Some months ago, my former classmates who graduated Gorton High School in Yonkers, NY, celebrated our 50th reunion. I couldn’t make it. I was attending a premiere showing of the movie, Zizi and Honeyboy, based on my book, What Zizi Gave Honeyboy: A True Story about Love, Wisdom and the Soul of America, starring Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame as Zizi.
How ironic. The reunion and opening of the movie closely paralleled each other. When I graduated high school in 1965, the Vietnam War was revving up. And in the very first scene of Zizi and Honeyboy, the Afghan War is raging.
Both wars dramatically changed my life.
Since kindergarten, when I escaped PS 76 in the Bronx and ran across the Boston Post Road to dash home, to getting left back in fifth grade at Christ the King Elementary School, to graduating Gorton with the bare minimum grade average, I hated every day of school. But hate it as I did, in 1965, with Vietnam raging and at prime draft-meat age, some six more years of school were in my future.
At 19, all I could think about was girls, sports and a dream of opening an Italian delicatessen in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. I wasn’t smart enough to be for or against the Vietnam War. I just couldn’t imagine me, with a heavy pack on my back, slogging through rice paddies in a faraway land and getting shot at.
A few months before graduation, I asked my Dad, may his soul rest in peace, for advice: Should I join the Army or avoid the draft?
“I taught you enough,” he said. “Figure it out yourself.”
He was right. He taught me much of what I know today, as did my mom and aunts and uncles and their friends and relatives, may all their souls rest in peace. Despite my terrible grades, I went to college to get a deferment, and with the war still raging after I graduated in 1969, and with a low draft lottery number of 99, I went to graduate school.
And as we now know, the Vietnam War was based on outright lies. The following is a passage from my book, Trends 2000 (Warner Books, 1997):
In his 1995 book, In retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara finally revealed what an entire generation had known for thirty years: that our “democratic” government foisted the Vietnam War upon the public, knowing full well that Vietnam posed no threat to our national security, “the war was wrong, terribly wrong,” and could not be won anyhow.
Letter to the editor: Robert McNamara now states that “we were terribly wrong.” He should be tried as a war criminal.
His dogmatic policies resulted in the most terrible tragedy this country has suffered since the Civil War. …We call for a tribunal in Bosnia. Why not for McNamara? Do the Israelis forgive the Holocaust because the perpetrators have aged? Neither should we! …McNamara ranks with Hitler and Stalin as a perpetrator of crimes against humanity. (Curtis D. Westphal, retired air force colonel, Austin, Texas, USA Today, 4 November 1995).
THEN AND NOW
When I first watched the opening of Zizi and Honeyboy, tears welled up inside me thinking of what I went through personally and professionally in 2001. At one time, I was the trend darling of broadcast and print media, featured and quoted with star billing on the major networks and in the largest circulated newspapers and magazines. That was, however, until 9/11 and the Afghan War that shortly followed.
Zizi and Honeyboy opens with me (played by Andrew Koss) on the phone to my agent telling him I just got my third media cancellation of the day. This was at a time when President Bush proclaimed, “Either you are with us or with the terrorists.” There was no way in hell that I was going to sell my soul for a sick son of a bitch playing commander in chief, or all the liars, cowards and frauds in Washington and the media leading us into what would prove to be the longest war in America’s history.
Imagine: In front of the world’s eyes, any citizen of the Land of Liberty who disagreed with his royal highness and his court jesters were, in effect, accused of supporting the terrorists! I paid a high price for speaking out and standing my ground.
A USA Today ritual back then was to be the first to publish my Top Trends for the year ahead. On the fateful day of Dec. 14, 2000, USA Today ran this headline: “2001 will not be our year, trend seer says.”
Nine months before 9/11, I had forecast that Americans wouldn’t be safe at home or abroad. In fact, I had been writing for years in the Trends Journal and Trends 2000 that America’s foreign policy set up the nation for a retaliatory strike by those terrorized by the US and its Coalition of The Killing — governments that it armed, protected and supported in the Middle East.
So, when reporters called and asked about the motive of those who struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon, I told them what I had written and believed. As a result of refusing to buy into bullshit Bush’s imbecilic line he was selling to the public, that “evildoers” attacked America “because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world,” I was blackballed from much of the media. Trends Journal subscribers canceled in droves. I was labeled “un-American.”
Hey, HEY, LBJ, HOW MANY KIDS
did YOU KILL TODAY?
It was war in 1965 when I graduated high school, and it is war in 2015. Back then, as now, low-life creatures with big egos and bad attitudes talk down to We the People. They issue orders, order us what to do and march us off to war.
It was the likes of Robert McNamara back then, who lied us into Vietnam, to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and the rest of the sociopaths and psychopaths who launched the never-ending War on Terror, the ongoing Afghan War and lied us into the Iraq War.
And now, Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize fraud, and his cast of war hawks — Hillary Clinton, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Victoria Nuland, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, generals, retired generals, White House flacks, congressional flunkies, etc. — have kept the Afghan War going, destroyed Libya, destabilized Ukraine, bombed Syria, allied with Saudi Arabia in obliterating Yemenis, and now are re-engaged in Iraq.
They launch thousands of drone strikes in foreign lands, killing more innocent people than “suspected militants” — doing their deranged best to keep war drums beating and hatred against the US building as its military wipes out entire nations and slaughters millions of innocent human beings.
ENTIAL REALITY SHOW
I have had enough. It does not have to be this way. War is hell!
I will not stand by as the Washington Asylum of Mentally Deranged Politicians and Military Madmen destroy the beauty of life, human spirit and sanctity of the soul.
To sit back and do nothing, knowing full well what the outcome will be as war drums beat louder, is more than just a crime against humanity. It is a crime against personal dignity, courage and self-respect.
How is it that so many citizens can let just a few political freaks destroy so much?
Take a look at the contestants of The Presidential Reality Show. All are playing The Tough Guy who will degrade and destroy ISIS and put Russia’s Vladimir Putin in his place — while Hillary Clinton has more blood on her hands than all the contenders combined.
Go back to her venomous screams for regime change in Libya in 2011 when she was secretary of state: “It is time for (Libyan President Moammar) Gadhafi to go, now… We want him to leave and we want him to end his regime.”
Who is this “we” that wanted Gadhafi to leave? Who were the “we” that wanted him to end his regime? Certainly it was not We the People. We had no voice and were given no choice. Instead, it was the elite few megalomaniac psychopaths who have taken it upon themselves to abrogate our Constitution and rob of us our inalienable rights.
Do you remember Clinton’s joyous response after learning Gadhafi was killed? “We came. We saw. He died… (hee, hee, ha, ha, cackle, cackle).” Watch the clip. She should have been taken out in a straitjacket and put in a madhouse. Instead, she’s the leading contender for the White House.
Today, thanks to the Obama administration’s overthrow of Gadhafi, Libya, once the most prosperous nation in Africa, is now destroyed and in mayhem.
Just one year later, Madam Secretary had a new target. Asked on ABC if it was OK for President Assad of Syria to remain in power, without hesitation, Clinton replied, “No! Not at all. We think Assad must go. The sooner the better…”
There’s that “We” again.
But neither me, you or us are a part of Clinton’s “we.” The “we” is the Washington elite. Nothing has changed since Vietnam — just different names and faces, with new twists on old lies.
A few months prior to Clinton’s ABC interview, President Obama wrote in a statement that, “The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way… the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Who the hell is His Majesty El Presidente Obama to tell President Assad — or any leader of any nation that is not a national security threat to the US — what to do?
Where is the American people’s outrage? Who anointed Clinton, Obama, Bush, Cheney or any of the other lunatics in chief and their henchmen and henchwomen to launch wars and violate another nation’s sovereignty… and do so in our name?
Every foreign government America has overthrown and every war America has started since World War II have ended in disaster. Despite the millions killed and trillions spent, how can We the People allow this travesty of justice, gross immorality and heinous behavior by the Democrats and Republicans, who run and ruin our lives and the lives of people in foreign lands?
Where are the uprisings?
Is there a silent majority who wants peace and prosperity — and all the physical, emotional and spiritual rewards that come with them — that is greater than the ruling minority who keeps selling fear and hate, promoting hysteria and waging war?
At our Occupy Peace Rally in Colonial Kingston, NY, in September, Ralph Nader, Dr. Robert Thurman, Cindy Sheehan and Gary Null echoed the same message: It will only take 1 percent of We the People to put a peace and prosperity movement into motion — and change the course of history.
Indeed, that was the message of the great champions of freedom and liberty upon which the American Revolution was launched and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created: “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” ~Samuel Adams
We at the Trends Research Institute are doing everything we can. We have invested our time and money to stop the march to war and redirect our nation’s human, natural and financial resources to rebuild our failed economy and restore prosperity.
We cannot do it on our own. Besides, it’s not about us… it’s about all of us… the US.
Help us reignite the brushfires of freedom. We will need millions of people and millions of dollars to make this happen.
The future is in your hands.
Shape it as you wish.
Without your action, peace will not prevail. TJ