A message I received via YouTube:
Hello, I am not for nor against your beliefs..I respect everyone's, and every Marine's opinion. I was just curious, and if you don't want to answer I understand, but what event and such caused you to become "anti-war" (please don't take that the wrong way)? I'm not saying that I necessarily agree or disagree with the conflict in Iraq, but I volunteered to serve in the USMC and understood that it meant I could go to war and fight and possibly die, I never questioned it...But I don't know, I guess what I'm looking for is another prospective from someone who did. Again, I understand if you don't want to discuss it. Thank you for at least taking the time to read this and for volunteering for my beloved Corps. Semper Fidelis.
There was no one particular event and there was no regret for me in facing the hardships of war. I never questioned my duty, but I have since questioned the morality and Constitutionality of the war in Iraq. Remember, we swore an oath to the Constitution first, and obeying unconstitutional orders is contrary to that oath. Then there was Ronald Reagan, who said that resorting to war was essentially a sign of weakness. "Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."
My disillusionment about Iraq in particular began as a slow process with the "handover of power" on June 28th, 2004, when I was in Fallujah. There was no such handover, and there was no expected draw-down when I left. When the reality failed to meet the rhetoric, I started questioning.
Then there was the sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized (and was emotionally ready to accept) that we had been lied to. It didn't help when Allen Greenspan finally admitted, "the war was largely about oil," but it did help me to stop doubting myself.
We should all, as human beings, be "anti-war." What is war but the widespread, systematic destruction of human bodies by machinery? Who could be for that? Only those who are missing a part of their humanity. Sometimes the experience of war or the bloodlust of the military can take that away, but it is always ours to reclaim.
I am against this war because it is bad for America. It is bad for our security, it is bad for our military, it is bad for our economy, it is bad for our reputation abroad, and it is bad for our brothers and sisters who continue to loose their lives for lies. I am against war because I am a human being. I believe in the right to self-defense, and even collective self defense, but we should never take joy in even the most righteous acts of causing pain and suffering for fellow human beings.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
A message I received via YouTube:
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 3:37 AM
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Right now, I am listening to Tom Woods at the first Campaign for Liberty regional conference in St Louis. They think we're terrorists here. A report recently released by the Missouri Information Analysis Center equates Ron Paul supporters, tax resistors, militia members, and flyers of the Gadsden flag as “terrorists.”
According to Merriam-Webster, terrorism is “ the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.” It also defines terror as “a state of intense fear.” The definition that I learned in school is even more specific: the threat or use of violence to incite fear by non-state actors to influence the actions or policies of governments.”
So terrorism can go two ways in directing its threat or use of violence, by either terrorizing a population or terrorizing the government directly. The moral choice is to attack the transgressors of individual rights, the violators of the peace, and the organized criminals that are always to be found within the government, and not in the general population. What more righteous cause could there be than to strike fear into the hearts of those who think and act like they can control by force the lives of others?
As a political movement, we are calling out the abusers of power, the tramplers of the Constitution, the servants and lackeys of the truly powerful, and we want them to be afraid! We want them to be afraid first because we are a political force. We are young, we are strong, we are calling for no less than a revolution, and we are not going anywhere until we get it!
The revolution that we speak of is a revolution of values, a paradigm shift, and a renewed commitment among the American people to patriotism, not loyalism. Our patriotism is resisting state power and being ever-ready to defend this country . . . from the government. This is in direct opposition to the current propaganda driven definition that has perverted patriotism into loyalism, the worship of power and authority and willingness to cede the rights of self-ownership to an external power that is the source of all unjust powers in the world. As a political force, they should fear us.
The core of our philosophy is non-aggression, but we do not cede the right to self-defense and collective self-defense. As Judge Napolitano said here just last night, “The dirty little secret about the second amendment, is that it was written that way so that you could shoot at the government!” The assertion of the human right, the natural right, or God-given right, to keep and bear arms is the utmost manifestation of that old rallying cry, “POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”
Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” We live in an era of uncanny increases in tyranny in the United States and never has it been more important, despite the heightened difficulty, to assert the right to keep and bear arms. John F. Kennedy astutely observed, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
To go back to Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Make no mistake, the first blood of this era's revolution has already been spilled. The victims of a violent statism are all around us. We are far from ruling out the possibility of peaceful revolution, but we bring that same commitment that our founders did to today's cause of liberty, and if you would use the force of government to trample the rights of others, you should be very, very afraid!
If you want to be respected as an individual, if you want to respect the rights of others, you have nothing to fear. If you believe that our government is no longer serving the people, join us. As a member of this movement I am fighting for no less than the highest values of humanity that this country was founded on. That makes me a patriot. Some of us found out the hard way that the greatest enemies of the Constitution that I celebrate only as a means of restraining government power, are not to be found in the sands of some far off land, but rather right here at home. We know who our common enemies really are, and I want them to be scared. So I guess that makes me a terrorist. I am a domestic terrorist for freedom!
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 11:30 AM
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that "Is It Time" Hit over 6000 plays this week!
Though it's been out since January - I continue to get great responses to it, and the message just becomes more powerful with each passing day.
Here it is on my Myspace:
and here is the Free Download link:
I think it's a powerful message that everyone should hear - which is why I had to put it to music.
It's an easy format to burn and pass to fellow Americans. Motivational!
Hope you're well, man! Must go back to work. Thanx much again for spreading the truth & continuing to fight for freedom!
Jeremy / jerm
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 7:49 AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This was the hard-core. The remnant of the anti-war movement. The non-Koolaid drinkers. As in the Obama Koolaid. The ten thousand or so people that joined IVAW and the ANSWER Coalition to protest the occupations last Saturday were there because they meant it. This was no Obama rally. We had a great time setting up "Operation Not Change" at the rally and became the focus of the attention of the "Pro-War Blogosphere" contingency. I even got to do an interview with Uncle Jim from Blackfive. Enjoy:
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 5:00 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Iraq Veterans Against the War Commence "Operation Not Change" to Mark the 6th Anniversary of the Invasion
Because maintaining non-combat troops in harmʼs way in Iraq to continue the subjugation of the
Iraqi people under the guise of a softer, friendlier occupation after SIX YEARS is
Because continuing the indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan, which has led to countless
unnecessary civilian casualties, driving the Afghan people back to the Taliban is
Because escalating the occupation of Afghanistan when our soldiers are tired of STOPLOSS,
IRR MOBILIZATIONS, and REPEATED DEPLOYMENTS with not enough
down time, to ﬁght the same imperialist war on a different front is
Iraq Veterans Against the War is committed to the immediate withdrawal of all occupying
forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, reparations for the Iraqi and Afghan people,
and full veterans benefits for all returning soldiers, and that . . .
WILL NEVER CHANGE!
An Open Letter to the Peace/Anti-War Movement from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
After six years of war and the historic election of a new President, we as veterans, military and Gold Star families felt an urgent need to reach out to the larger peace/anti-war movements to make our position on Iraq clear during this time of political and economic uncertainty. Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace continue to stand together in our demand to Bring the Troops Home Now! We ask all those who have stood with us in the past to stay faithful to the cause.
President Obama has announced a plan to gradually reduce troop levels in Iraq. Many in the peace/anti-war movements are breathing a sigh of relief, and suggesting that it is time for us to scale back our efforts to bring an end to the occupation of Iraq. But for our troops on the ground, their families and the Iraqi people, the nightmare continues. They need all of us to stay in the struggle. IVAW, MFSO and VFP have been long united in our call for an immediate and complete end to the occupation of Iraq and will not shift our stance under any circumstances.
President Obama's plan will result in more casualties and suffering for U.S. troops, their families and Iraqis. To the American public facing hard times here at home, two and a half more years of occupation may not sound like that long — but for our troops and their families it means two and a half more years of fear, pain, and separation in a war and occupation based on lies. Hundreds of the troops deployed in the next two and a half years will not come home alive. Many more will return forever scarred by deep wounds to their bodies, minds, and spirits. Well over a million Iraqis have died as a result of this war — many more will be killed as the occupation continues.
We cannot afford the cost of empire. Today we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Yet our government continues to allow the occupation to drain $10 billion a month from our nation's coffers. Meanwhile, veterans and military families struggle to put food on the table and get decent housing and adequate medical care. Women and men who risked their lives for this country are often forced to fight tooth and nail to get health care from an underfunded and overburdened Veterans Administration. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are homeless.
The occupation of Iraq is the source of the violence not the solution. Living under occupation the people of Iraq are held back from taking control of their own lives to determine their destiny. The continued U.S. military presence there is a cause of the violence they face, not its solution. U.S. continued interference contradicts the principles of democracy and self-determination our country was founded on.
IVAW, MFSO and VFP will continue to keep pressure on Congress and the President to bring all our troops home from Iraq NOW, ensure that veterans receive the care they need and deserve, and that the U.S. provides resources to rebuild a country we destroyed. But we cannot do that alone. We need your help to reach out to the vast majority of the American people who are completely isolated from the realities of this war. Please don't abandon this struggle or shift your position before the occupation is over and our veterans and the Iraqi people are on the path to healing.
— Signed by Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 8:42 PM
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The following essay is from Ron Paul's weekly column. I think one of the primary things that keep neocon ditto-heads (as opposed to deliberate, neocon propagandists) from being libertarians is the inability to empathize with other people. This is prevalent in their worldview and is tragically relevant in most of their positions, but most offensively in their "views" (regurgitated talking points) on foreign policy. This is made possible by a distorted sense of American exceptionalism. I'm a patriot and believe that America is exceptional, but not because of our militarty, our economy, our government, our borders, or even our Constitution. America is exceptional only as it remains a symbol of the principles on which it was founded, as embodied in the Declaration, another imperfect, man-made document. That exceptionalism does not give us some biological advantage or the right to exploit the rest of the world's population by force, or even to think that we can tell other people how to run their countries. Ultimately, if a people want to tolerate a dictatorship, or an oligarchy, that is their decision. We have been doing it in this country for quite some time and the final responsibility lies always, with we the people. In this essay, Ron Paul profoundly asks his readers to think outside of their bubbles and EMPATHIZE. Enjoy.
Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.”
Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up check points on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence.
Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed. Imagine if most of the citizens of the foreign land also wanted these troops to return home. Imagine if they elected a leader who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.
Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office.
The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people that live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas. We would not stand for it here, but we have had a globe straddling empire and a very intrusive foreign policy for decades that incites a lot of hatred and resentment towards us.
According to our own CIA, our meddling in the Middle East was the prime motivation for the horrific attacks on 9/11. But instead of re-evaluating our foreign policy, we have simply escalated it. We had a right to go after those responsible for 9/11, to be sure, but why do so many Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some 160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base on our soil, for any reason? These are not embassies, mind you, these are military installations. The new administration is not materially changing anything about this. Shuffling troops around and playing with semantics does not accomplish the goals of the American people, who simply want our men and women to come home. 50,000 troops left behind in Iraq is not conducive to peace any more than 50,000 Russian soldiers would be in the United States.
Shutting down military bases and ceasing to deal with other nations with threats and violence is not isolationism. It is the opposite. Opening ourselves up to friendship, honest trade and diplomacy is the foreign policy of peace and prosperity. It is the only foreign policy that will not bankrupt us in short order, as our current actions most definitely will. I share the disappointment of the American people in the foreign policy rhetoric coming from the administration. The sad thing is, our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.
Posted by Ron Paul (03-09-2009, 10:29 AM) filed under Foreign Policy
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 12:43 AM
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The new video is here and the website is up! We already have over 7k views and over 1k members on the Facebook group in our first weekend! Please help out with this effort by rating and fav'ing the video, joining the group, digging it, and signing up at www.constitutionrevolution2012.com. Then do what you can to spread the word! The creator of the videos, Clay Trainor, also has a post on Ron Paul Forums that talks about other things you can do to help with spreading the message.This r3VOLution is just getting cranked up again!
From the website:
We are coming together to make it clear that as a movement, we are young, we are strong, we are calling for no less than a revolution, and we are not going anywhere until we get it. Consider this our muster. It is time to stand up and be counted. Almost six years ago, on March 19th, 2003, our government began the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war of aggression, the worst manifestation of state power. Six years later, we will pledge our support for Ron Paul, a principled non-interventionist, to run for President of the United States of America in 2012. If he will not run, we will support whomever he deems worthy of his endorsement. Watch the video, sign up for the email list, join the facebook group, tell your friends, and come back on March 19th, 2009 to show the world there is still hope for freedom in America. ~ Adam Kokesh, Iraq War Veteran
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 1:51 PM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
In the following article, Peter Schiff deconstructs a lot of the myth behind Obama's economic plan in his typical, easy to understand yet revelationary style. Enjoy.
by Peter Schiff
Obama Puts the Economic Cart Before the Horse
In his first televised speech before Congress, President Obama asserted that prosperity will return once the government restores the flow of credit in the economy. It may come as a surprise to him, but an economy cannot run on consumer loans. Furthermore, credit stopped flowing in the U.S. for a very good reason: there was no more savings left to loan. Government efforts to simply make credit available, without rebuilding productive capacity or increasing savings, are doomed to destroy what’s left of our economy.
The central tenets of Obamanomics appear to be that access to credit will enable people to borrow money to buy stuff, the spending will spur production and employment, and thus the economy will grow. It’s a neat and simple picture, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with how an economy works. The President does not understand that consumption is made possible by production and that credit is made possible by savings. The size and complexity of modern economies has obscured these simple concepts, but reducing the picture to a small scale can help clear away the fog.
Suppose there is a very small barter-based economy consisting of only three individuals, a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker. If the candlestick maker wants bread or steak, he makes candles and trades. The candlestick maker always wants food, but his demand can only be satisfied if he makes candles, without which he goes hungry. The mere fact that he desires bread and steak is meaningless.
Enter the magic wand of credit, which many now assume can take the place of production. Suppose the butcher has managed to produce an excess amount of steak and has more than he needs on a daily basis. Knowing this, the candlestick maker asks to borrow a steak from the butcher to trade to the baker for bread. For this transaction to take place the butcher must first have produced steaks which he did not consume (savings). He then loans his savings to the candlestick maker, who issues the butcher a note promising to repay his debt in candlesticks.
In this instance, it was the butcher’s production of steak that enabled the candlestick maker to buy bread, which also had to be produced. The fact that the candlestick maker had access to credit did not increase demand or bolster the economy. In fact, by using credit to buy instead of candles, the economy now has fewer candles, and the butcher now has fewer steaks with which to buy bread himself. What has happened is that through savings, the butcher has loaned his purchasing power, created by his production, to the candlestick maker, who used it to buy bread.
Similarly, the candlestick maker could have offered “IOU candlesticks” directly to the baker. Again, the transaction could only be successful if the baker actually baked bread that he did not consume himself and was therefore able to loan his savings to the candlestick maker. Since he loaned his bread to the candlestick maker, he no longer has that bread himself to trade for steak.
The existence of credit in no way increases aggregate consumption within this community, it merely temporarily alters the way consumption is distributed. The only way for aggregate consumption to increase is for the production of candlesticks, steak, and bread to increase.
One way credit could be used to grow this economy would be for the candlestick maker to borrow bread and steak for sustenance while he improves the productive capacity of his candlestick-making equipment. If successful, he could repay his loans with interest out of his increased production, and all would benefit from greater productivity. In this case the under-consumption of the butcher and baker led to the accumulation of savings, which were then loaned to the candlestick maker to finance capital investments. Had the butcher and baker consumed all their production, no savings would have been accumulated, and no credit would have been available to the candlestick maker, depriving society of the increased productivity that would have followed.
On the other hand, had the candlestick maker merely borrowed bread and steak to sustain himself while taking a vacation from candlestick making, society would gain nothing, and there would be a good chance the candlestick maker would default on the loan. In this case, the extension of consumer credit squanders savings which are now no longer available to finance other capital investments.
What would happen if a natural disaster destroyed all the equipment used to make candlesticks, bread and steak? Confronted with dangerous shortages of food and lighting, Barack Obama would offer to stimulate the economy by handing out pieces of paper called money and guaranteeing loans to whomever wants to consume. What good would the money do? Would these pieces of paper or loans make goods magically appear?
The mere introduction of paper money into this economy only increases the ability of the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker to bid up prices (measured in money, not trade goods) once goods are actually produced again. The only way to restore actual prosperity is to repair the destroyed equipment and start producing again.
The sad truth is that the productive capacity of the American economy is now largely in tatters. Our industrial economy has been replaced by a reliance on health care, financial services and government spending. Introducing freer flowing credit and more printed money into such a system will do nothing except spark inflation. We need to get back to the basics of production. It won’t be easy, but it will work.
President Obama would have us believe that we can all spend the day relaxing in a tub while his printing press does all the work for us. The problem comes when you get out of the tub to go to dinner and the only thing on your plate is an IOU for steak.
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 1:40 PM
Monday, March 9, 2009
It is the noble, humble attitude of the soldier training the Iraqis in this video that will embody the spirit of Obama's residual force of "non-combat troops" in Iraq.
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 5:42 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Not only is there an IVAW member here (James Schmill) enjoying the lack of laws prohibiting open-carry in the state of New Hampshire at the Liberty Forum, we also scored some free press for IVAW at the Wilson Hill Pistol Club! (more photos on facebook here)
If they think all of us are pacifists, they might find out the hard way that's not the case! There's been a lot going on here in New Hampshire. Our first day here, we got up early to rally in support of HCR6 at the New Hampshire State House.
I gave my speech today as part of the forum and received a standing ovation. It blew me away. To be able to contribute something of value to such a savvy and educated crowd felt like quite an achievement. I'll post video if I see some.
There is so much going on here I'd love to post about, but it's well past my bed time and it all starts again tomorrow morning, bright and early. It's great to feel surrounded by people here that really feel like, "my people."
Speaking of which, the following article was written by a fellow member of my local Ron Paul Meetup in Santa Fe just for our listserve, but it was so well-written, I have to share it with you here. Frank Martin only insisted that I include his email address so you can send feedback to him directly: email@example.com
The Lifeline of Capital, and Its Greatest Enemy
Author, FUNDimensions Fundraising Software
Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist
And finally, the following video was made with the audio of a speech delivered by Ron Paul on the floor of the US Congress recently. It seems the most strident non-interventionist in the Congress is a Republican!
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 12:28 AM
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Allow me to start by saying congratulations to the Austin Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War for pulling off an amazing local Winter Soldier event last weekend. Thanks to everyone who helped me out along the way to get there, to our Code Pink allies who helped with housing, to all of the allies who helped make this event possible, to Doug Zachary for hosting, and to the Austin Chapter for inviting me to participate. I posted some photos from the event on facebook here.
One of the highlights of the day was the much anticipated testimony from Brandon Neely about his time as a prison guard at Guantanamo. The actual testimony has not been posted yet, but after he spoke to the AP, two of MSNBC's sillier talking heads picked up on the story. The first video is of Keith Olbermann's segment which sets up the second video of his interview "twenty minutes later" with Rachel Maddow. His testimony is like pulling the sheet off of the elephant in the room that we had all been feeling around and thought was an elephant, but weren't quite sure. But as with 99% of the times that we suspect the government of wrongdoing of one kind or another, despite the denials by politicians of what is under the sheet, the elephant was right there all along. And yes, I mean that the reality of Guantanamo is as bad as we all suspected.
Although all of the testimony was well-presented and a welcome addition to the growing body of evidence condemning the Global War O(f) Terror, there was one other standout that was particularly insightful. Ronn Cantu, president of the Fort Hood Chapter until he recently got himself and his four top organizers honorably discharged early, testified about how an Iraqi becomes a detainee. His thorough explanation of the process will make it very clear how exactly we are making enemies fast than we can kill them.
Here's a video with some shots of the march and some clips of speeches at the rally, including mine.
The next day we went to the grand opening of the Under the Hood Cafe. Under the Hood is carrying on the tradition of the Oleo Strut by providing a place for vets and active duty guys to have a true free speech zone where they are welcome to question authority, hang out, shoot the shit, and get help with legal or personal issues they might be facing as a consequence of their service. I posted another album from Under the Hood on facebook here.
And one more parting shot for all you Obama voters out there . . .
I couldn't resist . . .
Get it yet?
Posted by Adam Kokesh at 6:46 PM