Readings — From the September 2004 issue

Rag Time

From a May 23 commencement address delivered at Hofstra University by E. L. Doctorow. Doctorow’s assertion that Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction provoked the audience to such outrage that he was forced to interrupt the speech while the university president restored order. Doctorow died on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. He was 84. Read his obituary in the New York Times.

I write stories. That is my profession. From the earliest days of my life I have considered stories very important. When they are told well we can believe them and live by them and hold to the truths they embody. Think of the very old stories, the stories of the Bible, for example. They are well and meaningfully told, and so we are instructed and moved and try to live according to the truths discovered in them.

Because I’ve been telling stories all my life, I’ve become a pretty good judge of the stories other people tell. I’ve been listening for almost four years now to the stories the President of the United States tells. And, sadly, they are not good stories. They are not good stories because they are not true. One story he told was that the country of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was intending shortly to use them on us. That was a scary story all right, but it was not true. Another story was that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in partnership with the terrorists of Al Qaeda. And that turned out to be untrue.

But off we went to war on the basis of these stories. And there soon followed the story that the invasion of Iraq was a “mission accomplished,” and that, tragically, is not a true story. It is so untrue that nobody is allowed to photograph the return of our fallen servicemen and women as, to this day, they are brought back to the United States in their coffins. The President doesn’t want us to know how untrue that story is. But of course we know.

When I tell a bad story or any other writer tells a bad story there is no great harm done except, perhaps, to ourselves if a publisher won’t publish it. But when the President tells a bad story, it is published all over the world. And it has immense consequences. For one thing, it creates other bad storytellers in the President’s style, from Cabinet members who ignore the Geneva Conventions and sanction the unlawful interrogation of prisoners, down through the ranks to the American soldiers who, in the very same prison where Saddam Hussein tortured prisoners, have tortured and humiliated detainees, stuffed their heads in toilets to make them renounce their religion, and posed them naked with dog collars around their necks. And before you know it we are hearing from this President stories that are not true American stories, stories that are no longer our stories, stories that we tum away from because they are so un-American.

Pumping out the presidential stories is a whole stable of people writing in his name, a stable of empire-dreaming ideologists and oilmen for whom the thirteenth-century tribal idea of preemptive war seems the way to be a twenty-first-century American. Never mind that it has actually made us hated all over the world and expanded Al Qaeda’s recruitment base, or that it has encouraged other countries similarly to abandon their diplomatic restraint. Never mind that it tears apart international understandings that were inching the world toward some hope of permanent universal detente, ecological sanity, and judicious means for the settlement of competing national interests.

Our government has imprisoned suspects without bringing charges against them or arranging for their trials. It is now legally empowered. to conduct secret searches and surveillance of homes and offices of people who for any reason come under its suspicion. It may subpoena the public library or your university library and demand to see what books you’ve been reading. And so with all the consequences of this President’s bad stories, we have to ask ourselves: What is happening to us? What are we becoming? These are crucial questions because the total of this President’s bad stories is beginning to sound like a deconstruction of the 228-year-old American story.

You’ve been concerned to pass your courses and get your degree, but now you have to understand that your own private concerns, your well-being, even your life’s course, will be profoundly affected by the condition of the country you live in. And right now it is not a healthy condition. We are a deeply divided nation in danger of undergoing a profound change for the worse. Are you prepared to say that we can tolerate ourselves as anything other than what Abraham Lincoln called us-the last best hope of mankind? For it is not just our politicians who are given to write the story we live by. The genius of our democracy is that finally everyone writes its story. You will hear that to question authority is to aid terrorism. You will hear that to dissent is to signal weakness in the national resolve. Do not believe these stories. They are beneath contempt. You have been taught in your years here how to distinguish truth from cant. You have the means now to recognize the truth and to write it. Your minds are enlisted in the struggle for a human future and a society not in thrall to stupidity and terror. Your generation is as of this day entrusted with writing the American story. And do not delude yourselves, if you don’t write it, someone else will write it for you.

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  • Dean Jackson

    What Comrade E. L. Doctorow didn’t tell the assembled at the May 23, 2004 commencement:

    The West’s refusal to liberate one Communist nation between 1917-1991 sheds a glaring spotlight on the Marxist co-option of the West’s political parties and institutions.* In fact, the fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    Notice that not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called “War on Terror” is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the “collapse” of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    For more on this discovery see my blog…


    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

    * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) thought Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…


October 2015

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