secured. Once the company had finished, they would then clear another area that the company wanted to explore next. The key here is the oil companies determined what areas to clear next, what a hell of a way to fight communism.

The one single event that triggered my opposition forever on the war was the newscasts covering the evacuation of American civilians from Vietnam. The reporters mechanically named each person being evacuated and there position or job title as they boarded the flights out. Approximately half of those civilians were employees of oil companies. They were not the gophers that punched holes in the ground but instead they were VPs of various divisions within the companies or they were high ranking system engineers. Not exactly the type of civilians you would except to be vacationing in the center of a civil war, when they are the same types that think they are dying over a paper cut. In short the gophers had found what these muckrakers wanted. As final proof of this, once the Paris Peace Accord was signed one of the first diplomatic efforts North Vietnam undertook was to ask for membership in OPEC. Their request for membership was denied. Presently the oil companies are actively exploring off the coast of Vietnam. The media has never explored this involvement of corporate interest in Vietnam during our involvement. There is more than one book waiting for a writer that is willing to explore the topic; the oil companies were not alone there. But it does illustrate the conservative bias in the media, a bias that can kill stories by neglect.

Major General Smedly D. Butler was one of the most decorated soldiers from WWI, he strongly supported the Bonus Marchers. Perhaps he summed up the corporate welfare aspects of U. S. military involvement better than anyone. Here is a quote of him summing up his military career in his retirement.

"There isn't a trick In the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" (to point out enemies), its "muscle men" (to destroy enemies), its "brain guys," (to plan war preparations) and a "Big Boss," (super-nationalistic capitalism).

I Was a "Racketeer"

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country's most agile military force -- the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism."99

Only one of the five presidents had the courage to face the truth during the war. That was Jack Kennedy, he issued a withdrawal of forces totaling about ten percent of the total force in Vietnam in October 1963. His plan called for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of the 1965. As the following quote taken from the report of the McNamara-Taylor mission to South Vietnam, this was point two in the document.

"A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential function now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time."3

Additionally, National Security Agency Memo number 263 issued on October 5, 1963 called for the withdrawal of 1000, of the 16,000 U.S. forces in Vietnam.4 Unfortunately Kennedy was assassinated shortly after withdrawing the first group. There still are those that dispute Kennedy's planned withdrawal even in light of these documents. But Kennedy had already showed his independence and wiliness to disagree with the advice given to him by his military advisors in the Cuban missile crisis. If he had followed the advice of his military advisors at the time of bombing the sites, it would have most likely have led to an all out nuclear war. As documents from the former USSR show that over twenty nuclear warheads were already in Cuba at the time.13 He had already learned from experience that the CIA had lied to him about the Bay of Pigs invasion and had threaten to break the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them in the wind. He was a president that was pragmatic in his approach after once setting course. Thus the doubt is unjustified, as it seems clear he had set course on an American withdrawal of forces. Some writers have gone on to claim that the JFK assassination was due to the withdrawal.


Did the lost of this war to a third rate agrarian country lead to the massive uprising of communism willing to do battle with the U.S. as the war mongers predicted? Undoubtedly it embolden and inspired some, but there was no massive uprising. Yes, there were a few nations where socialism or communism was leading revolutions. But repressive right wing dictators led these nations for the most part. So these revolutions were more about freedom than a rise of communism. The only objections to these revolutions were from the American corporations with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The many covert operations in Central and South America that the CIA conducted for American corporations serve as prime examples. The USSR was invited rather unceremoniously to leave Egypt. Cuba became bogged down in their own version of Vietnam in Angola. Likewise, the USSR became bogged down in Afghanistan. In short about the only ground that was ceded to the communist was in Southeast Asia.

Did it lead to a massive defection of U.S. allies questioning our will and commitment that the war hawks predicted? No, I can think of no ally that defected, with the possible exception of France. But then France has always exhibited a mean streak of independent thinking and actions. Remember it was the U.S. that offered sanctuary to both the Shah of Iran and Marcos of the Philippines, two despots that we had shamefully supported in the past. The granting of permission for the Shah to enter this country was the single most important event that triggered the taking of the U.S. embassy hostages. President Carter could have refused to admit the Shah justifying it by the Shah's human rights abuse but instead chose the humane option of allowing the ailing Shah to die in comfort in the U.S.

Did it lead to the end of U.S. hegemony? Not hardly, some people are now claiming in 1998 that the U.S. is the only world superpower. I would view that as a little premature and a dangerous thought, all Russia needs to regain its superpower status is a strong leader.

What it has led to is the division of the American public. Instead of seeking closure of the wound it still remains a festering sore. Jimmy Carter in a vain attempt to seek closure issued a general pardon to the draft dodgers. But the far right elements do not want closure of this wound; they actively seek means to open it, keep it festering and infect it. By keeping the American people divided, it's easier for them to gain control of the issues and obtain power. Take for instance the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, they detailed our involvement in Vietnam from the very beginning until the day they were written and the past mistakes made. Any president following the release of these papers was then aware of the tragic mistake of continuing on the course of escalation. Nixon had the opportunity to do the right thing and pull out but he chose instead to use the Pentagon papers for personal political gain as the following quote shows:

June 17,1971, Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Kissinger 5:17-6:13pm, Oval Office

Haldeman: You maybe can blackmail {Lyndon B.] Johnson on this stuff {Pentagon Papers].

Nixon: What?

Haldeman: You can blackmail Johnson on this stuff and it might be worth doin... The bombing halt stuff is all in that same file or in some of the same hands...

Nixon: Do we have it? I've asked for it. You said you didn't have it.

Haldeman: We can't find it.

Kissinger: We have nothing here, Mr. President.

Nixon: Well, damn it, I asked for that because I need it.

Kissinger: But Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together.

Haldeman: We have a basic history in constructing our own, but there is a file on it.

Nixon: Where?

Haldeman: [Presidential aid Tom Charles] Hudson swears to God there's a file on it and it's at Brookings [Institution, a centralist Washington think tank].

Nixon: Bob? Bob? Now do you remember Hudson's plan [for White House sponsored break-ins as Part of domestic counter-intelligence operations] Implement it.

Kissinger: Now Brookings has no right to have classified documents.

Nixon: I want it implemented... Goddamnit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.11

This was the value of the Pentagon Papers for Nixon, and the hard right has never stopped using Vietnam for political gain. Remember it was the hard right that attempted to paint Clinton as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War in the 1992 election. The lost still serves the hard right needs thirty years later. The far right uses Vietnam in two manners to support their agenda. For issues they support they frame it as a war against communism to those issues they oppose they frame it as involvement in a foreign nation's civil war.

This is self evident in Bosnia where the U.S. has sent troops under the command of the UN on a peace mission. Instead the hard right claims this is just the start of another Vietnam quagmire and that we have no business to get involved in a civil war of another country. Perhaps, these moral hypocrites are willing to stand aside and condone genocide by their own inaction, waiting for it to spill out beyond the borders of the former Yugoslavian republic as it did in WWI but that is no excuse to stand aside. That's the same policy of appeasement that led to the rise of the Third Reich and the same Republican isolationist views prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is the same views of the old hard right group from the 1930s, like the America First group. Perhaps, Truman made the best statement concerning the Republican isolationists the day after the bombing of Pearl in a letter to his cousin Ethel Nolan:

"Sat up all night and listened to the radio, got to Pittsburgh at 3:30 where I met Senator Chavez of N. Mex who came from Chicago, Sen. Davis of Pa. who lives there and Curly Brooks, the great Republican Isolationist from Chicago. He's a new Senator from Ill. Legionnaire, fat, curly haired, Has a small synthetic blonde wife and is the most important Chicago Tribune Senator. He looked as if he'd swallowed a hot stove and that is the way all those anti-preparedness boys looked the next day."14

Hiding across two oceans has never served this country well. Bosnia is not Vietnam; we did not cancel a free election in Bosnia as Eisenhower did in Vietnam. We are not viewed as an imperialist in Bosnia as we were viewed in Vietnam. In short as a world superpower we have a moral obligation and duty to preserve the peace and promote freedom but we do not have the right to impose our will on others as we tried to do in Vietnam. Shirking that duty or misusing it will only generate more global problems and quicken our demise as a superpower.

And therein lies the controversy of Bosnia; the hard right doesn't give a damn about moral obligation or duty. In Bosnia they lack a boogey man like communism to demonize, although, they are making a vain attempt to demonize the UN. Secondly every other war we have been involved in has involved the protection of corporate America's assets. If corporate America had found a way to make a fast buck off this police action, they would be clamoring for more troops and expanding the effort. In short our past military aid and covert actions in foreign lands has had nothing to do with promoting freedom but rather to maintain the status quo for corporate America. Central and South America provides the ideal example in our wiliness to protect any petty despot that supports corporate America and our wiliness to overthrow any government there that starts to promote real freedom for its citizens such as a redistribution of land to peasants.

But you do not need to take the word of your writer on this. In 1979 Reagan's future UN Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick wrote an article entitled Dictatorships and Double Standards. In which she urged U.S. support for authoritarian regimes as opposed to totalitarian regimes. The former abused the human rights of their citizens but were reliable allies and candidates for democratization, she claimed.100 In other words they were willing to do business with corporate America.

We covertly supported the assassination of Allende in Chile and installed Augusto Pinochet. In his seventeen-year reign of terror, Pinochet tortured his opponents and had a history of human rights abuse. This covert support for the overthrow of Allende had nothing to do with freedom or stopping communism, it was solely due to protecting the interests of corporate America in particular the copper mining industry. Currently he is seeking asylum in Britain rather than return to Chile and face charges. The Reagan lackey the Iron Maiden, Thatcher wants to protect him. So much for the human rights, justice and liberty can be damned if there is a profit to be made.44 Fortunately the majority of the Brits had the good sense to refuse protecting a despot. He will face trial for his crimes against humanity.

But these are the same yahoos that defended the illegal Iran/Contra mess in Nicaragua. This was nothing more than another civil war in a country led by a right wing tyrant but the hard right in America had managed to cloak it as a fight against communism. Supporting the Contras had nothing to do with freedom or the fight against communism; it was nothing more than a fight to preserve the status quo for American corporations. Additionally the right wing extremist managed to cover up for the most part its real interest in Central America, the corporate exploitation of the nation. For the doubters of American corporate exploitation of Central American countries, one can review the articles from the Cincinnati Enquirer's expose of Chiquita Banana maintained by the Council of Hemisphere Affairs5.

The religious right played a large role in Central America for the Reagan administration. Following the coup in 1982 in Guatemala Pat Robertson interviewed Rios Montt and promised to send aid and missionaries. Weeks later a Gospel Outreach pastor met with the Reagan administration. Shortly there after the State Department held a special briefing for leaders of the religious right and endorsed Operation International Love Lift. By then thousands had been massacred, the targets were mostly the indigenous population. Some Gospel Outreach members apparently took part in the torture and interrogation operation. One Gospel Outreach pastor went on to defend the killings as follows:

"The Army doesn't massacre the Indians. It massacres demons, and the Indians are demon possessed; they are communist. We hold Brother Efrain Rios Mott like the King of David of the Old Testament. He is the king of the New Testament."101

It is always easier to kill when you have god on your side.

Or alternatively read Deterring Democracy by Noam Chomsky and how American corporations dominate the region.15. For those still doubting the will of the U.S. one needs look no further than the embargo on Cuba. Yes, its still in effect in 1998, the reason is Cuba is still communist and the hard right in the U.S. will not tolerate a left of center government in Latin America. It will however, overlook the faults and support any tyrant that is right of center as long as he's willing to do business with corporate America. Once his usefulness expires so does his support, just ask Noriega. He was on the CIA payroll and provided covert help in Reagan's illegal scheme to aid the Contras.

But once he out lived his usefulness, Bush brought down the full might of the U.S. military on him. Nor were the American people ever told the truth about the heavy civilian casualties. The Central American Human Rights Commission (CODEHUCA) reported much heavier casualty figures than put out by the U.S military. Then there is the matter of the mass graves we had left behind driving the true figures even higher than what had been previously reported. But these reports seldom reach the citizens of the U.S. the corporate media protects its benefactors and remains silent.

Additionally, the new stealth fighters were used against targets with no radar and only a couple of WWII vintage anti-aircraft guns to defend themselves.16 Now just ask yourself why would we risk the use of our newest fighters on a banana republic that didn't have a chance in hell. It is the opinion of this writer that the U.S. looks for a war about ever 10 to 15 years. It has been going on like clockwork ever since Korea. The driving reason for this quest for war on a regular basis is to provide a testing ground for a new generation of weapons as well as a means to funnel tax payers money to the corporations that supply the weapons all cloaked under the mantle of false patriotism. Vietnam was our testing ground for the new helicopter gunships and the M16 after the M14 rifle proved a failure, Reagan's bombing of Libya tested some smart weapons, Panama a small test for the stealth fighters.

And of course, Bush couldn't resist testing the new weapons in a massive way in the Gulf War just as Hitler tested his weapons in the Spanish civil war. This writer was struck by the surreal nature of the television coverage of the Gulf War. All one needed to do was to place a swastika on those uniforms and one would not have been able to tell the difference between the reports and Nazi propaganda films from the 1930-40s. My God, even the helmets were reminiscence of the Nazis.


But even scarier than the propaganda films was the giddy attitude of the average citizen after they were sure we would prevail. The public embraced each new report with glee, opening bragging about the capabilities of our military showing no remorse even for the highway slaughter or that of civilians. Some of the exuberance was no doubt due to the reestablishment of the supremacy of the U.S. military following the defeat in Vietnam. But it still is a dangerous form of nationalism; it's the same result as what Hitler was able to achieve by stirring the masses into a frenzy with his propaganda films.

Nor did it go unnoticed by our allies; Japan for one warned us and expressed deep concern over it. This writer deplores the glorification of war and the military. Patriotism is one thing but the glorification of war is not patriotism. This glorification of the military was extended after the conclusion of the war with a ticker tape parade in New York City. It was not enough for the Bush White House to win the war; they needed to gloat over it as well. Storming Norm was made into a celebrity overnight. There was talk of running Powell as a Republican Presidential candidate. This is the same type of extreme nationalism that the Nazis used to gain power.

After the war in the gulf we then started to learn that the media had once again been asleep at the wheel and only reported the official version during the war. We learnt that the Kuwaiti nurse that claimed the Iraqis were tossing babies out of incubators was not a nurse but a member of the royal family. In short the story about the incubators was false, it was propaganda used to beat the drums of war. Some of our new weapons for instance the Patriot Missile System was not as effective as the first reports and may not have brought down a single Scud. Now after several years, a mysterious disease is striking the soldiers that fought there. That may be related to either exposure to chemical weapons, depleted uranium shells or some of the untested vaccines they received. Yet, the Pentagon has denied any connection and has only lately came to grudgingly acknowledge their responsibility to the soldier. Just as they had refused to acknowledge the connection of Agent Orange use in Nam with later health problems of vets. This refusal to admit responsibility to the soldiers contracting service-related diseases also leads to self-doubting and distrust. Now isn't that a fine example of patriotism, treating our veterans as expendable commodities. But have you heard any of the war hawks calling for increase veteran's benefits? Not hardly, the ones that have expressed outrage over the mal-treatment of the vets have came from the left for the most part.

Chomsky also raises the interesting question of which way we will go after we have became the sole superpower in the world. Will we proceed on a righteous path that we seem to be following in Bosnia or will we just revert back to being an imperialistic monster that we were in Nicaragua? This writer is willing to state the choice will depend upon if we can defeat fascism at home. If we fail to reign in the hard right and their corporate sponsors then we are well along the road to imperialism and the next world war with America as the villain. You can bet your last dollar that if these right wingers had figured out a way to make a buck on the Bosinia mess they would be arguing for more troops and aid for the area.

As late as the summer of 1998 the hard right was still using the Vietnam War for political purposes. CNN and Time released a story jointly entitled Valley of Death about operation Tailwind. Tailwind was reported to be an operation using nerve gas on a village in which it was known to contain suspected defectors, deserters or simply those servicemen that had followed their conscience. The thrust of the operation was to kill those Americans found in that village. The story was poorly documented and was sure to draw a rebuttal from the Pentagon. Nor, is this the first story to make the claim, the use of nerve gas in Vietnam has popped up from time to time following the war. The rebuttal itself was likewise poorly documented and left much to be desired. Additionally the story brought wails of protest from former high-ranking officials including Kissenger and General Singlaub. Singlaub filed a suit against CNN in the same manner as Westmoreland had done earlier in another unrelated story. Westmoreland lost his suit.

Remember this is the same General Singlaub that President Carter fired for speaking out against his defense strategy. It seems as if the good general didn't believe in civilian control over the military. Yes, this is the same General Singlaub that has admitted to pass contact with the LaRouchians. Give the general his credit due, he did denounce the LaRouchians later for their extreme views and became a vicious critic of them.12 But this is the same General Singlaub that was a member of Western Goals, founded by Georgia Republican representative Larry McDonald, a top leader in the John Birch organization. This is the same Singlaub that became a director of the world Anti-Communist League (ACL). Past members of the ACL has included archconservatives, reactionaries, former Nazis and Nazi collaborators. This can leave one only wondering where the general's own extreme views end and those of the LaRouchians begin.

What's at stake here goes much deeper than the use of nerve gas in Vietnam. First a government that cloaks its documents in secret is promoting rumor mongering and a sense of distrust among its citizens. There is no need for many of the documents to be classified by either the military or the FBI, in many cases news clippings can be found in previously classified documents. Nor are there reasons to still classify the many documents from WWII in all but the rarest of incidents. Its past time for the Pentagon to release all documents pertaining to the use of gas and special operations and quit hiding behind a wall of secrecy for national security. But what is really at stake here, in the filing of those suits by former high-ranking officials is the implied threat. It sends a message to the media that by god if you fail to air the official version we are going to sue and destroy you. These suits are meant to intimidate and stifle future investigators into obedience and serve no other purpose.

Its long past the time that Americans quit bickering about the great red beast, communism was defeated globally when the Berlin Wall fell. Even China is rapidly moving to a free market system. We don't need the divisionist from the far right cloaking their messages of hate by equating liberalism or socialism with communism implying liberalism is inherently bad. But that has became a mainstay of Republican candidates electioneering practices. We don't need them cloaking corporatism under the banner of free markets or free enterprise when its nothing more than welfare for the rich. We need to move beyond ideology and look for real solutions. Undoubtedly those solutions are going to involve aspects from both the left and the right.

The loss of Vietnam did not alter our worldwide standing in any ways other than minor incidents. Yes, it did lead us to question the motivations behind government actions, but this is not unhealthy. Many Americans quickly moved beyond any self-doubting, as a nation we could have done the same. We could have learned from our mistakes and turned the experience into positive actions. Some positive actions did come out of the war, the draft was eliminated, the right to vote was granted to 18 year olds but we fell woefully short at learning any meaningful lessons from the experience. We are still willing to wage war for corporate America as we did in the Gulf. We still support despots ignoring their human rights abuse in the name of freedom. No, the real legacy of Vietnam is one of using and exploiting it to divide America in order to gain and maintain power by creating an artificial atmosphere of fear and self doubt. It has served the hard right well in that regard.

One final note on the need for closure of Vietnam, it's not just the right wing in America that uses war to divide a country. A week before France celebrated the 80th anniversary of the end of WWI, French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin asked the French to remember 49 soldiers executed for refusing to fight a battle in the 1917 offensive. The conservatives of that country were outraged over Jospin's actions.31 Are we still going to be calling war protesters draft dodgers 80 years after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords? As we near 2000 there are still those that label Clinton a draft dodger, his draft status was made an issue in the 1992 election campaign. Isn't it time we finally bring closure to this open sore? Its time as a nation that we salute those that fought in Vietnam and also those that fought in the streets to stop the bloody mess. Its time that the victim's families of Kent State are given compensation and an apology for their loss. And it's long past the time that we should give the boot to those that attempt to use Vietnam as a way to divide us.

We could have salvaged at least some positives from the Vietnam War in formulating and conducting foreign policy but that time has long past due in a large measure to the actions of the hard right. But given the Gulf War as an example, we haven't learnt a damn thing from Nam. The media still allowed lies to pass to the beat of the war drums whipping up a war frenzy. We still fought a war for the benefit of the corporate powers. And as a country we still allowed out military to test their new weapons in a needless war. No where in the press was it reported at the time that Texaco owned a large stake in Kuwait. Just trust the man with the star, ya sure.

Nor does it end with the Gulf War; the defense budget today is currently larger than the combined budget of the next eight largest militaries. So where is the so-called peace dividend from the fall of the Iron Curtain? Later in this chapter we allude to the Mideast countries wasting much of their oil wealth on military hardware, but presently the U.S. has squandered away the peace dividend. We allowed Reagan and his pie in the sky, Star Wars program to run the national debt past the three trillion mark. The military budget this size is nothing more than corporate welfare. Items included in the present budget include transport planes that the military has stated it doesn't want but then they are manufactured in Gingrich's congressional district, likewise the ships that are not wanted are made in Senator Lott's state. Bases that were scheduled to be close were reopened. Currently we have more generals serving than we did during WWII. The military has spent up to $600 on toilet seats so some damn prima donna doesn't get a sliver in his behind. Other waste includes private golf courses, $500 hammers, the list is almost endless. A good listing of this waste of taxpayer's money can be found on the Pentagon Follies site.34

The one glaring omission in the military budget has been adequate funding for training. But then money spent on training doesn't provide the windfall profits for business. Further many of the expenses of the military have been transferred to the Department of Energy, such as the clean up of Handford and much of the nuclear research thereby hiding the true size of the military budget. One could easily lop off half the budget without endangering the country. Many of the active duty personnel could be transferred into Reserve or National Guard units thereby preserving the overall strength and preparedness. For naysayers on the later, lets remind them of the number of Reserve and National Guard units that was called up during the Gulf War.

Yes, I do believe we need a strong military but we do not need to fight wars for corporate America. It's criminal in the manner in which we have conducted a massive redistribution of wealth from the poor to corporate America under the disguise of false patriotism. As a nation we need to take a close look at the defense budget and eliminate the corporate welfare in it. It is another of the lessons from Vietnam that we have not learnt.

From a global perspective the second most important root cause for a shift in global politics was the formation of OPEC. OPEC was the brainchild of the Shah of Iran. Then President Richard Nixon allowed and encouraged the formation of OPEC rather than crush it in its infancy as a way to prop up the Shah of Iran. Nixon as vice president under Eisenhower was one of the first supporters of the Shah after the British retreat from the Mideast. This was the time of the Nixon doctrine, as he later told Ike: "The Shah is beginning to show more guts... If the Shah would lead, things would be better."9 After losing the 1962 California governors' race, Iran under the Shah was one of the few countries to receive Nixon cordially.In the 70s as the Shah faced increasing opposition at home, Nixon allowed him to not only to lead Iran but also to allow him to seek out power in the entire Mideast region. Nixon, Kissinger and Ford all thought of the Shah in strategic terms, according to Nixon he filled a power vacuum in the Mideast. They all chose to ignore his human rights abuses, which were responsible for his downfall. But once again the Shah was friendly to corporate America thus the hard right supported him and chose to overlook his abuses.

Generally the 70s was period of rapid economic expansion in the industrial world if not at times and outright boom period. The continued growth of the economy depended upon an ever-increasing supply of oil not only for fuel but also as the raw material for the production of basic feedstock chemicals. The relatively cheap price of oil discouraged further exploration and the production of energy efficient cars and conservation. In 1973 Atkins using his White Host office prepared a secret report with proposals to avert the growing oil threat. One of the proposals centered about energy conservation. Nixon aide John Ehrlichman responded angrily with the following quote; "Conservation is not a Republican ethic."10 In the United States the demand for oil ran beyond any surplus capacity. It was also the time period that saw a dramatic shift in the geographic production of oil, the U.S. production peaked the Mideast became the leading producers of crude. By 1971 the count of U.S drilling rigs fell to its lowest level declining from its peak year of 1955. The count was down to only a third of the level of the mid 1950s.17 The early 1970s marked the end of an era, the end of cheap energy and a constant oversupply of oil. It marked the beginning of a new era of constant shortages and an ever-increasing cost of energy.

In 1969 oil and energy was quietly slipping into the American political agenda. The outdate Mandatory Oil Import Program established by Einsenhower was laboring under stress. It's numerous loopholes and exceptions created great opportunities for those who could capitalize on them. This quota system was creating great disparities among companies and different regions. Oil producing countries, and large petrochemical companies were eager to see the quota system done away with. However, the independents were steadfast in their support for the quota system as it protected their market. In response to the growing demand for oil imports Nixon established the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control led by Labor Secretary, George Shultz to review the system. The Task Force recommended dumping the quota system in favor of a system based on tariffs. The overall response to the recommendation was negative in the extreme. Nixon chose to ignore the recommendation of his task force. By 1971 Nixon imposed price controls on oil as part of his overall effort to fight inflation. The immediate effect of the price control was essentially to stimulate the consumption while discouraging exploration.

In April 1973 Nixon was forced to scrape the quota system. With no barriers now present the oil companies immediately set about buying up any oil they could find. By the summer of 1973 imports had rose to 6.2 million barrels a day compared to 3.2 million in 1970.18 Soon independent refiners joined into the fray creating a bidding war driving the price of crude higher. The rising prices led to exporting nations to revise their buyback agreements; Libya nationalized the oil industry within its boarders.

On October 6, 1973 the Yom Kippur war broke out in a surprise attack on Israel by Egyptian and Syrian forces. Initially the Israel took a heavy toll; secondly they had badly miscalculated the amount of supplies they would need in the event of a war. They were using their supplies up at an alarming rate. Two days after the attack Nixon told Israel they could pick up supplies in an El Al plane, as days passed it became clear that Israel situation was desperate and they would be unable to hold on without the infusion of a massive resupply effort. Framing his orders for resupplying as anti communism as the Syrians and Egyptians were receiving Soviet aid, Nixon ordered an American airlift of supplies on October 14. The initial plan called for the huge C-5s to land in the dark in Israel and be back off the ground before daybreak. But due to a heavy crosswind the C-5s were unable to take off on time, the delay in the takeoff led to daylight landing in Israel. Thus the U.S markings were fully visible for all to see.


On October 16 OPEC announced they were raising the posted price of a barrel of oil to $5.11 a 70% increase.19 The significant facts of the increase are two fold, one the action was unilateral and the price itself. Before the Kuwait meeting of OPEC had concluded on the 17th, they announced the cutting of production levels by five percent a month until their objectives were met. The oil ministers also adopted a statement a resolution recommending that the U.S. be subjected to the most severe cuts with the eventual outcome of a total halt in oil supplies to the U.S. On October 19 Nixon publicly proposed a 2.2 billion-dollar military aid package to Israel. On October 20th in retaliation for the U.S. aid to Israel the Saudis announced a total embargo, other Arab nations soon announced they likewise was joining the embargo.

Nixon's announcement of the 19th deserves special mention here as it led directly to the embargo and the high inflation rate through out the remainder of the 1970s. On October 15th the Israelis were successful in stopping the Egyptian advance before they could break through the Sinai mountain passes and launched a counter offensive. We knew at the time, as did the Israelis that this was the turning point of the war, for all practical purposes the war was now over. Likewise, Nixon knew that OPEC would reduce or terminate oil exports if he took any provocative action in support of Israel. He was warned only days before his public announcement of the 19th by representatives from OPEC nations. Why then did Nixon pull such a boner and public announce the aid package? Was there something more sinister lurking below the surface like payola? Or was it a miscue by Nixon?

If it was a miscue it was a massive one. Above all else including being a crook, Nixon was good at one thing he was the consummate politician. Foreign relations were considered his stronger qualities rather than domestic issues. He knew the aid package could have been passed quietly in Congress. We know from Watergate that Nixon had a dark secretive side. He had the ability and the means to deliver those supplies covertly to Israel without the fanfare of the public announcement. So how was it he came to make such a large blunder? Was he given bad intelligence from his advisors? Did he simply misread the will of the Soviets and the Arabs? Or was he just caught up in his own tunnel vision of the cold war? Why did he choose to cloak the aid as a fight against communism when the Israeli state department on Capital Hill otherwise know as the Israeli lobby would insure passage of the aid package?

This writer attributes will simply attribute it to the dangers of tunnel vision and leave the rumor mongering to others. Likewise the ultimate outcome would not have changed. Sooner or later the Arabs would have found out that we were resupplying Israel and issued an embargo. But the time between then and the 19th could have been put to good use in formulating contingency plans and took some of the sudden bite out of the embargo. Instead the American people got broadsided with gasoline lines in less than a month.

The price controls were already gone. Nixon's freeze on wages and prices was a dismal failure in all but one aspect it delayed the worst inflationary aspects until he was out of office. Wages were indeed frozen but the price controls had been a failure from the beginning. Most of the price controls were allowed to expire in 1974 but not those on oil. Originally they had been enacted to combat inflation in 1971, when the rate of inflation was considered unacceptably high at five percent.22 By and large the price controls were a dismal failure; manufactures simply quite making the old products make some minor change or reformulation and market the new product at a higher price. As the 70s passed workers began seeing a real decrease in their purchasing power. Cost of living escalators became a standard bargaining point worth striking over. By the end of the 1970s these escalator clauses became the norm in both union and non union businesses. This further fanned the upward spiral of inflation. Wages began to lag price increases severely and many families saw their standard of living slipping away. One consequent was the increase in two wage households, mom went to work or dad took the second job. The decline in the standard of living for the majority of families continued into the 1990s before reversing.

In January of 1974 Nixon signed the congressional bill that dropped the speed limit nationally to 55 due to the continuing embargo. The law was widely despised but it did achieve the energy savings that it had been designed to do. Nixon even had rationing stamps printed to hold in reserve if needed. There were many attacks on the obscene profits that the major oil companies were raking in. Congress even held hearings on the point. The facts were that profits for the majors had been flat for over 5 years, but they had rose from the $6.9 billion in 1972 to $11.7 billion in 1973 and to $16.4 billion in 1974.25 Today (1997 figures) those profits stand at $25.8 billion for the 21 refiners that the Fortune 500 site lists.26 Profits at Exxon alone are half of the 73 totals at $8.4 billion. Other 1997 profits are listed in billions are Mobil $3.2, Texaco $2.6, Chevron $3.2, Amoco $2.7, Atlantic Richfield $1.7. And what about the obscene profits in 1997, nary a word is uttered about the profits. The Reagan administration glorification of profit mongers and the demonization of the poor has been very successful in that regard.

The effects of the rising price of crude went far beyond the decline in the standard of living for American workers. There is no other single product that is a component part of every other product in the economy, unless one considers labor or financing a commodity. Energy is expended in the manufacturing process, the transportation phase and even in powering the lights in the retail outlets. Besides being the prime energy source in the U.S. crude oil is the raw material in the chemical feedstock industry. All plastics, pharmaceuticals, inks and synthetic fibers were ultimately derived from a barrel of crude. Some inks presently are now derived from soybeans but not in the early 1970s.

The oil producing countries were now the new kids on the block. They had immense wealth to spend and invest, the world including the U.S. had to learn to play their game or suffer the consequences. With their vast newfound wealth they promptly went on a spending spree, unfortunately they chose to invest much of their wealth into weapons of war. This was particularly true for Iran and Iraq. The same two nations that are the most troublesome today; we armed. The other more moderate nations invested in their infrastructure and globally. This investing in foreign lands by oil producing nations then triggered anti-Arab sentiments. The state of Wisconsin always a hellhole of reactionary politics went so far as to enact a law prohibiting the foreign ownership of real estate.

It remained for the Great Peacemaker of the second half of the 20th Century, Jimmy Carter to start the process of bringing order, stability and peace to the region. It was Carter through his efforts at Camp David, in twelve days of negotiations that brought Begin and Sadat together in the signing a historic peace agreement. The legacy of Camp David lives on in the reduced conflict in the region and the large contributions it made to our understanding of the process of conflict and the bargaining process between states.35 Once again we see the danger of the tunnel vision of the Nixon administration. No, the agreements have not ended all hostilities in the region but it did much to ease the tensions in the region. Unfortunately Reagan and Bush had no interest in bringing a lasting peace and stability to the region and the peace process was left withering in the desert sun. In fact both Reagan and Bush were guilty of promoting hostilities between nations in that region. Supporting and arming Iraq and Hussein in their war against Iran. Would anyone care to venture how many of those weapons that we supplied Iraq with were used against us in the Gulf War? It took bold new thinking later in the Oslo Accords to bring together Peres, Begin and Arafat to sign the document of procedures on September 13, 1993. This was the same Yasser Arafat that Kissinger had promise Israel in 1975 that Washington would never deal with unless it accepted UN resolutions 242 and 338.20 The agreement produce a Nobel Peace Prize for all three men. Unfortunately Sadat has fallen to assassin's bullet from extremists from his own country. Presently Clinton is putting in much effort into breathing new life into the peace process as we near 2000.

Stop dear reader and think who were the warmongers here, who were the peacemakers, who promoted division in the region and who tried to make order out of chaos. Just as the hard right has used Vietnam to divide the American people, they have also used the crisis in the Mideast to divide the region into arm hostile camps.

President Ford's administration was largely a caretaker until the 76 elections. Due to the severity of the embargo (the embargo ended in 1974) and the continuing energy problem Ford proposed in January 1975 a 10-year energy plan. Ford's grand plan proposed to build 200 nuclear plants, 250 major coalmines, 150 major coal fired plants, 30 major refineries and 20 synthetic gas plants. Not to be out done vice president Nelson Rockefeller, proposed a $100 billion program to subsidize synthetic fuels and other high cost energy programs.23 For the most part, these plans were killed by their opponents due to their high cost. Some of the projects proposed such as the Alaskan Pipeline did pass. Perhaps, the most significant legislation to come out during Ford's term was the landmark legislation in 1975 that established federal fuel standards. This bill required automakers to raise the fuel efficiency of the average car from 13 miles per gallon to 27.5 miles per gallon.

In addition to Carter's efforts to bring peace to the Mideast, he had to develop a comprehensive energy plan for the U.S. Indeed Carter campaigned on his energy platform and promised the voters to deliver his plan within 90 days of taking office. Such a time constraint caused much haste in establishing his energy program as well as the creation of the new cabinet office of Department of Energy. His Secretary of Energy, James Schlesinger asked Carter to relent on his 90-day commitment, Carter responded: "I said 90 days. I made the pledge and I intend to keep it."24 One of the largest hurdles Carter faced was the doing away with the Nixon and other price control legislation and price oil according to economic realities. Due to the self imposed time constraints Carter was not entirely happy with the emerging plan. This is evident in the note he wrote to Schlesinger: "Our basic & most difficult question is how to raise the price of scarce energy with the minimum disruption of our economic system and greater equity in bearing the financial burden...I am not satisfied with your approach. It is extremely complicated."24

Carter revealed his plan in April 1977 using a phrase he had borrowed from Schlesinger the plan was introduced as "the moral equivalent of war." Carter's plan included a host of initiatives but the keystone issue was to introduce market base pricing and reducing the importation of oil. Schlisinger thinking labeled the pricing of domestic crude in line with the world markets as the number one priority. Carter's plan was multifaceted and relied on no single source of energy; conservative was also a major component. In addition he established the strategic petroleum reserve first proposed by Eisenhower. He also presided over the formation and guidance of the newly created Energy department.

Before leaving office the Carter administration was hit with the second energy crisis that eventually propelled the price of a barrel of crude to near the $40 mark. The new energy crisis generated widespread inflation and unemployment. Gold reached $800 an ounce, silver went to $50 an ounce, and inflation reached double digits. Remember that there are two periods in the 1920-1938 period in which the Nazis gained much strength. One was in the early 1920s culminating in the Beer Hall Putsch. This was the period of hyperinflation that still leaves it mark on the German psyche and policy. The so-called misery index the sum of unemployment and inflation became a campaign issue as well as the Embassy hostages and was largely due to his defeat in seeking reelection to Reagan. Reagan set about dismantling many of the reforms Carter had initialized. Eventually even selling off the strategic petroleum reserve. He was also responsible for the transformation of the Energy Department into nothing more than another arm of the Department of Defense. All one needs do is review the DoE web page and budget to see the focus on nuclear energy and fossil fuels as opposed to alternative energy sources.27

The present focus of the energy Department lies highly in promoting expensive measures that are essentially a statist view. Little effort or resources is directed to alternative sources such as wind, solar and biomass fuels. Even what money that is allocated to wind power is directed to mammoth wind farm type projects rather than small-scale projects that would be suitable for individual generation. Biomass fuels has been shown to be competitive with fossil fuels if the corporate welfare otherwise known as tax breaks for the fossil fuels companies were removed.29 Likewise wind power has been shown to be the cheapest form of energy available at this time.30 Both of these sources would go along way to ease the present global warming. Even Shell oil admits that up to 30% of the energy in the near future will be derived from alternative sources. But the lobbying power and the related campaign funding from corporate sources are preventing a sane energy policy from emerging.

The current policies of the DoE will insure that the large corporations will maintain control of the energy supply. Control over the source of energy equals control over the masses. For instance, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution resulted in cottage workers giving up much of their freedoms to the mill owners. The cottage workers had the freedom to set their own hours, often playing long into the middle of the week before beginning work. Monday was still a religious holiday for them, of course after celebrating their religion for two days with many of a hearty drinks Tuesday was a day for recovery for many of them. But with the advent of water powering a central mill, they were forced to endure long hours daily.28 This is one of the reasons why telecommuting is slow to catch on and will never be exploited to its fullest extent.

The formation of OPEC and the resulting energy crisis had far greater reaches than just high inflation and the resulting unemployment and industrial restructuring in the U.S. In a large part it was directly responsible for both the rise in economic power of both Japan and Europe and also to the rise in religion fundamentalist especially those in the Mideast.

Just how could OPEC and the rising price of crude contribute to the rise of economies even more dependent upon oil imports than the U.S. like Japan and Europe? Fuels in those countries had always been high due to the lack of artificial price controls to protect their domestic oil protection. As a result the price raise had less of an impact in percentage terms. But even more importantly due to the higher price of gasoline in those countries, they manufactured fuel-efficient cars even prior to the embargo. And remember the embargo was directed at only the U.S. Thus when the lines began forming at the pumps across the U.S. and the price of gasoline shot ever upward, Americans started looking at fuel-efficient cars. The only manufacturers of high mpg cars were foreign makers; Detroit was still making gas-guzzlers. It took government mandates to raise the mpg of American automakers against a wail of protest from the makers. Their claim was that the standards were set too high and would be too costly to implement besides the buying public didn't want small fuel-efficient cars. But the sales from the show room floors told a different tale; Americans were buying fuel-efficient cars in droves.


With their foot in the door with their higher mpg cars the foreign makers turned their ear to the buying public and began offering new features that the public wanted. They also were successful marketers of the idea of quality. The Japanese makers were especially successful in this regard. With sagging sales and the new mileage standards, American makers rushed new models onto the market. Many of the new models and engines were ill planned and unreliable thus contributing further to the poorer quality of the domestic makers in a vicious cycle. Following on the heels of the shadow of doubt enveloping the nation by the lost of the Vietnam, many began to doubt our industrial ability. With their foothold in the auto market foreign corporations began casting an eye towards developing other markets in the U.S. successfully.

With the bottom line sinking faster than the Titanic, Detroit's big three set a course on adopting Japanese manufacturing techniques. Some of the methods were transferred successfully others were rash failures. The methods that failed were more a transfer of culture than methods. A culture that that had a long history of unquestioning obedience to authority, on the other hand Americans have never have been slaves to petty despots and a have a long history of rebelling against such authority. Labor soon became the favorite whipping boy followed closely by government regulations. Soon cries of union work rules and high union wages were heard to be the basis of the automakers' crisis. Today however, the U.S. autoworker earns 15% less than his Japanese counterpart and 44% less than his European counterpart.38 Meanwhile the CEOs compensation has increased from 93 times that of the average line worker in 1981-1985 period to 123 times in the 1991-1995 period. In fact the autoworkers wage has increased only 8.7% in the time period of 1980 to 1995. Note non-union workers have faired even worst. But the cries of overpaid union workers have not subsided. The hard right doesn't feel these workers have a right to a decent standard of living. Instead they view labor as disposable commodity.

Eventually the auto crisis bottomed out with the Chrysler bailout in 1980. The bailout placed conditions of downsizing and a reduction in labor cost. Once again labor was forced to pay for the sins of the employer. It wasn't labor that misread the buyer's preferences. It wasn't labor that failed to invest in new equipment and research. A recent article in Mechanical Engineering magazine attributes the successful comeback of Chrysler to the following four items: the formation of platform teams, the building of a new technical center, the adoption of a new corporate culture and the implementation of a company wide Cad system. Note that two of these are independent upon labor: the new tech center and the CAD system. The other two involved labor only on the perimeter as they were primarily a reorganization of management.

This writer will only reluctantly approve of the bailout as being the right action. I do not approve of corporate welfare in any form. On the other hand, if Chrysler failed that would have left only two domestic major automakers and an almost maker, the former American Motors Corporation. This would then have placed the American buying public at the mercy of the whims of GM or Ford. It also placed an undue burden upon the union employees of Chrysler. Unions should take note that in future that any agreement requiring a freeze or a reduction in wages and benefits include a transfer of stock to each union worker to compensate for the loses. This is entirely reasonable in light of the behavior of the automakers in the 1990s. With record profits and exorbitant CEOs salaries the automakers are still willing to engage in anti union practices resulting in nasty strikes. For instance, the strike against GM in the summer of 1998 was precipitated by the removal of stamping dies in the dead of night over the weekend, which was an explicit violation of the union contract.37

The earlier UPS strike, which preceded the GM strike by approximately one year centered upon the union maintaining control over the pension fund and the use of part time workers.36 If the company had gained control over the pension fund the company would surely have raided the fund and imposed restrictive clauses aimed at eliminating claims or greatly reducing the benefits workers would receive. More than one, corporate takeover in the 1980s was financed by raids on pension funds. The workers and the taxpayers were left holding the bag, the workers received reduced benefits if he was lucky and the taxpayer got the privilege of bailing out the pension fund when it failed.

The same applies to the pilot's union and other unions of Northwest Airlines, who agreed to wage freeze when the company was having difficulties only to be stabbed in the back when profits rose to record levels. Minnesota's Republican governor, Arnie Carlson was willing to overlook the past sacrifices of the unions and asked President Clinton in the late summer of 1998 to intercede on behalf of the company. Thankfully, Clinton showed a greater sense of justice and declined to intercede allowing the collective bargaining process to work.

But even more telling of these strikes was the slanted media coverage of each. Not one case of coverage presented the union views. The GM strike was portrayed as hurting local car dealers, the UPS strike was portrayed as hurting local businesses that need to ship packages, and the Northwest strike was portrayed as stranding travelers. Little was mentioned about the illegal removal of the dies from the GM plant; little was mentioned that the Northwest pilot's had sacrificed raises in an effort to support the company, nor was the pension issue explored in the UPS strike. Instead the media attempted to portray the strikers as the bad boys on the block. Even trying to link the strike with a stabbing of an UPS driver in Florida.

Back in the 70s the public protested the obscene profits of the oil companies, in the 1990s the hard right and their corporate mouthpiece the popular media has done a good job of selling the public on the idea that the price of labor in any consumer item approaches 70% of the cost. They arrive at this absurd conclusion by adding up all the labor costs in the subassemblies and supplies failing to normalize the percentages. However, how do they account for the profits, which run to an even higher % of the consumer cost than labor? The fact of the matter is labor only runs 7 to 15% of the cost of almost all consumer goods. In the case of the 1994 car models labor was only 15% of the cost to the consumer using US Department of Commerce figures.38 Profits on the other hand can commonly run up to 30% of the consumer cost.

This writer feels the lasting legacy of the bailout paved the way for many of the anti union measures and out right union busting practices of Reagan in the 1980s. Additionally it led to the rise in corporate welfare which in turn as led to higher taxes on the individual and a shifting of the tax burden from corporations to the middle classes and the poor.

The results of the auto crisis reached far beyond the auto show room and buying habits of the American public. It led directly to the ever increasing deficit in balance of payments between Japan and other countries. In turn this fanned the fires of domestic inflation even further. The members of OPEC began raising the price of crude, as their payments for crude in dollars didn't buy as much, which in turn led to higher gasoline prices. The dollar was allowed to float on the world market. The dollar climbed to new highs versus the Japanese Yen and the German Mark mainly due to the perceived stability of the U.S. Incidentally, this provides further proof that our status as a world superpower was not affected by the loss in Vietnam.

Reagan in another bonehead move started to talk the dollar down rather than impose import quotes or tariffs all in the name of free trade. Essentially this move was nothing more than a devaluation of the dollar, a practice one would expect from third world banana republics. In effect it was a direct assault on the one item that all Americans could be proud of and many other nations were envious of, the stability of our monetary system. But the fall of the dollar soon turned into a free fall requiring the intervention of the Fed and the national banks of other countries to prop the battered dollar up. Eventually the dollar bottomed early in Clinton's first term. The long-term effect has been to place American buyers of domestic real estate and other assets at a disadvantage to the foreign buyer. The American buyer sees the increase in price due to inflation but the foreign buyers see a net decline in the price. So what if the price of that acreage has increased twenty percent in terms of the dollar but now the Yen buys twice the number of dollars leaving a net decline for the foreign buyer.

As we approach the year 2000 this artificial manipulation of markets by supposedly free marketers has led to a nasty melt down in Asia. A melt down that is so nasty and interconnected that it could lead to a worldwide depression. But once again the average American tax payer is asked to bail out the wealthy, this time he can hardly refuse; the alternative is far too dark to even consider. Ah, the nasty legacy of the Reagan administration is one in which the American taxpayer just keeps on paying and paying and paying some more.

In Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Landes largely attributes Islam for the shift in power from the Mideast to Europe in earlier times.32 Ironically that vast wealth of the oil producing nations may once again be squandered away due to the strong religious beliefs in the region unless dramatic changes in the regional policies occur soon. As it was that very wealth that contributed to the rise of the fundamentalist in the region. Those nations sent many of their young people to the U.S. to acquire a university education to be able to rebuild their nations into the modern industrial world. But just as people in the U.S. are resistant to change, new culture and new ideas so were the people in the Mideast. These students adopted much of the culture of the U.S. and carried it back home. A miniskirt in L.A. is well eye appealing but in Tehran that's heresy. The drinking of a glass of wine maybe sociable in the U.S. but in much of the Mideast it's an affront to Islamics. Just as the Religious Right arouse in the U.S. as a reaction to the so-called sexual revolution of the 60s, the Islamic fundamentalists arouse in the Mideast as a reaction to change.

After the fall of the USSR we now know that the reason for the Afghanistan invasion. They were invited in by the puppet government, which was being attacked by the Taliban for the practice of educating girls. Today the government of Afghanistan controlled by the Talibans is the most restrictive requiring even the windows to be darkened so one cannot see the females inside. Women there are not allowed to work or allowed outside of the home for other than their routine chores. Even during Desert Storm the U.S. military took special precautions not to offend the fundamentalists beliefs in Saudi Arabia. For this region to advance they must come to grips with the fundamentalist. This is not to change the tenets of Islam but just as in the U.S. they must deal with those that pervert religion to serve their own needs. Just as many of the hard right groups in the U.S. are linked by their Identity religious beliefs many of the terrorist groups in the Mideast are linked by similar beliefs.

The rise of religion fundamentalists in the U.S. can be traced back to the 1964 Goldwater campaign for president. Yes, fundamentalist goes further back that the Goldwater campaign and in other sections we briefly explore those links to the past, but here the writer is referring to the religious right leadership of the current Republican party of the 1980-1990s. And those roots are firmly grounded in the Goldwater presidential bid of 1964. In another chapter we will explore the members of what constitutes the religious right and their issues more fully. In another chapter we'll look at the Identity religion and the reconstructionists. But here we are only going to look at the origins of the religious right and how it evolved into a political force. For now look at the similarities of the 1964 and 1992 Republican conventions, Schafly spoke at both arguing that liberals were destroying America. Goldwater targeted a deterioration of family and moral values; Bush targeted traditional values. Yet even as the hard right has failed to get over the lost of Goldwater, they still served the voters the same reheated hash with a few sprigs of fresh garnish to the voters again in 1992 only to complain about Bush losing.

From time to time in the late 60s and early 70s articles would appear in the popular media about the decline or death of religion. But this was a time for base building of the religious right. So what did those reporters miss at the time? Like any other institution or belief, the people coming of age during that time traditional religion was questioned. Mainstream churches did see a decline in church membership during that time. This is fully evident in the church attendance figures in the table below:

Year ................Percentage47

1955............... 49%



















It should be noted here that church membership peaked in the 1950s prior to the 50s church membership ran at roughly 45% or so. Thus much of the decline in church membership during the 60s was more of a return to normal than a decline, although the fall below the 45% was a real decline. These numbers give the writer pause in the today's claim of the religious right that twenty percent of the population identifies itself as members of the religious right. If only forty percent of the people are attending church that means half of those would be a member of the religious right. This writer finds that absurd either that or many that identify themselves as such have no idea as to what constitutes the religious right.

Some explored Eastern religions, as did the Beatles. But many more became involved in the fundamentalist movement. Anyone on a campus at the time can testify to the aggressiveness of the Campus Crusaders. The term "Jesus Freak" became part of the lexicon. However, the vast majority of the young people simply became indifferent to religion and remain so today. The tele-preachers for the most part were fundamentalists and reached the shut-ins and elderly further depriving traditional churches of members.Quoting from Religions of America:

"But most major 'liberal' Protestant denominations either lost members or did not gain any significant number compared to 1970. The United Methodist Church for instance, which in 1965 reached a high of 11.1 million members, now reports 10.7 million. The Episcopal Church, which had more than 3,400,000 members in 1964-1967, dropped to 3,286,000. Similar patterns are seen in the American Lutheran Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, the United Presbyterians, and others. Statistics show increases of 2-5% percent (during a comparable period) for Southern Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Christian Reformed Church and various small Pentecostal groups."48

Some of the tele-preachers like Robertson and Falwell with their 700 Club and Moral Majority was able to attract additional followers from mainstream churches. Thus the fundamentalists gained a greater voice in the religious community at the expense of traditional churches.

Three men who worked for the Goldwater campaign and one woman became key players in the formation of the "new right". Richard Viguerie copied the names and addresses of Goldwater donors available from the Library of Congress and launched a direct mail campaign. Howard Phillips founded the Conservative Caucus and supported militarism and South Africa apartheid. Paul Weyrich with financial backing from the Coors family founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973.43 In 1972 Phyllis Schalfy founded the Eagle Forum39.

After the 1968 election President Nixon paid off the emerging new right by appointing Phillips to the Office of Economic Opportunity giving him a mandate to defund the left. His mandate included the dismantling of social programs. While conservatives in congress attempted to gut social programs corporate donors were urged to switch their charitable donations from liberal think tanks and organizations to conservative ones in order to build a network of conservative think tanks and institutions.41 Reagan continued the practice after his election thus leaving us today where the vast number of experts featured on radio and television and many of the newspaper columnists were groomed by these institutions.

Phillips, Weyrich and Viguerie were all good organizers but lacked broad based popular appeal. To gain further appeal they first approached the American Independent Party in the 1968and George Wallace's presidential bid but were rebuffed. In the mid 1970s Viguerie tapped into the resentment over the Supreme Court decisions banning school pray and the legalization of abortion. His efforts proved successful and he was soon urging evangelicals to seek political office. In 1974 and 1975 additional players entered the field, Richard DeVos, chairman of Amway and Bill Bright, president of Campus Crusade entered. The later group published a blueprint for Christians to win elections. Bright went on to found the "I Found It" campaign financed in a large part by millions of dollars from Nelson Bunker Hunt.39, 42 The readers are referred to Roads to Dominion for a complete source of the rise and influence of the religious right on the Republican Party.68


The televangelist such as Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson likewise started in the early 1960s time frame and by the late 1970 the Christian Broadcasting network turned increasingly political. Pat Robertson founded the 700 Club and made one presidential bid in the primaries on the Republican ticket. The Rev. Moon's Unification Church took a role in the behind the scenes development of the new right. Viguerie had raised money for Moon since 1965 but beginning in about 1975 conservatively over $80 million annually began flowing into the coffers of the Unification Church from overseas.39 Moon owns the Washington Times, the paper has been reported to be a blackhole for money, it's a financial disaster. The newspaper is biased hard right, and has been virulent in its attacks on Clinton. Falwell was hawking the Clinton Chronicles before the reelection of Clinton an absurd set of tapes blaming Clinton for drug smuggling among many other false charges. Likewise he has been connected to other groups that are involved in trying to bring down Clinton.46

By 1979 Viguerie, Phillips and Weyrich abandoned plans to form their own political party and at the Religious Roundtable founded by Ed McAteer, Falwell was asked to spearhead a national Christian political organization to pressure Republicans on abortion and other social issues. This was the birth of the Moral Majority. In 1980 they supported Reagan in the presidential race. Throughout the 1980s the Moral Majority and later the Christian Coalition became major factors in federal, state and local elections. It was in this time period and with Reagan's blessing that many right wing think tanks and foundations were set up to support conservative causes. Many of these institutes and foundations such as the Rutherford Foundation are religious in nature. Leadership in the 1990s is passing to the more radical such as Pat Robertson, Gary Brauer, Dobson and Terry Randall. Likewise so are the stances the religious right is taking on the issues. Some members such as Robertson and Dobson, make it clear that nothing short of a religious theocracy is acceptable to them as a government. In fact Robertson has been caught making the statement that he is going to control the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.85

Likewise many of the members of the Council for National Policy (CNP) are members of the religious right.40 We will also note here that once again Bunker Hunt was a major source of funds for the start up of the CNP. Many of the individuals as well as their institutes and foundations played a large role in the attempt to impeach President Clinton. There will be a whole chapter devoted to the CNP later examining their role in policy formation and their individual members. The Rutherford Foundation provided Paula Jones with attorneys in her attempt to sue Clinton. A case that the Judge ruled was with out merit.They as a group were primarily responsible for the 1994 Republican takeover of the house and senate.

The 1994 election in a way was a wake up call for liberals. Liberals have a record of poor voter turn out. The religious right on the other hand has a good record of having their supporters turning out on Election Day. Only about twenty percent of voters will identify themselves as members of the religious right they can have an undue effect on the outcome of an election. Although the voter turn out for the 1998 election was low it was still higher than expected, but the liberals appear to have learnt their lesson from 1994 and managed to energize their supporters

They were equally responsible for the Republican loses in the historic 1998 election in which the Republicans lost 5 house seats in the 6th year of Clinton's administration. The last time the party in the White House had gained seats in the 6th year was in 1822. Fallout from the losses in the 1998 election has led to Gingrich resigning his seat in the house and an open battle for house leadership positions. The religious right favors those that are even further to the right than Newt. As this is being written it appears that the religious right faction is prevailing over the more moderate faction of the Republican Party, with Livingston winning the speaker position. But talk of forming their own party is once again resurfacing.

As a group their appeal appears to have peaked and is in decline. This was seen in the 1998 congressional elections, as those candidates with the greatest appeal to the religious right were the losers. Moderate Republicans retained their seats. Their lost of appeal was evident before the 1998 elections in many local races particularly school board elections. Candidates they had managed to elect to school boards faced almost certain defeat in reelection and first time candidates that they support run in the stealth mode, keeping their religious affiliation secret.

Their decline is related directly to their extreme positions on social issues. Besides the obvious religious issues such as abortion, vouchers, and school pray they are opposed to unions and welfare. A recent survey of public opinion has shown for certain that concerns over social issues rise and fall with the economy. This has been born out to be true in a study made by the Wirthlin firm, a firm that tracks public opinion on the concern over environmental issues.82 The environmental issues are widely perceived as a liberal cause thus using it as a proxy for liberal social causes is valid. In fact many of the fundamentalists oppose environmental issues. This writer hardly believes that the religious right misses this point and uses it as a point to attract new membership as well as to demonize social causes that would compete with them.

In a survey by Lyman Kellstedt, it is reported that mainstream Protestant denominations have lost an estimated 25% of their members in the last twenty-five years. During the same time period Kellstedt reports evangelical churches has remained steady at 26% of the population.83 Given the increase in population this represents a large increase in total membership. This increase should not come as a surprise after a closer look at figures from the 60s. First lets look at the age distribution of church membership in 1971 of the under 29 years of age, in which next to the Catholics at 22% the Baptist was the next largest at 20%.84 Here we are using Baptist as a proxy for the religious right. Since the Baptist is the largest denomination of any groups making up the religious right fundamentalist the comparison is fair. Likewise lets look at the education level of the Baptists:

Grade School
High School
Total Pop

And finally let's take a look at the 1971 income distribution of the Baptist in 1971


Total Pop.

Thus, the figures show that the Baptists were appealing to more young people of the time in 1971 than any other Protestant religion. Further the income figures reveal that the majority of the Baptist were in the lower income groups. Looking at the figures one sees that the lowest one fourth income group of the total population contains over one third of all the Baptists. Like wise the education levels reveal the Baptist would have less of a chance to advance economically. Thus the above figures show that the fundamentalists appeals to those that are less educated and from lower income levels. And during the 1980s the numbers in the lower income groups increased dramatically due to the inept economy policies of Reagan. Admittedly this is only indirect support between the economy and membership in fundamentalist religious groups, but it is certainly strongly suggestive. Hence, your writer is of the opinion that many of the religious right recognizes this point and it forms the basis for their opposition to unions and welfare out of self-preservation. Hence it seems reasonable to conclude that the fundamentalist and the Reagan administration reinforced each other in an indirect manner as well as the obvious political support.

For those that was wallowing in defeatism from the signing of the Paris Peace Accords the resignation of Nixon from the office of the president in August of 1974 provided the straw that broke the camel's back. The resignation came only ten short years after the Warren Commission's Report on the Kennedy assassination, a report that even today is widely disbelieved. A crook had tainted the highest office in the nation. Spiro Agnew the former vice president had already been forced to resign from his office for tax fraud. Nixon himself owed over $400,000 in back taxes. We now had a president that had not been elected by the people. Acting President Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon from any further legal actions against him served only to inflame the people further and to assure a democratic victory in 1976. Watergate had now left the hard right leaderless.

Nothing except, Vietnam could rival the doubt Americans felt for their country and government following the resignation. Only Vietnam caused more division in the electorate. For the most part the Republican congressmen supported the impeachment process and urged Nixon to resign. But Nixon did not go gracefully; he hung to the office and power like a cougar clinging to its freshly caught prey. He only resigned after being informed by members of his party that there were not enough votes to avoid impeachment.

The mood of the country was glum and disillusioned over the corruption and criminal behavior of Nixon. The resignation did manage to sidestep constitutional issues, however. Many people simply dropped out of the system, others began harboring a strong distrust over government and politicians. The old poster of Nixon with the caption of "Would you buy a used car from this man?" was truer than ever. America had been conned, and the voter began doubting the system. Voter turnout had already began declining, but following Nixon's resignation the decline accelerated. The decline and low voter turnout is still a problem in the 1990s, with barely 50% of the people eligible to vote voting.


Others began believing that Nixon was just the one to get caught, all politicians do it. They were naïve and never looked back on Nixon's record as one of the dirtiest campaigners to ever seek office. They forget the Pink Lady in Nixon's first campaign in which he portrayed his opponent as pink right down to her panties. Ah, the time honored Republican strategy of if you can't beat em on the issues demonize em. No, Watergate wasn't just dirty politics it is much more. It represents the lengths to which the hard right will go to attain and then retain power. It should be a grave concern to every voter. Ironically Nixon would have won the election without the Watergate burglary.

But Watergate was not the only dirty trick Nixon used during the 1972 campaign. Nixon also had a hand in sabotaging the primary campaign of Ed Muskie. Nixon wanted desperately to face McGovern in the general election over all other contenders. He established CREEP, the Committee to reelect the President in his reelection bid. CREEP took in over $60 million much of it in violations of campaign funding laws. In the general election Nixon had plants in the press corps following McGovern to sabotage his campaign efforts. One of the plants was none other than Lucianne Goldberg.45 Goldberg is now embroiled in the center of the Clinton impeachment and has close contact with Regency Press. Hillary was right about the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy in all regards except one. The cabal is not that vast, it keeps leading back to a small group of players from the early 1960s, like Regency connection to the ASC. These in turn lead back to the pro Hitler and Nazi groups from the 1930s. The cast of characters and their funding sources remain relatively stable only with the occasional addition of new players and the spin off of new groups from the established ones.

But the hard right has never been able to accept defeat gracefully. After JFK defeated Nixon in 1960 they complained and spread rumors of ballot box stuffing. Nixon himself was unwilling to call for a recount. Nor did they accept the lost of Goldwater in 1964, they spread rumors of LBJ bugging Goldwater's headquarters. Even today the hard right refuses to accept defeat. Dornan called for a recount in California blaming his lost on illegal aliens voting in the election. Armed with subpoena powers he ran about California checking all Hispanic names that he claimed to be illegals. In his quest for stupidity he raided a convent of Nuns and a Marine base looking for illegals that had voted.

But the 1964 Goldwater race marked an end of an era for the Republicans and to a lesser extent to the Democrats as well. Although this writer is greater opposed to Goldwater's views, he must give Barry the credit due him. Goldwater was the last of the old right. He was the last of the Republican candidates with integrity. If he supported an issue he did so vigorously, if he opposed an issue he was a formidable foe. But he was willing to stand on the issues alone. He was not someone like Nixon and Reagan, who only sought power and to hell with the virtues of an issue. He was willing to cross partisan lines much to the dismay of the hard right at times speaking out on an issue. Nor was he a crook.

The same cannot be said of Republican leaders that followed. Watergate reveals that the only issue for Nixon was to retain power. The same applies to the election of Reagan. It is now know for sure that Reagan was in possession of the briefing books that Carter used to prepare for the televised debates. Is that an echo from Watergate? Or just how did the Reagan campaign come into the possession of those briefing books if not by breaking in and stealing them or through the use of an inside spy. During the campaign Reagan gave Carter hell over canceling the B1 bomber. Carter had canceled the B1 in favor of the new stealth bomber in an effort to spare taxpayers. Ben Rich head of Lockheed's Skunk Works prepared papers to brief Reagan on the importance of the new stealth technology and the need to keep it secret. Reagan persisted in his relentless attacks.49 Now why would someone professing a strong on defense issue risk revealing new technology by continuing the attacks? Once again the only possible answer is not the issue but the absolute need to gain power.

The other issue in the election of Reagan as president was the October Surprise. This issue is once again taking on new light as more and more individuals come forward. Even some of the embassy hostages have stated that their captors were aware of rescue mission ahead of time. Additionally some of the key members of the Reagan administration were involved in the planning and execution of the failed rescue mission. Some have suggested that these members including Oliver North actively sabotaged the mission. The most believable account of the allegation appears in the scholarly journal, Diplomatic History by Douglas Brinkley.

"There is something I want to tell you," Arafat said, addressing Carter. "t;You should know that in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal [for the Palestine Liberation Organization] if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran until after the [U.S. presidential] election."50

If these allegations eventually bear fruit, it will only show how dangerously close the U.S. came to full-blown fascism. Certainly this would be nothing short of treason. A point for the reader to muse over here, is if the story by Arafat is indeed true, was that the reason that the Bush administration dropped the long standing American objection to including the PLO in the peace talks?

But the allegation of criminal behavior in the Reagan campaign does not stop here. There are serious allegations of accepting campaign money from Marcos bordering on treason.

"Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins has dropped an important clue to the mystery of whether the Reagan-Bush era started in 1980 with an act of treachery that bordered on treason. But it's a clue the mainstream media has misread completely.

In his new book, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, Rollins recounted a dinner he had with a top Filipino politician in 1991. Over drinks, the man casually asserted that he had delivered an illegal $10 million cash payment in a suitcase from Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos to Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign."51

What these allegations do show is that indeed Goldwater was the last Republican presidential candidate with honor. It is the opinion of this writer that Reagan was a greater crook than Nixon was, and that future historians will bear witness to that. Indeed these allegations are only the tip of the iceberg and are only connected with the election. In fact even more criminal behavior and scandals will surface in the Reagan administration and will be covered in a later chapter.

The resignation of Nixon is still with us as we near the year 2000. It keeps surfacing in the impeachment attempt of Clinton. Are some of the hard right members still motivated by revenge? And would seek to impeach a president just because his wife served as part of the impeachment proceedings of Nixon. Trying to equate the Watergate burglary and its cover up by the Nixon administration to charges involving sex with an intern is ridiculous. But that is exactly what many members of the hard right currently want you to believe.

Just as we have detailed the change in the Republican party from the old right symbolized by Barry Goldwater to the new right symbolized by Nixon and Reagan; we will detail the changes in the Democratic party and the passing of the old liberals. The change in the Democratic Party is more complex. I'll briefly list four reasons: lack of firsthand experience, successful implementation of policy, failure to mentor, and the anti-war movement.

The 60s saw the pasting of the old liberals, like LBJ, Humphrey, JFK, and many others. These were people that had lived through the Great Depression, they knew from firsthand experience hardships. Humphrey was often fond of telling the story of his wife selling sandwiches on campus during the depression to help pay the bills. This writer places great value on first hand experiences, it is a great motivator. And no doubt many of senators and house representatives have introduce bills to ease the way for others based on their first hand experience.

The second reason of past successes stems directly from the New Deal. The New Deal saw many social programs come into being helping the poor and the elderly. Social Security has to be one of the great success stories. Prior to its implementation the elderly lived in squalid poverty. Presently thanks in a large part to Social Security the elderly is one of the most wealthy groups in the general population. Many other successful policies were implemented. Truman integrated the military; the 60s saw the civil rights act signed into law. JFK signed the equal rights act for women. The minimum wage provided a floor for covered employees. Yes, there was still much to do, but a great deal had already been accomplished leaving many members in the Democratic Party searching for new ideals. In short they had grown fat and lazy.

The failure to mentor young party members was more serious and had lasting effects. Truman acknowledges his mentor when he was first elected to the senate.

"Two other new Democratic senators, Carl Hatch of New Mexico and Lewis Schwellenbach of Washington, went out of their way to be friendly. Hatch was self-effacing and bookish, Schwellenbach a real guy and a wheel horse. Among the older, veteran senators, Harry could count a half dozen from both sides of the aisle who gave encouragement, and like Hatch and Schwellenbach they were all from the West, or were at least western in outlook.

Extremely important to Harry, as events proved, was Burton K. wheeler, a lanky, independent-minded Montana Democrat, something of a rogue, who smoked big cigars and ran the powerful Interstate Commerce Committee.

Carl Hayden of Arizona, another Democrat, had come to Congress in 1911, as a territorial representative. He took the trouble to explain some of the technicalities and customs of the Senate which appear pretty confusing to a newcomer."52

But the mentoring process seemed to have stopped. None of the liberals of the 60s had bothered to mentor up and coming party members. And as the quote from Truman alludes to there were many practices that were confusing to newcomers.

But far and away the most important factor in the transformation of the Democratic Party was the anti-war movement. The protest in Chicago during the 1968 convention was the single most important event in the transformation. The nation watched in horror as Chicago riot police clubbed protestors in the street. But even more damning to the party than the near riot taking placing in the street was the floor fight for delegates. The 1964 convention likewise saw problems with the seating of delegates from Mississippi. McCarthy the peace candidate was at a distinct disadvantage to Humphrey who represented a continuation of the war being Johnson's vice president. For the betterment of the party the rules for delegate selection and other operating procedures were changed afterwards. But the net result for the 1968 election was to cede the White House to Nixon and the Republicans. The change in delegate selection made it easier for candidates to buck the party line, it allowed for greater input from the average party member at the expense of party bosses. The net result following the changes was McGovern's nomination in 1972. As time went by this has led to a change in the party leadership from liberals to moderates.

One additional factor to consider in the change of party leadership, is campaign funding; we have already mentioned Nixon's efforts to defund the left. Presently without major changes in the campaign funding laws, reform will be a mere pipe dream. The Supreme Court ruling that campaign funding equates to free speech is wrong headed and leading us down a path to fascism. It in effect allows the rich to buy elections. So much for the concept of equality and one man one vote. Once, again it's the Republican Party that seeks to maintain the present system. They are still engaging in attempts to defund the left by requiring written permission of union members to use union dues for any issue ads or endorsements. Ballot measures requiring just that were on the ballots in several states in 1998, all went down to defeat. But notice the hypocrisy here, union money somehow is not equal to free speech as corporate money is. Further the Republicans under the leadership of Gingrich successfully killed any attempts at campaign funding during the 105th congress.

Linked directly with the anti-war movement was COINTELPRO, the FBI's illegal operation of infiltrating leftist groups and sabotaging their efforts. It should be mentioned that not just the FBI was involved the CIA got into the act with its Operation Chaos and military intelligence groups were likewise involved. COITELPRO first came to light in March of 1971, when a person or persons unknown liberated secret files from a FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. The unknown liberator then made copies of the various liberated files and leaked them to news sources. COINTELPRO and the FBI was discussed fully in an earlier chapter, here we are only interested in how it impacted the leadership of the 60s and its implications for the 1980s. Nor was COINTELPRO just confined to harassing anti-war groups, senators and other government officials were likewise subject to its reaches. By all regards the operation was successful, as it was ultimately was responsible for the complete destruction of the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement.

Likewise it was responsible for some of the violence connected with the anti-war movement as a means to discredit the movement. The revelation that the FBI was involved in domestic spying could only ratchet up the distrust and disillusionment of not only the anti-war movement but of the entire American public. Suddenly everyone was wondering if big brother was watching over them. But in keeping with the earlier theme in this chapter it once again provides another ideal example of how the hard right uses divisionist tactics to control the public. After all the whole object of the operation was to get the elements of the left to eat their own, pitting Social Worker Party members against Communist Party members and these in turn against more moderate liberal Democrats and others. Many including Nixon tried to blame the communist for inspiring the anti-war movement, but there is no evidence for it. Yes, they were willing participants like many other groups but their influence has been vastly overrated.

In turn these operations left the anti-war movement more prone to increase the pressure on Washington with larger and more proactive methods. Much has been made of the gradual approach that the U.S. took in Vietnam as a cause for our defeat. However, the anti-war movement was not borne overnight. The movement was gradual in nature reacting to each escalation of the war. In the early and mid 60s the movement was nothing more than a few small peaceful demonstrations. By 1966 the resistance element became popular with many burning their draft cards or mailing them back to their draft boards.53 Much has been made of the popular urban legend of protestors spitting on returning veterans. It didn't happen. In fact the anti-war movement sought out vets and active duty service men. The movement established shops, essentially coffee shops near military bases to attract the service men into the cause. The Vietnam Veterans against the War was established and their members participated in many demonstrations. Their present in demonstrations was greatly appreciated and their first hand views added evidence of the atrocities occurring that could not be refuted.


The violent demonstrations that have become associated with the 60s did not occur until after the March on the Pentagon in 1967. By that time many members of the anti-war movement had been in the movement for several years, they had participated in many of silent marches or candle light vigils only to see the war increase in intensity. Many simply dropped out fully frustrated with the lack of success in their efforts. This view however, was dead wrong. Although the war was escalated over this time, their actions had limited the escalation. Thousands more would have been killed or maimed for life if it wasn't for their efforts.

To further illustrate the effectiveness of the anti-war movement on the Nixon administration and the fascist like steps the Nixon administration was contemplating the following will suffice. In March 1969, Attorney General John Mitchell announced that the Department of Justice would prosecute hard-line militants who cross state lines to forment trouble on campuses. To curb criminal conduct in general Mitchell proposed preventive detention of dangerous hard core recidivists (you may feel free to read that as to establish concentration camps for political prisoners). Deputy attorney general, Richard Kliendienst declared "This Administration is prepared and willing and ready to act immediately. As soon as we're notified of danger, we'll have the National Guard in the armory and the Army on two-, four-, six-hour alerts. Student militants should be rounded up and put in a detention camp."58 As outrageous as it sounds the Nixon administration wanted to prosecute thought crimes. But this was not the first example of protestors being punished for their views. Hersey the head of Selective Service had already been reclassifying protestors' draft status to 1A.

Here we have the DoJ ready to use the Constitution as asswipe, to hell with free speech, damn the right to assemble, to hell with a trial by peers just round em up and throw em in the concentration camp. Not to mention the use of the Army to quell civil disturbances would be a violation of the posse comitatus act. In short Nixon was willing to use the public's disapproval of the protestors to divide the country and turn it into a large prison camp. Needless to say those measures were never enacted on a wholesale basis but rhetoric can be just as effective in dividing the public as can force. Although, the blanket arrests and imprisonment in an open field of Washington demonstrators without the benefit of proper legal proceedings at one point came close to it. Most people by this time were opposed to the war, but they were even more strongly opposed to the protestors. Nixon needed that division to maintain his grip on power, without it he would have lost all power.

Nixon would go to great links to have protestors removed. The Quakers was one of the first and most consistent groups of protestors against the war. Their actions remained nonviolent through the war. But in 1969 Nixon authorized the infiltration of a group of Quakers picketing the White House. Officials tried to set the Quakers up on a bum drug rap to no avail.79

Nixon himself would engineer COINTELPRO like incidents to discredit the anti-war movement. On October 29, 1970 in San Jose, California Nixon confronted demonstrators. From the placement of barricades and the pre notification of reporters that there would be trouble, it was an obvious set up. After delivering his speech and exiting the building, Nixon jumped up on the hood of the limo and flashed the V sign. Predictably epithets and objects were hurled at him. Nixon then exploited the incident arguing that rocks had been thrown at him60. The truth was mostly epithets were hurled and that he was not in any danger at any time. But it does give one insight to his name Tricky Dick.

The Nixon administration had also organized several front groups to support the war. The purpose was to shed positive light on the war and to manipulate the press. One such group was "Americans for Winning the Peace" (AWP), a group headed by none other than Senator Bob Dole of Kansas.61 One of the objects of the AWP was to smear the McGovern-Hatfield amendment cutting off funds for military action in Vietnam as the surrender amendment. Nixon used Agnew as his mad dog to attack the anti-war movement viciously, while he used Colson in more covert actions.

Both Johnson and Nixon almost broke down completely over Vietnam. Nixon more so than Johnson, Kissinger would many times reply when a wire came in late at night that: "There's no sense waking him up-he'd be incoherent." One aide to Kissinger overheard a very drunk Nixon babble: "Henry we've got to nuke them." Kissinger would often repeat to others that "We got a madman on our hands."62

Just how far would Nixon go in his tunnel vision against stopping the communist in Vietnam can be determined by the following incident. In October of 1969, Nixon ordered SAC to place its nuclear-armed B52s on full alert. Planes were wheeled onto the runways into take off position. No announcement of this extraordinary development was ever made. The alert lasted for almost a month before the public detected it59. The object of this event was to impress upon the Soviets that Nixon's November 1 Ultimatum was for real. Does anyone else get the idea that Tricky Dick wasn't playing with a full deck? Bluffing or threatening the use of nukes is not my idea of a comfortable thought or the mark of a sane man rather it is the pinnacle of a madman's stupidity.

The thing everyone seems to have missed in the anti-war movement was that for every leader that became disillusioned or discredited ten new followers were willing to take over. The movement for a large part was leaderless; the masses would follow the leader with what they viewed as the best plan. And the best plan was rapidly becoming more and more proactive and violent. If the followers saw a weakness in the over all execution of a demonstration someone was always ready to shoulder the burden and breach the weakness, they didn't need to ask or wait for instructions, they just did it. The FBI's actions of discrediting the old leaders were actually helping to put new more militant leaders in place. Each succeeding leader had seen the failures of the past and the need to ratchet up the pressure if the killing was to stop. The result was a division of the country so severe that only the Civil War surpassed it. Eventually the violence increased until May 4, 1970 when four Kent State students were murdered and nine others were wounded.

America's campuses exploded in reaction to the murders at Kent and the heavy handiness of the authorities. Within weeks another two students were killed at Jackson State. Many of the hard right stated publicly that those students got what they deserved. They like to forget that some of those students were over 700 feet away from the soldiers that fired. They forget that the National Guard's men that fired were in no danger, hat they fired in unison. No other single event up till this time polarized the country into two dynamically opposed camps more than Kent State. J. Edgar Hoover immediately started informing officials after Kent State that one of the female victims had been "sleeping around" and that she was "nothing more than a whore". 54 Kent State marked the beginning of the end of the anti-war movement many simply dropped out afterwards. Still for others it was a new beginning they went underground. But the greatest tragedy of Kent State has been the lack of apology and an honorable settlement with those families of the victims from the Ohio and the federal governments. The hard right still needs to keep the wound festering.

But Kent State and COINTELPRO reveals how the FBI deals with dissents from the left. The FBI does not however, deal with dissents from the right in the same manner. Yes, they infiltrated the Klan during the 60s but they were more likely to help form new kaverns than bring Klansmen to justice. The reality of the FBI's cover of investigating right wing hate groups was they gave covert aid to the Klan, Minutemen, Nazis and other hard right groups.56 In fact the FBI formed, subsidized, armed and protected a Secret Army Organization of former Minutemen in San Diego prior to the 1972 Republican convention to assassinate Peter Bohmer, an economics profesor.55 Note this was before the convention was moved to Miami; the convention was originally planed to be held in San Diego. Bohmer escaped with no injury, however his house guess was wounded in the arm, when the gunman shot into the house. The FBI collaborator was with the gunman when the shots were fired.

The Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) were set up by COINTELPRO in Miami on several bogus charges. Much to the dismay of the FBI, the charges backfired on the FBI during the trial phase. In the trial it became clear that the most violent members of the VVAW were the infiltrated FBI agents and informers. One of these infiltrators was the man that attacked Daniel Ellsberg during a Washington peace rally. Likewise he was implicated in an attempting bombing of a campus building in 1971.63

In 1975 a congressional committee headed by Church investigated COINTELPRO. The Church committee recommended several changes and reforms to insure such operations could never happen again. But in the 1980 the great train wreak occurred electing Reagan as president. Reagan promptly set a course to undo all the reforms. He promptly restricted the scope of the freedom of information act. He pardoned W. Mark Felt and Edward S. Miller the only FBI agents convicted of COINTELPRO crimes. Reagan legalized much of what was illegal under the law in COINTELPRO, in the issuance of Executive Order No. 12333(Dec. 4, 1981). He further broaden the power of the FBI and CIA in March of 1983 with the new Attorney General's Guidelines on general crimes, racketeering enterprise and domestic security/terrorism investigations.57

This leaves us with the FBI conducting COINTELPRO like operations against the present groups of the left, such as the feminist movement, the gays and the environmentalist particularly the Earth First group. Nor will the FBI investigate the possibility of a national network being behind the rash of abortion clinic violence. What the FBI's illegal interference has led to is a depletion of leaders from the left. Although Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated the FBI was involved in trying to discredit him long before the assassination. Going so far as to send him a letter urging him to commit suicide. Does anyone question Dr. King's ability to lead or do they all prefer the leadership of the Black Panthers? That is where COINTELPRO has led. They sought out the capable leaders from the left and destroyed them. With their infiltrators promoting violence, they have discredited many groups from the left that were fulfilling a need. Meanwhile with their covert aid to the hard right wing groups, they help strengthen those groups that plaque society in the 1980-1990s like the Klan and the Nazis.

The peace movement had long sought out other issues to avoid being labeled as one-dimensional. The roots of the environmental movement and the civil rights movement as well as the so-called sexual revolution were all adopted as part of the peace movement. The sexual revolution was far more than a change in sexual behavior. It was the extension of the feminist movement. Both the civil rights and feminist movements date from much early times. But here we only look at the changes brought about in the recent movements of the 1950-1960s. Both the civil rights and feminist movement have effected domestic life more than any other reason. Issues from both movements have come to dominate domestic policy in the 1980-1990s time period as the hard right tries to dismantle the gain made in the 60s. Eventually the defeat in Vietnam will pass, people will forget about Nixon, but these two issues will remain. The blacks and the feminist are not going to give up their newly found rights. This simple fact seems lost on the current hard right. It is the source for the controversy today; it's the new issues to divide us.

The gains from both movements that we take for grant today however, were very revolutionary for the 1960s and tore at the very fabric of society. Remember that during the late 1950s and the early 1960s times were very much different than today. Help wanted ads in newspapers were listed by sex. There would be several pages of jobs for men but only a partial page of jobs for women, mostly nursing and secretarial work. Elvis was made to sing to a dog on the Ed Sullivan show because his hip movements were considered provocative. Various rock songs were censored or the words changed before they were aired over TV. This writer went through a public high school that enforced a dress code. Guys could not wear jeans or tee shirts, girls had to wear dresses or skirts unless the weather was considered inclement and then they could wear slacks. Remember this was Minnesota and inclement weather was something colder than about a minus twenty degrees. Boys were told to get a haircut when it touched the ears. It was really an entirely different and repressed world than what we enjoy today.

Many may find this hard to believe today, but my junior year at college one of the dormitory counselors was asked to talked to one of the freshman girls that was having some traumatic emotional pains. It seems as she had met a boy at an orientation dance and that he had walked her back to the dorm. Before saying goodnight he had kissed her innocently on the mouth. The girl feared she would get pregnant from the kiss and was distraught over her mistaken fear. It's hard to believe today that an eighteen-year-old could be that naïve, before sex education. Its even harder to accept that the parents of this girl could blow it in such a big way and send the girl away from home for the first time without ever explaining the birds and bees. But that is precisely what the Master-Johnson study presented, we were prudes we didn't talk about sex, as we shall show soon.

This culture also extended into the law. In some states as short as twenty years ago, women did not have the right to manage their own property, upon a divorce all household property was deemed the husband's.

Just a few years back it was still legal in seven states for a husband to rape his wife.66 In addition, hundreds of laws overtly discriminated against women. The timeline that follows will add to the repressive nature of society as it applied to the women of the time and why the feminist movement has been so revolutionary and hard fought.

1956 Presbyterian Church first ordination of a women.

1957 First time that equal numbers of women and men voted.

1960 FDA approves birth control pills.

1960 Women earn 60 cents versus $1 for men.

1963 JFK signs the Equal Pay Act.

1964 Civil Rights Act bans discrimination on race and sex

1967 Griswold Vs Connecticut Supreme Court overturns state laws prohibiting the writing of prescriptions for contraceptives for married couples.

1967 California is the first state re-legalizing abortion.

1969 California first state to legalize a no fault divorce.

1970 Equal Rights Amendment reintroduced in congress.

1972 Eismstadt Vs Baird Supreme Court rules an unmarried person's right to contraceptives.

1973 Roe Vs Wade Supreme Court upholds the right of a person to an abortion.64

Did the introduction of the pill played a major role in jump starting the sexual revolution and the broader feminist movement? Did it lead to the free sex and permissiveness that the present right wingers rail on about? For the first time in history, women now had an easy and convenient means of birth control. Up until then they had to rely on the unreliable rhythm method or try to persuade their boyfriend or husband to wear a condom, a hopeless task for most cases.


Although, the pill was introduced in 1960 it was slow to catch on, accepted culture changes slowly. In fact birth control only gain popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But by this time a great many of the boomers had married. So much for the sexual revolution, it was more of a fizzle than a revolution. Yes there was a reported increase in single mothers, but in the past they simply had gotten married. No the only validity to the sexual revolution was that Americans began to talk about sex, by in large there was little other change. Some of the lack of quick acceptance is undoubtedly due to the legal implications as outlined in the timeline. But the real exclamation runs much deeper, in 1966 Masters and Johnson published a massive study detailing the sexual habits of Americans.65 The Masters-Johnson study showed that Americans were still prudes particularly in the midwest and rural areas. More girls were still telling their boyfriends no than were engaging in premarital sex. In reality the sexual revolution of 1960s was more a creation of the media than a fact. But myths die hard and sex has always been a good sale for the media. The reader should note that early in this chapter we had noted that the hard right had blamed the degeneration of morals on part of a communist plot even before there was a sexual revolution.

It was only after the publishing of Masters and Johnson's study that the nation began to talk about sex. It was only now that premarital sex began to increase. It would take to the end of the decade or the early 1970s before birth control became widely accepted and used. Unfortunately the term sexual revolution has come to symbolize the sixties and the feminist movement of the time. But the issues such as equal pay were not going to go away on their own but they also failed to provide eye-catching headlines.

But to simply label the sixties as a period of sexual revolution would be a discredit to the feminist movement. With the added freedom provided by the pill, women became increasingly aware of their right to say no and to assert themselves. They were no longer willing to be brow beaten by society. The equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act as well as the overturning of many discriminatory practices help pave the way for even greater freedom. In short the so-called sexual revolution has come to overshadow a multitude of feminist issues fueled by the increasing number of women voters willing to assert themselves.

Remember some of the very first groups to protest the war were women groups. Many of these groups were church affiliated or simply groups of concerned mothers. The wiliness of the women of the time to participate in politics and elections tore at the culture, as it was a direct assault on the establishment's power. Society's view of the perfect wife was still barefoot in the kitchen and pregnant. Up to this time only a handful of women had gained seats in congress. None had not been elected governors, nor had there ever been a cabinet head that a women. Not only did they vote and take an active part in protests; they formed their own political action groups to promote their issues. As we will see a little later in this chapter it was also a woman by the name of Rosa Parks that played a pivotal point in the civil rights movement. Another leading women of the civil rights campaign was Angela Davis. Their wiliness to take an active part in politics then was the real revolution of the sixties as far as the feminist movement goes. But alas, it still receives far less attention than the catchy sexual revolution.

The feminist movements then quickly broaden into other areas that had previously been denied to them. With increased participation in elections by women, politicians could hardly risk alienating women as a voting block any longer, although the Republican Party seems hell bent on doing just that in the 1990s. The movement moved beyond equal pay and the earlier issues to encompass broader issues. With greater numbers of women in the workforce many issues were related to the workforce such as the glass ceiling childcare, the right to return to the same job after a pregnancy, and sexual harassment. The fight for complete control of their bodies had to wait until 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortions in the Roe Vs Wade case.

The election of Reagan dealt the feminist movement a set back, In many cases they had to refight the same battles they had fought in the sixties. With the rise of the religious right and their death lock on the Republican Party in the 1980s and 1990s, the fight to retain the right to abortion is a constant battle Likewise Reagan didn't support the Equal Rights Amendment and it failed three states short of passing. Even the Equal Pay Act has failed to eliminate wage discrimination, although it has reduce the gap considerably since 1963 a large gap still remains. Nor are women equally present in the ranks of senior management of corporations. This is not to say that the feminist movement has died, there has been gains such as the family leave act, some forward looking companies are providing day care for children. But any of the gains have came only after a hard fight.

The hard right and the Republican Party has done their utmost to alienate various feminist groups during the coup to over turn the results of a legal election, otherwise termed the impeachment of Clinton. The new designated speaker after the 1998 elections, Livingston for one has accused the feminist of hypocrisy of supporting Clinton but of condemning Bob Packwood. Livingston however resigned his seat on the day the impeachment vote was taken. Seems as if he had more than one affair himself. Somehow the difference between consensual sex and sexual harassment escapes him. But the ladies are not the hypocrites, instead it's the ones on the right as shown by the various measures the Republicans and hard right have supported. Shortly after Roe Vs Wade the right sought out means to limit abortions. In 1977 the Hyde amendment was passed prohibiting the use of public funds for abortions. In 1984 the Webster decision gave states unprecedented power to limit abortions. During the Bush administration he imposed the gag order restricting any federally funded clinic from giving information about abortion to clients. In 1992 the Casey decision upheld a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory anti-abortion counseling. In 1993 the Brey decision stripped federal civil rights protections from abortion clinics. Shortly after taking office Clinton signed five executive orders, he reversed the gag rule, reversed the ban on fetal tissue research, allowed research on RU486, and abortion in military hospitals. In 1994 the FACE bill passed guaranteeing the right to access to abortion clinics.

In short the hard right have been promoters of violence at abortion clinics. Countless clinics have been bombed as well as the murder of several doctors and their staff at such clinics. The Republican Party has supported this violence indirectly by refusing to protect the clinics. The FBI has denied, more like refused to even consider the possibility of a network of hard right groups providing aid and shelter to the bombers or their active promotion of such actions. Looks somewhat like déjà vu and the absurd belief of Hoover that there was no such thing as the Mafia. Even in the face of evidence that shows many of the violent hard right groups have taken up supporting the anti-abortion agenda like the militias and the Klan. This leaves us looking at the bombings as the American version of Crystal Night in which the Nazis attacked Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues with no fear of prosecution. In a speach celebrating the 26th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, Hillary Clinton stated:

"In the last ten years there have been 7 murders, 38 bombings, 146 cases of arson and 733 cases of vanalism"103

Although, the same level of concentrated violence has not been reach it is a valid analogy. On average that is one act of violence directed against abortion providers every four days. It is a considerable amount of violence that the hard right law and order boys like to ignore. As Americans we just prefer to spread out the violence over time, makes it more palatable that way.

Gerald Thomas Straub worked as Pat Robertson's producer for the 700 Club is quoted as follows how Pat Robertson would deal with those that bomb abortion clinics or murder their doctors:

"Here is another example of the way Robertson would mix church and state, rather than keep them separate. Let's say that a Christian thinks God is directing him or her to blow up an abortion clinic or kill a doctor who performs abortions, and this Christian does in fact commit such a crime. In a September of 1984 edition of The 700 Club, Robertson suggested that special church tribunals could be called upon to discern if a believer had in fact received an authentic word from God, which compelled him to break a civil law. According to Robertson, if this church tribunal did determine the believer had in fact received an authentic message from God - how they could reach this conclusion without issuing God a subpoena wasn't made clear - then, Robertson said, the church tribunal would have the civil authority to provide the believer with immunity from prosecution." 80

Nor does it end here. The Reagan administration was very successful in appointing judges that were young and anti-abortion and in politicizing the judicial branch. In Cleveland Judge Patricia Cleary denied a jailed forger appeal for probation in order that she may obtain an abortion. Judge Cleary stated that she would have granted the probation if the jailed student had agreed to have the baby.81 Note Reagan did not appoint this judge but it illustrates how that administration has corrupted the judicial branch.

Another issue that arouse in 1998 was most health insurance plans fail to cover birth control pills but was quick to cover the impotency drug Viagra for men. How far feminist have to travel yet to reach full equality is best illustrated with the following quotes:

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. Its about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Pat Robertson Washington Post, Aug 23, 1993.

"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength" Newt Gingrich, Renewing American Civilization, Jan 7, 1995.

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you got married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that is the way it is period." Pat Robertson, Federal News Service, Sept 11,1992.

Perhaps the biggest reason that much of the feminist movement remains unfulfilled and controversial is that it challenges the male domination of power. This challenge to male superiority shows best in the rise during the 1980-1990s of the Promise Keepers, a religious right group that believes in the subservience of women. As the quotes above shows, the members of the hard right are going to distort the issues and the whole feminist movement for political gain and power. Once again we see the use of divisionist politics put into play by the right.

This writer feels that the feminist needs to revive the ERA amendment otherwise true equality in the workplace are going to remain an elusive goal. Likewise the writer is loath to change a document that has served us so good for over 200 years but I think the only way to insure the right to control one's own body is to enact an amendment granting unrestrictive control over one's body to the occupant.

Paralleling the feminist movement and the anti-war movement was the struggle for civil rights of blacks and minorities. The civil rights movement was larger and more apparent in the 1960s often times from the violence associated with it. Yes there were inner city riots but much of the violence was inspired from the Klan, the FBI and other hard right wingers. But once again the riots came only after the middle of the decade. Prior to about 1965 there was no riots in the inner cities, the civil rights movement was defined by peaceful marches and sit ins. Hardly a single freedom march took place without a confrontation between the marches and Klansmen or law enforcement. The violence in these marches and sit ins was inspired by FBI informants or agents and Klansman.

This writer can remember with eerie feelings news clips of water canons, tear gas and police dogs being used to break up peaceful marches or sit-ins. These tactics that are associated with third world banana republics occurred only thirty years ago in this country. Eventually it took a Presidential order from LBJ for the FBI to investigate the deaths of three civil rights workers. Yet all too many in this country seem to think that we are somehow more civilized.


On May 12, 1961 Hoover was informed of the Klan's plan to attack freedom riders in Birmingham, Alabama and that the local police was cooperating with the Klan. They had agreed that no policeman would be on the scene for at least fifteen minutes, that no Klansman would be arrested and that all the violence would be blamed on the Negroes. This was two days before the demonstration Hoover did nothing.

In the blood bath on May 14 one squad leader stood out in the minds of the witnesses. He savagely attacked a black man. This man also beat newsman unconscious and smashed his camera. He was armed originally with a baseball bat then a blackjack, eventually he had his throat slit requiring eight stitches. His name was Gary Thomas Rowe, Hoover's paid undercover informer. He received $50 dollars for his medical treatment and another $125 dollars as a bonus for services rendered.

A 1980 Department of Justice reports that Rowe was no mere informer. He had veto power on any violent acts considered by the Eastview 13 Klavern. Rowe twice failed lie detector tests involving his participation in the bombing of the Sixteen Street Baptist Church in which four young girls were killed. He failed another lie detector test concerning him being the gunman killing civil rights worker Viola Gregg Liuzzo. Between 1960 and 1965 the FBI paid Rowe at least $22,000.75 Hoover knew all of this knowledge about Rowe, likewise Hoover knew that Rowe had bragged about killing a black man in 1963.

Just as the feminist movement challenged the establish power base through the ballot box, the civil rights movement was made possible by Supreme Court rulings effecting the ballot box and the real issue underlying the opposition was loss of power. Unlike the feminist movement there is plenty of evidence of the FBI inciting much of the violence. We have already credited the FBI's COINTELPRO program with the destruction of the Black Panthers. Likewise, the FBI can be credited with the destruction of AIM. We have also shown that COINTELPRO was used to help hard right hate groups. Once again we will take a look at a brief timeline to illustrate the important events and how they related to the loss of power for the establishment.

1953 Terry Vs Adams was the last of the so-called "white primary" cases. The case involved the Jaybird Democratic Association in Texas. The Jaybirds was a white only political club. For years whoever the Jaybird's nominated became the party's standard bearer in the upcoming election. The Supreme Court ruled that since the Jaybirds had became part of the machinery for choosing officials and therefore required constitutional scrutiny and was unconstitutional as they excluded blacks.

1954 Brown Vs Board of Education was the case in which the Supreme Court overturned the separate but equal policy established in 1896 in Plessy Vs Fergunson ruling. The ruling led directly to the integration of schools and bussing.

1955 Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her actions led to the bus boycott organized at the Dexter Avenue church; one of the organizers was Dr. Martin Luther King.

1957 Einsenhower ordered 1,000 paratroopers and 10,000 National Guardsmen to end segregation of Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas.

1961 Freedom Riders to end segregation at bus terminals.

1963 John F. Kennedy ordered federal marshals to escort James Meredith at the University of Mississippi so that he may enroll. Two students were killed in the resulting riot.

1963 March on Washington, Dr. King I Have a Dream speech.

1964 Civil Rights Act signed.

1965 Selma, Alabama march over killing of a black demonstrator by law enforcement. LBJ intervened after Governor Wallace refused to. The Voting Rights Act was a direct result from this demonstration.

1966 Harper Vs Virginia Board of Elections, Supreme Court outlawed poll taxes.

1971 Bullock Vs Carter the case in which the Supreme Court overturned the high filing fees for political candidates in Texas.67

Looking back in history from WWII neither the Democrats nor Republicans have anything to be particularly proud of as far as civil rights go. Yes Lincoln freed the slaves but his motivation for do so is still open to question. This began to change with Truman's integration of the armed forces. From that point on the civil rights issue has been claimed rightfully by the Democrats. Eisenhower did little for the civil rights in fact his refusal to lead was almost criminal. In fact he was oppose to school integration. Just prior to the decision of Brown Vs Board of Education he held a dinner in the White House for Warren. Throughout the dinner Eisenhower went to great length explaining how great John Davis was, who sat on the other side of Warren. Davis was an avowed racist. As Warren was leaving that night Eisenhower grab his arm and told him of the southerners that were guests:

"These are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet girls are not required to sit in school alongside some overgrown Negroes"69

Perhaps, his greatest contribution to civil rights was the appointment of Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, a decision he later regretted. Yes, he did use troops to desegregate the Little Rock schools but only after it became clear that violence would result. This move was perhaps the cornerstone of the modern civil rights movement; it brought about wails of protest from across the country and from both parties. Including the following statement from a later advocate of civil rights, Lyndon Johnson:

"There should be no troops from either side patrolling our school campuses."70

The importance of the Brown Vs the Board of Education cannot be over emphasized. Following the decision Strom Thurmond masterminded the Southern Manifesto more formally entitled Declaration of Constitutional Principles. The manifesto argued, essentially that the civil rights decision by the Supreme Court were unconstitutional and part of a communist inspired subversion of America. All but three southern senators signed the manifesto. The three senators refusing to sign were Estes Kefauver and Albert Gore Sr. both of Tennessee and Lyndon Johnson of Texas.71 Note once again how the hard right blamed communism for and anti-racist view.

Throughout this chapter we have noted where a handful of politicians were willing to forgo any personal or partisan gain and take the honorable action for the betterment of the nation. This is the mark of a true statesman. It's a sad day for America when the Republican Party uses the divisionist policies of the fascist to gain power. It's a grievous day for America when the Republican Party cannot point to a single member of their party that is a statesman. It's a tragic day for America when the Republican Party worships known felons such as Nixon, and Newt Gingrich and dismisses the crimes of Ronald Reagan, the worst and most corrupt president to date.

Both sides recognized the importance of education as the key to the future. The integration of schools quickly became a dominant issue in the civil right movements. It is also the one issue that probably did the most to polarize the country. This single action spawned many further events on the road of civil rights. It led directly to the integration of Old Miss in 1962. Once again Federal Marshals had to be ordered up by then President Kennedy to enroll James Meredith. The resulting riot left two dead. The rioting was the result of over 2500 roughnecks and racists from throughout Mississippi.70 It lead directly to busing to achieve integration in many cities which in turn lead to further violence and polarization. Up until the Court had ordered busing as a means to achieve integration the trouble was confined primary to the south, with busing the problem was now national. Buses in Michigan were firebombed to prevent integration as violence broke out across the country.

The March on Washington confirmed to everyone that the problem of civil rights was real and could not be swept under the rug. Kennedy received Dr. King as a guest in the White House, admittedly somewhat reluctantly. This in itself was a victory for the civil rights movement. Remember at this time, it was a rare event to have a black person featured on the front page of newspapers. But it would remain for LBJ to jump-start the movement with the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The act also contained provisions for withholding federal funds from schools or organizations that had failed to integrate according to the 1954 Supreme Court case. By signing the act Johnson knew he was also signing the end of the domination of the Democratic Party in southern politics. This is the true mark of a statesman; Johnson set aside partisan gain in favor of doing the honorable thing. Contrast this to the Nixon's southern strategy in which he and the Republican Party exploited the racial strife in the south for partisan gain.

Even in the 1990s the Republican Party still uses racists issues to divide the nation. Reagan used a black welfare queen to demonize the poor. Bush used the Willie Horton ad with its subtle racist message that blacks were felons. In the 1998 election the Republican National Party ran ads in an Indiana congressional race portraying the Democratic black Congresswoman in a grainy black and white picture as a friend to drug pushers. Various Republican officials at the national and state level openly proclaimed they were going to post poll watchers at the voting booths primarily in the districts with a high number of minorities.

In Maine, which allows same day registration, Republican Party executive Director, Rick Tyler was quoted:

"We are prepared to challenge people who are not registered or who we feel are voting illegally," Tyler said Wednesday, acknowledging that Republicans have undertaken similar action in the past but adding that "the effort is much more intense this year."72

Why would any political party in a democracy go to great lengths in making it harder for people to vote? The Republicans are acutely aware of the fact that high voter turnout works to their disadvantage. In short, their platform is the platform for the elite in society and not for the workers or the poor. They would prefer that you stayed home come Election Day. This writer believes as Carville believes that they actively try to disgust voters to turn them off.73 Nor is Carville alone, Diamond states that:

"Underlying the tactics promoted by the Christian Coalition was the theory that low voter turnout is the key to winning. Since only about 60% of all eligible voters are registered to vote, and only about half of those actualy do vote, slightly more than 15% of the electorate can determine election outcomes."102

The magical 15% is roughly the pecentage of the religious right in the total electorate. Thus as a group the relgious right can control the outcomes of elections. Of all groups making up the electorate they are one of the most homegenous in their political views and have a higher percentage of actual voters than any other groups. Essentially they vote as a block with the candidate of their choice recieving 70% or more of their votes. America deserves far better than to have its elections controled by a small subset of the population and their extremist views. Hence, the author in a later chapter proposes a mandatory voting amendment to the constitution as the only effective way to prevent small radical groups from controlling an election.

Nor does the Republican efforts to keep the minorities from voting stop at the polls. We have already mentioned the hilarious adventures of B1 Bob Dornan raiding nunneries and Marine bases in search of illegal immigrants that had voted in the 1996 election. They have killed a statistical correction to the upcoming census that would correct for the undercounting of the poor and homeless. Simply because the census will be used in the reapportionment of congressional districts for the next decade, the largest corrections will be in the inner cities in which the Democrats hold an advantage. The targeting of certain

Congressional districts and state races in the last election and the 2000 election for support from the National Republican Party has nothing to do with the issues or the candidates, it is solely based on gaining control over the reapportionment in 2000. If they are successful in their efforts it will be along time to 2010 and the nation will not be better for it. They actively opposed the motor voter bill and are actively opposing further efforts in mail voting, which has been a success in Oregon.

Nor will they support any campaign funding reform. They were successful in placing a ballot measure on the California ballot in 1998 that would have required the unions to get their members signed permission to use any of their union dues for political purposes. This harks back to Nixon's defund the left methods. Its funny how they believe corporations should be allowed to donate freely to political campaigns but somehow consider it heresy if unions have the same right. Fortunately the measure failed, but the hard right vows to place similar measures on the ballots in the next elections.


This leaves us in the 1990s with the Republicans trying to dismantle Affirmative Action and with many members supporting known racist organizations. David Duke a former Klansman and now a proud member of the Republican Party. Pat Buchanan with ties to anti-Semitic groups. Boob (typo fully intentional) 77 Barr and Senator Lott with ties to the racist white supremacy group, Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) in which Barr was a keynote speaker.76 The CCC claims that socialist and communist elected Abraham Lincoln. Further they claim that interracial marriages is genocide. Barr has tried denying that he knew of the views of the CCC but those denials have proven false. Likewise both Barr and Lott along with many other GOPers have ties with the John Birchers, another racist group.

The 1980s has seen a spate of hard right groups arise in a reaction to civil rights that are racist in nature, although many try to disguise their racism like the Birchers. Groups such as the skinheads, the Aryan nations, The Order and even many of the militias have arisen since the election of Reagan and have racist policies. Likewise the widespread hard times under Reagan's inept economic policy contributed to the rise of bigotry. For example see the section on the Posse and the latent hatred of Jews in the Midwest.

The remaining movement from the 60s like the civil rights and feminist movement still is a dominate issue in the 1990s. But unlike the feminist and civil rights movements it was not a movement that grew in the 60s rather it is the decline of union membership. Union membership in the U. S. peaked late in the 1950s declined slowly in through out the 60s and than declined more rapidly in the late 60s and early 70s. Nor was the decline in union membership confined to only the U.S. it was a global decline. Thus we have to look for causes behind the decline on a global basis.

Many reasons have been advanced for the reason behind the decline and to some extent they are all valid. Some writers have said that the unions were victims of their own success. And to some extent they are correct, minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance, shorter hours and middle class wages have no doubt contributed some to the decline. Others have written that it was their involvement in organized crime. Yes, some unions were involved in crime and paid a heavy price during Robert Kennedy's Attorney Generals office. Lets note here that the LaRouchians have presently infiltrated the Teamsters. Others have blame it on many of the anti union laws and anti-union activities of Hoover's FBI. Many of labor's most progressive leaders were simply taken out by the FBI and either deported or imprisoned.

This writer believes the bulk of the decline here and globally can be explained by the changes within the workplace as well as the changing demographics of the labor force. Since the peak in union membership occurred in the late 1950s the domestic and global economy has under went two dramatic shifts in a space of only thirty years.

The first factor concerns the decrease as a percentage of the total economy of industries that had been strongly organized in the past. Using the steel industry as an example of an industry that now employs considerably fewer workers as a percentage of the total work force than in the past. Yes, part of that decline came about through improved efficiency and imports but a large part came through the diminished stature of the steel industry. The growth of the computer industry for instance has came almost fully since the 1950s and today is one of the largest industrial groups. The growth of Microsoft and Intel into mega-giants occurred only during the 1980s, prior to that time there was no PC industry for the most part. One needs look no further than the change in the make up of the Dow Jones Industrial average to see the diminished stature of industries that had been heavily organized in the past. For instance, International Harvester was replaced with Disney. The growth of the service based businesses has came about only since the mid 1970s.

We first had a shift away from an industrial based economy to a service based economy. Traditionally the service-based businesses have proven difficult to organize. Secondly during the 1980s we saw a massive restructuring and relocation of industrial firms. Many of the rust-belt industries move to the south and right to work states. In the Corporation for Economic Development, a pro-business think tank's 1996 report they reported that the 21 right to work states posted below average grades in all three categories: economic performance, business vitality and development capacity. In fact the 10 most heavily unionized states outperformed the 10 least unionized states by nearly seven percent. In the development capacity category the 10 most unionized states outperformed the 10 least unionized by 61%. Development capacity was defined as a state's capacity for future growth and recovery from economic adversity.89 The steel industry for example, went from large centralized firms to smaller mini-mills often located in the south.

Secondly during the 1980s we had a massive increase in the use of part time workers, temps and independent contractors. By and large the moves to less than permanent workers was a movement by management to skirt the laws governing full time employees. Likewise it was aided by the dismal economic conditions under Reaganomics. It was aided by the lack of laws at first and then later by the lack of effective laws. Many firms today can hire temps year around, by skirting many state laws that prohibit the use of temps for more than a year, by laying them off for a week or two during a slow period and then rehiring them. Presently more than 25% of the labor force are hired as temps or independent contractors or in terms of real numbers some 25 million people.92

Such unscrupulous business practices have become all too common in the 1980-1990s-time period. Reports of sweatshops, violations of child labor laws and managers changing time cards or punching employees out but forcing them to stay over and finish a job have become all too commonplace in the news today. Nor does it stop with just abusive labor practices.

The laws designed to protect whistle blowers are ineffective and the whistle blower is soon unemployed. Just as in the case in Minnesota involving three whistle blowers at the Koch refinery.88 The courts have sided with the corporations and have ruled that older workers may be fired if they are more highly paid than younger workers voiding age discrimination.

Another area of concern is the wholesale violations of OSHA and EPA laws. Its often cheaper to pay the fine when caught than it is to comply. Does anyone remember the news reports of the coal miners that were killed in a gas explosion? The owners of the mine failed to provide adequate ventilation to remove the build up of methane. Yet instead of being tried for murder the CEOs received little in the way of legal punishment. This writer can recall only one incident in the past of CEOs facing murder charges for gross violations of OSHA regulations. That was the deaths of workers from cyanide in a Chicago area photoshop recovery/recycling business in the early 1980s.

The problem is the labor laws need teeth put into them. But the real problem here has been that corporations have succeeded in using the courts to overturn labor laws throughout the history of this country. One of the hard right's favorite organizations is the Federalist Society. A group dedicated to brainwashing legal students into promoting corporatism. Here is their own description of themselves lifted from their website.

"Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology, which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, and law professors. In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community."87

Note the use of code words such as traditional values a euphemism for the religious right, and the outright vindictive nature of the entire description.

Even before the transformation from an industrial to service economy was complete the second more massive change took place changing the global economy forever. That change is easy to date; it took place in the 1980s when Intel announced the availability of the 286 chip. We now had the dawning of the information age leaving behind the industrial age. Once again unions are facing the organization of businesses that have been traditionally hard to organize. The computer and electronic business have relied on temps and independent contractors for much of their labor force further complicating any organization efforts. In fact does anyone recall the news reports of several Russian programmers being held in a virtual state of slavery a few short years back?

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions' Union Rights Survey has identified the following abuses and problems of unions in the United States.

The Slowness of procedures under the National Labor Relations Board

Intimidation by up to 25% of the employers who fire employees trying to organize. (The report cited the closure by Sprint of a subsidiary eight days before a union election.)

Double standards that allow employers to use company time and premises but not unions in organizational campaigns.

Long delays by frequent challenges by employers of union victories.

Restrictions on partial strikes, intermittent strikes, secondary boycotts, other forms of mutual aid, various on the job activities, while employers can impose lockouts, transfer work to another job site, and hire non-union workers. The writer will add the use of court injunctions by employers to limit the number of pickets.

Exclusion of a large number of workers.90

In and average year some 10,000 workers are fired while attempting to organize. Anti-union campaigns are now common place in all private sectors. For example the Communication workers of America has reported that over 50,00 workers were interested in organizing in one year, but due to union busting practices of the companies involved only 16,000 were successful. One such company was Harper Collins Publishers in San Francisco that ran a nasty anti union campaign. By using the NLRB to delay the election seven months in which time many of the employees had quit in disgust. Companies are spending large sums to prevent their employees from exercising their right to organize. They are hiring specialist to come in and disrupt the organizing efforts or to protect scabs.

But if the shifts in the economy and adverse legal rulings were not enough, the demographics of the workplace added further to the woes of union efforts to organized workers. Currently more than 70 percent of the workforce is under the age of 45.91 For the most part these people have no idea of the past abuses of labor like older workers. They have no idea of what kind of safety hazards existed before OSHA. They have spent their entire working life protected by such social programs as the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and a host of other social programs.

Likewise they don't have any respect for the picket line and the issues. Since 1982 there hasn't been a single year in which there was a strike involving over 1,000 workers, from 1950 to the 1980s the average numbers of strikes with over 1,000 average approximately 300 per year. Secondly the workers that have entered the workforce since the 1980s and even the late 1970s have only had experience with an economy in very bad shape. It was only after the election of Clinton in 1992 that the unemployment rate dropped to normal full employment. The Republicans including Bush was trying to peddle the idea that 5% unemployment was really full employment. How soon they forget, that even under Nixon a 5% rate of unemployed was indicative of series economic problems. Thus many of the younger workers have come to accept low wages and abusive working conditions for a false sense of economic security.

The complexity of the decline in unions can be saw in the Union Triangle, the AFL-CIO's strategy for renewing unions. One leg of the triangle is the recruitment and organization of new members including recruiting on college campuses. The second leg is bargaining and representing current worker's interests. The final leg is legal aspects and lobbying efforts.

Not to detract from the enormous gains made by the feminist and civil rights movements but the decline in union membership has left perhaps as great of change on the domestic landscape. With the decline in union membership has came a decline in living standards of a large segment of America. In 1973 the average wage was $13.89 (in 19975 dollars), but in 1995 the average wage had declined to $12.26. This is a decline in buying power of roughly 12%. Since 1980 when 84% of the workers received a pension by 1995 the figure had dropped to 52%. Nor does the future hold much promise for improvement, six out of the ten jobs projected to be in the greatest demand by 2006 have average wages below the current poverty line.93 The unionized worker in 1995 earned on average $640 a week, the non-union worker earned only $478. Surveys and research among business owners and managers that have experience with both union and non union workers have shown they prefer union workers as they are better trained and produce better quality work, a fact that corporate propagandists like to omit.94

This leaves the American worker as the poorest paid and most abused worker in the industrial countries. A pro-business group in its World Competitiveness Report stated that the U. S. is tops among the industrial nations because Americans are working more for less. An average American worker works 200 hours more in a year than his counter part in England, Sweden and France, and 400 hours longer than his German counter part.95 Nor is wage and hours the only difference. In early 1998 the French lorry drivers went on strike, one of the bargaining points that they gain was the ability to retire on a full pension at age 55. Workers in most Western European countries receive five weeks of vacation, an expanded list of paid holidays in comparison to his American counter part, medical and old age benefits that an American worker can only dare dream about. Additionally the European worker has a much easier time of obtaining disability benefits, in the U. S. the corporate thugs want you to work until you drop dead.

Unions strengthen the economy by raising wages and benefits levels for all workers. With better trained workers unions help a nation to stay competitive. This can be shown in the following table below.

Percent Unionized
Wage in Comparision to U.S
Trade Balance in

This decline in union membership has led to the stratification of America. Presently no industrial nation is as divided along economic lines as is the U. S. even Great Britain with a long history of nobles and lords has a more equitable division of wealth. Figures from the Federal reserve for 1989 show that the wealthiest 1% of households own approximately 40% of all the wealth contrasted with only 18% in Great Britain. The poorest 20% of households receive only 5.7% of the after tax income, while the top 20% receive over 55% of the after tax income.96 Certainly, there is plenty of wealth to be shared. The 50 corporations of the Fortune 500 with the largest profits reported profits totaling over $184 billion.97 To put this in perspective that is enough money to provide 7,360,000 people or approximately a little over 25% of the population with an annual income of $25,000. As those figures show America can certainly afford to take care of all its citizens. The question is not one of being able to afford it, its one of wanting to. Nor is there any reason those corporations cannot afford to pay their employees well. With profits of that magnitude, there is no need to cut benefits, to downsize or in any other way to abuse the employees. But every last one has done just that in the last few years.


Reagan's dummy side economics and his demonization of the poor have led to a situation that is unhealthy and unstable. It can only lead to social unrest if the trend is not reversed before a serious down turn in the economy. This writer has observed an almost visceral hatred of the poor and welfare recipients among many blue-collar workers as well as those workers in the upper income brackets. The one successful aspect of Reagan's agenda was his promotion of class hatred.

This leaves the U.S. in an unstable state, a state that cannot be allowed to continue. Yet the Republicans have replaced welfare with workfare. Under workfare clients can be forced to work for less than the pitiful minimum wage of $5.25 an hour refusal to do so would result in the lost of all benefits. Failure to correct the present situation before the economy goes into a serious downturn is only going to lead to serious social unrest the likes of which this country has never seen. These are precisely the conditions that allowed the Nazis to seize power in Germany. Hitler seized power during an economic depression (actually an anemic recovery was somewhat under way), unemployment was still high and there was little economic equality. This is where the economic policy of the Republicans is leading.

Before concluding this chapter the writer feels compelled to dismiss the myth of the 60s being a decade of violence. Yes, three summers were marked with riots in the inner cities, but then there has been riots in the 1980-1990s time frame as well, the LA riot in response to the Rodney King verdict, another in New York City over police brutality and black immigrants others in Florida. Yes, there were widespread demonstration and marches by the civil rights and anti-war movement but for the most part they were peaceful. The leaders of those demonstrations and marches should be commended for their efforts. And we have already shown that in many cases of violence associated with both movements that it was inspired by the FBI in an attempt to discredit the whole movement.

All movements spin off more radical and violent groups, as goals are not achieved as fast as they had hoped for. The movements from the 60s were no different. The Weathermen were a violent offshoot from the SDS, who were involved in some rather minor pipe bombings. But the 60s didn't have any groups that were founded as violent and radical as the 80s. The 60s didn't have militias, the Order, or the Posse Comitatus that promoted violence from the start. Nor did the 60s see the World Trade Center bombed nor did the 60s have an Oklahoma City bombing. The 60s didn't have the violent groups like the groups spawned in the 80s that have widespread disrespect for authority in particular the federal government. The groups from the 60s saw the government as part of a solution to a problem for a large part, not as the problem as the hate groups from the 80s profess.

There were no such things as car jackings in the 60s nor was there road rage nor was there any SWAT teams that are so widespread today. In fact if one looks at the crime index we find that the figures from 1976 (the last date available) was lower by approximately 2,500,000 than 1995. If one looks at the figures in terms of crimes per 100,00 then for the first time since 1976 the crime index dropped below the 76 figure in 1995. What the crime figures in the time span 1976-1995 does show however, is much higher figures during periods when unemployment was high. The numbers peak with some lag from the severe recession in the beginning of the 80s only to rise later in the decade after the economy went into another recession. Yet the hard right hammers away at law and order building more prisons, providing local police with more assault weapons all the while overlooking preventive social programs that are much cheaper in the long term.

No dear reader the 60s was not a decade of violence, the 80s are more deserving of the term. But then the media has no desire to report the truth. Violence just as sex sells particularly if you can connect it with the liberals or the left.


 1. Keep in mind that the writer is using a somewhat distorted definition for the decades to be consistent with what is commonly referred to as the 60s or 80s by others. In both cases this writer is extending the decades until a fundamental shift in power or public attitude occurs. Thus the 60s extends from the election of JFK until the resignation of Nixon. Likewise the 80s extend from the election of Reagan to the election of Clinton. More properly other writers and myself should be using the 60s generation or era, but even here the time unit implies decade.

2. One wonders if it was not by shear numbers alone of the baby boomers, that overall as a group they favor can see the value of shared resources, after all they have had to compete for those resources from the delivery room to the morgue. The boomers have had to compete throughout here lifetime for scare resources, educational facilities, jobs, affordable housing no name but just a few. Mean while the generation Xers have never had to share resources or compete on the same scale.




6. Men of the Far Right, Richard Dudman, Pyramid Books,1962

7. Chicago businessman and former FBI agent, William Carol, formed the American Security Council (ASC) in 1955. Five former FBI agents are members; the organization gives the impression that they have full access to FBI files. The ASC was formed to provide a private list of those they deemed to be a less than friendly to free markets (that can be read as those that had held membership in leftist groups or unions) to provide corporate America with a means of checking the background of job applicants. The blacklist was still in operation in 1962 and the list contained over one million names. See Men of the Far Right, p126.

8. Men of the Far Right, p126.

9. The Prize, Daniel Yergin, Touchstone, 1992, ISBN 0-671-79932-0, p566.

10. The Prize, p591.

11. Abuse of Power, Stanely Kutler, The Free Press, 1997, ISBN 0-684-84127-4, p3

12. Lyndon LaRouche, Dennis King, Doubleday, 1989, ISBN 0-385-23880-0, p190.

13. One Hell of a Gamble, Aleksandr Fursenko, Timothy Naftali, W.W. Norton & Company, 1997, ISBN 0-393-04070-4.

14. Truman, David McCullough, Simon and Schuster, 1992, ISBN 0-671-45654-7, p270.

15. Deterring Democracy, Noam Chomsky, Hill and Wang, 1992.

16. Deterring Democracy, p166.

17. The Prize, p589.

18. The Prize, p591.

19. The Prize, p606.

20. Israel's Secret Wars, Ian Black, Benny Morris, Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p337.

21. Keep in mind there is far more evidence to support each of these reasons and the conclusion drawn than what I can provide here. In a book such as this, which is primarily a survey of the overall topic, there is not room for much detail. Indeed each of the reasons listed are worthy of a complete book if not volumes, alas we have but a single chapter to cover it all. A chapter in which the writer struggled to keep from becoming bloodily long and risk his reader losing interest. The object here is not in providing excoriating detail but rather to provide enough documentation to prove the points and issues raised and to stimulate the reader interests and thinking.

22. The Prize, p 659.

23. The Prize, p 660

24. The Prize, p662.

25. The Prize, p658.



28. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, David Landes, W.W. Norton, 1998, ISBN 0-393-04017-8, p207-209.



31. France's Prime Minister stirs up a dispute over mutiny from World War I, Star Tribune, November 8,1968.

32. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations








40. Two John Bircher leaders, William Cries and former Rep. Larry McDonald (R-GA), who was the chairman of the John Birch Society at the time, formed the Council for National Policy in 1981.See the chapter on the CNP.


42. The Hunt family name pops up in almost every hard right group, most often as a source of funds. The Hunts were involved in the American Security Council, the John Birchers, Pat Robertson and many others. Perhaps, the most damning of all of Hunt's association was his organizing a para-military force dubbed the "American Volunteer Group" which intended to use death squads to eliminate political opponents. Bunker Hunt is also a member of the Order of Saint Lazarus a group that can be traced to Lady Hamilton, the host of fleeing Rudolph Hess in Britain. See

43. The Heritage Foundation had a great impact on the formation of the Reagan administration formation of policy and even today is number one quoted think tank in the news media.

44. "Lords hear arguments on Pinochet", Kevin Culler, Boston Globe, 11,5,1998.



47. Religions of America, Edited by Leo Rosten, Simon & Schuster, 1975, p 434.

48. Religions of America, p442.

49. Skunk Works, Ben Rich, Little Brown & Company, 1994, p72.



52. Truman, p213-214.

53. The War Within, Tom Wells, University of California Press, 1994. This is the best overall book on the anti-war movement that I have found. It may be perhaps a bit biased to the right but its biggest shortcoming is its glaring omissions. For example, the author only allots two paragraphs to COINTELPRO. Nor does it cover the beginnings of the anti war movement. Thus the Port Huron document or the Berkley Free Speech movement are not mentioned or only mentioned in passing. It does provide however, a reasonably good coverage of the movement from 1965 to 1975 focusing on the effects of the movement on the Johnson and Nixon administrations and the larger demonstrations.

54. The War Within, p424.




58. The War Within, p324-325

59. The War Within, p356.

60. The War Within, p464.

61. The War Within, p459-460.

62. The War Within, p418.

63. The War Within, p549-550.


65. The Sixties, Arthur Marwick, Oxford University Press, 1998, p395.


67. This brief time line came from the following two sites

68. Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, Guilford Press, 1995.

68. Eisenhower: Soldier and President, Stephen Ambrose, Simon & Schuster, 1991, p367.

69. Eisenhower, p447

70. Kennedy, Theodore Sorensen., Konecky & Konecky, 1965, p483-488.


72. Republican Party Leader vows close scrutiny at polls, Francis Quinn, AP, 10/22/98. Article appeared in the Boston Globe.

73. And the Horse He Rode in On, James Carville, Simon & Schuster, 1998, p170.


75. Hoover, p183-184.

76. Barr Spoke to White Supremacy Group, Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, Dec. 11, 1998.

77. Name one other congressman that has been photographed licking whipped cream off the breast of an well-endowed young lady that has expressed so much pious moral outrage that the president had an affair.

78. Trading With the Enemy, Charles Higham, Barnes & Noble, 1995, p45-46.

79. The War Within, p345.


81. Associated Press, Boston Globe, October 9, 1998.



84. Religions of America, p448-450.


86. Why Americans Hate Politics, E. J. Dionne, Jr. Simon & Schuster, 1991, p306.












98. The World Almanac 1997, p958.


100. Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, Guilford Press,1995, p198.

101. Roads to Dominion, p238.

102. Roads to Dominion, p293.

103. Two Sides of Abortion Issue Hold Rallies on Roe Anniversity, Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times, 1,23,1999.