“The master class has always declared the wars;
the subject class has always fought the battles.
The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose,
while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose–
especially their lives.”
(Eugene V. Debs, Speech in Canton Ohio, June 16, 1918)
I doubt I’m alone when I say that I’m more than a little tired of hearing, day after day, the never-ending litany spoken by Donald Trump and his surrogates concerning his (totally unimpressive) LACK of knowledge in re military situations of any sort, including strategies, armaments and/or outright war. To be honest, his remarks invariably lead me (and, I hope millions of others) to the sole but obvious conclusion: Trump (and his surrogates, his supporters) know absolutely NOTHING of the history of military, of war(s), and the impacts thereof; nor do they care one single whit.
It is for those very reasons that I have developed this online instructional institution named F.U., the abbreviation for FRUGAL UNIVERSITY, an instructional unit intended to ultimately enlighten Trump AND his supporters (the ones who can read, at least) concerning each and every matter that may, in some way, serve to enlighten the unenlightened masses — a.k.a. Republicans, or fascists, or right-wingers — both here at home and anywhere abroad, without regard to skin color be it white, black, brown, orange, etc., or to ethnicity, IQ, hairstyle, or even hand-size.
Since F.U. is a no-charge and not-for-profit institution, the only instruction we can offer is courtesy of others from days past, even days present, who knew/know the essences of TRUTH on any given topic, TRUTH that was recorded and remains available for presentation. And when speaking of TRUTH, it’s always wise to recall Emily Dickinson’s words, now become F.U.’s guiding mantra:
The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind —
Today’s topic from the “dazzle gradually” Department: The History of War, its faux purposes, and the consequences thereof as spoken in these randomly-selected quotes by noted historian, the late Howard Zinn:
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people for a purpose which is unattainable.”
” History is important. If you don’t know history, it’s as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it.”
“ Have we learned nothing from the history of imperial occupations, all pretending to help the people being occupied? The United States, the latest of the great empires, is perhaps the most self-deluded, having forgotten that history, including our own: our 50-year occupation of the Philippines, or our long occupation of Haiti (1915-1934) or of the Dominican Republic (1916-1924), our military intervention in Southeast Asia and our repeated interventions in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.”
“If your starting point for evaluating the world around you is the firm belief that this nation is somehow endowed by Providence with unique qualities that make it morally superior to every other nation on Earth, then you are not likely to question the President when he says we are sending our troops here or there, or bombing this or that, in order to spread our values–democracy, liberty, and let’s not forget free enterprise–to some God-forsaken (literally) place in the world.”
“We must face our long history of ethnic cleansing, in which millions of Indians were driven off their land by means of massacres and forced evacuations. And our long history, still not behind us, of slavery, segregation, and racism. We must face our record of imperial conquest, in the Caribbean and in the Pacific, our shameful wars against small countries a tenth our size: Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq. And the lingering memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is not a history of which we can be proud.”
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
“[T]he removal of the Soviet Union as the false surrogate for the idea of socialism creates a great opportunity. We can now reintroduce genuine socialism to a world feeling the sickness of capitalism- its nationalist hatreds, its perpetual warfare, riches for a small number of people in a small number of countries, and hunger, homelessness, insecurity for everyone else.”
“[A]nyone who goes around the country, or reads carefully the public opinion surveys over the past decade, can see that huge numbers of Americans agree on what should be the fundamental elements of a decent society: guaranteed food, housing, medical care for everyone; bread and butter as better guarantees of “national security” than guns and bombs; democratic control of corporate power; equal rights for all races, genders, and sexual orientations; a recognition of the rights of immigrants as the unrecognized counterparts of our parents and grandparents; the rejection of war and violence as solutions for tyranny and injustice.”
[Not long after passage of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917] “close to 1,000 people were in prison for protesting the war. The producer of a movie called The Spirit of ’76, about the American revolution, was sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting anti-British feeling at a time when England and the United States were allies. The case was officially labeled The US. v. The Spirit of ’76.”
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That’s our problem.”
“There is something important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.” ~Howard Zinn in the Boston Globe; September 2, 2006
“[I]f an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in “accidental” events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.”
“The history of wars fought since the end of World War II reveals the futility of large-scale violence. The United States and the Soviet Union, despite their enormous firepower, were unable to defeat resistance movements in small, weak nations – the United States in Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan – and were forced to withdraw.”
“[W]ar is terrorism. That is why a ‘war on terrorism’ is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.”
The history-guided Wisdom of Howard Zinn — in today’s world, it’s a manifest.
And finally a Libertarian point-of-view:
“[T]here developed in Western Europe two great political ideologies … one was liberalism, the party of hope, of radicalism, of liberty, of the Industrial Revolution, of progress, of humanity; the other was conservatism, the party of reaction, the party that longed to restore the hierarchy, statism, theocracy, serfdom, and class exploitation of the Old Order…. Political ideologies were polarized, with liberalism on the extreme ‘left,’ and conservatism on the extreme ‘right,’ of the ideological spectrum.” (Libertarian Murray N. Rothbard, 1965)
So, Donald and all-y’all wingnuts out there, that’s it for today. Your assignment is to read the above History lesson, then try that new-to-you strategy some of us refer to as
And Don, take it from me, the Founder of F.U.: even you might be amazed by the powers implicit in rational thinking! No, really! You might even learn to never forget the well-known truism that “War Is Hell,” maybe even learn that (a) you don’t wanna go there because of your sudden discovery that you might even have a mind! It can happen! And if/when you should ever feel the need for further intellectual instruction, feel free to contact me here at
the institution whose enduring shibboleth shall always remain:
Wage Peace, Not War!
P.S.: Frugal University, as opposed to Trump University, is tuition free and NOT a milk-the-people SCAM!! 😀