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US universities and colleges could end unlawful US wars and stop banksters’ rigged-casino fraud if they taught the central facts of these issues. This four-part series of articles is an open proposal for their action. Feel free to share it.

This is my proposal for the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Ed.L.D. program. I’ll add one link a day:
Open proposal to US higher education: End unlawful war through breakthrough civic education. 2 of 4
Open proposal to US higher education: end oligarchy economics, save trillions with education. 3 of 4
Open proposal to US higher education: expose government, media propaganda with education. 4 of 4

Current US wars: Educational leadership in the US faces an immediate and unprecedented challenge: US political leadership is engaged in “emperor has no clothes” unlawful wars that have escalated into Pakistan, Yemen, and with rhetoric to attack Iran that darkly includes use of nuclear weapons in official first-strike policy. The US has abandoned its exercise of power under the US Constitution. Millions of Americans recognize this condition, but as yet a critical mass of Americans either do not recognize the facts or cannot articulate what they perceive into effective civic action. The educational stakes are whether the US will exist as a Constitutional Republic under the law, or as an unlawful empire.
The wars are not close to lawful, and political rhetoric is often in Orwellian opposition to the facts. One of the first academic leaders to explain the obvious is Francis Boyle, Harvard-educated (Ph.D in political science and J.D.) international law professor. His outrage is expressed in the title of his article, Is Bush’s War Illegal? Let us Count the Ways:
“The precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.”
Richard Falk, Harvard-educated (Doctor of Laws) Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton:
“An objective observer would reach the conclusion that this Iraq war is a War of Aggression, and as such, that it amounts to a Crime against Peace of the sort for which surviving German leaders were indicted, prosecuted and punished at the Nuremberg trials conducted shortly after the Second World War.”
Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan responding to the direct question whether the Iraq War is illegal:
“I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter… from the charter point of view, it was illegal.”
In the January 2010 UK Chilcot Inquiry, testimony revealed that all 27 UK Foreign Affairs lawyers were in agreement that the US/UK war was an unlawful War of Aggression. Their unanimous professional legal assessment before the war began was rejected without public disclosure of their work and public debate.
This level of understanding the crystal-clear letter and spirit of the US-created UN Charter is taught and understood in high school history and government classes. Anyone who invests the hour or so to read the applicable laws compared with the US “official” argument for war linked here can confidently assert as objective fact that these wars aren’t close to legal and only continue from public ignorance and belief in government/media propaganda. By analogy, anyone attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, even if it was their first baseball game, when briefed on the strike zone could confidently assert that a pitch thrown ten feet over the batter’s head is definitively a ball. Importantly, this person could also confidently conclude that anyone in an official capacity who called such a pitch a strike would be intentionally lying.
Just as in baseball, the laws of war are meant to be understood clearly by all who care to be educated. The irony of the title in this academic area, political “science,” that has so little regard to the objective facts, calls for a breakthrough in American civic education to force political accountability for the life-and-death facts of war and trillions of dollars of cost.
Harvard-educated Daniel Ellsberg (Ph.D economics, 1962) was the top whistle-blower of unlawful US acts in the Vietnam War, including the government-created lies to initiate, continue, and expand the war into neighboring countries. He writes and lectures that current US wars are also all founded upon obvious lies, unlawful, and in direct violation of the US Constitution. To emphasize HGSE’s importance to champion transformation in public civic education, the fact that Ellsberg’s disclosure of the Pentagon Papers that documented war lies, War Crimes, unlawful war in Laos and Cambodia, and a fundamentally unlawful war in Vietnam does not cause broader recognition of the same issues today, points to a deficiency in civic education.
In addition to the illegality of US wars that the evidence so far definitively proves upon examination, we know from the disclosed evidence of our own government that all claims for current US wars were known to be lies as they were told to the American public. Read this to verify.
These facts beg the question: what has happened and is happening in American civic education to allow this Orwellian disinformation to persist?
Princeton’s Harry Frankfurt, probably the US’ most eminent living philosopher, answers that question: Americans are educated within a political and media culture accurately described in the title of his 2005 Bestseller, On Bullshi*.
“Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant… bullshi* is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.”
The education transformation I’m pointing to can also be described as a breakthrough in critical thinking, whereby US government and corporate media are forced by the intelligence level of the population to retire BS and embrace factual discourse and lawful policy. President Kennedy (Harvard BA, International Relations, 1940) warned of the need of such broad public educational competence:
“No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion.”
This particular concern has been primary since the founding of the United States. President Washington’s Farewell Address, the culmination of his 45 years of political experience, warned of the primary threat to America as “the impostures of pretended patriotism” from people within our own government who would destroy Constitutional limits in order to obtain tyrannical power:
“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.”
By the way, General Washington assembled the Continental Army to fight for justice under American law just steps away from HGSE on the Cambridge Common.
Young Abraham Lincoln wrote eloquently to defend the US Constitution from unlawful tyrants within our own government. In Congress, he spoke powerfully and truthfully that the President’s claims for armed attack and invasion of a foreign country were lies. Although war-mongers slurred Lincoln’s name at the time and he lost re-election, history proved his powerful and unpopular words correct in asserting the President of the US was a war-mongering liar:
“I carefully examined the President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make the impression, that taking for true, all the President states as facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that the President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had not been for the small matter, that the truth would not permit him… Now I propose to try to show, that the whole of this, — issue and evidence — is, from beginning to end, the sheerest deception.”
Lincoln also wrote that “pre-emptive” wars, such as the US engages in now in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and threatens for Iran, were lies and “war at pleasure.” Indeed, many of the Founding Fathers’ strongest admonitions were to guard against usurpation of power from within our own government.
General Smedley Butler (and here) was the most honored man in Marine Corps history. Upon his retirement after 34 years of service around the world and privy to top secret war planning conversations, he wrote and publicly spoke that the purpose of US wars is never for democracy or national defense. The purpose of US wars is political and economic control for millions and billions in profits for America’s leading “bankers, industrialists, and speculators.” General Butler asserted that all US wars is a “racket:” a deception whereby blood money from American taxpayers to “insiders” is always disguised as noble and necessary ventures. Americans are propagandized into paying again and again, and succeeding generations of loyal and gullible men unwittingly serve as the muscle for oligarchic profits. His recommendation to end war was to end its profit motive:
“Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.
Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers – yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!
…Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.”
It’s important to distinguish General Butler’s expert testimony concerning a subjective analysis of motive from the objective fact of current unlawful US wars proved by the crystal-clear letter of the laws. The strength of my proposal to HGSE for the civic educational breakthrough to end unlawful wars is based upon the independently verifiable evidence that is as “emperor has no clothes” obvious as a pitch ten feet over the batter’s head is nowhere close to a strike, and as obvious as Jim Crow laws being in violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
My point in briefly reviewing testimony of Presidents Kennedy, Washington, Lincoln and General Butler is to communicate that the educational transformation to end unlawful wars is not only founded in current law, but among the most important concerns throughout US history to safeguard the nation from propaganda-facilitated unconstitutional acts for oligarchic power and profit.
In irony of our history and law, there is no end in sight to current US propagandized unlawful wars. Fear-mongers’ use of “national security” rhetoric to attack and invade resource-rich and weaker nations continues. For example, as I write in April 2010, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell officially stated attacking Iran is “always an option,” in Orwellian repudiation to the UN Charter and his Oath of Office to defend the US Constitution that recognizes the UN Charter as having equal force as Constitutional law. As Professor Frankfurt properly assesses: this is bullshit. We cannot be proud of American educational accomplishment without transforming this condition of official lies that the US can attack, destroy, and kill with our dollars under our American flag upon the dictate (dictatorship) of the leader rather than under the rule of law.
Upon examination, the war-mongering to attack Iran is composed of Orwellian and “emperor has no clothes” obvious lies. Let’s quickly prove one of many: Presidents Bush and Obama, many US Senators and members of Congress, and corporate media say that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy Israel, to “wipe them off the map.” This is repeated endlessly as a lie of commission believed by most Americans.
However, it is an Orwellian lie verifiable with 5-minutes of reading the October 2005 speech that originated the claim. The clear content and context of the speech is the support of Palestinian resistance against the Israeli government’s violations of their civil and political rights, and the rule of law. Mr. Ahmadinejad uses an historical phrase from an Iranian exiled by Shah Pahlavi (a vicious dictatorship imposed by the US in their CIA-orchestrated overthrow of Iran’s democracy from 1953 to 1979) to encourage Iranians to persevere against the US-imposed Shah. The one paragraph in question in the speech continues to say that people thought the Shah’s government would never fall, but it did. People thought the USSR’s government would never fall, but it did, as did people think about Saddam’s government. The government of Israel will also fall if they continue their unjust policies toward Palestine.
There is no physical threat to Israel in any rational reading. Zip. Zero. Again, take the five minutes to confirm the American public is under attack from “official” propaganda for their civic education on a life-and-death issue that includes official policy to use nuclear weapons. The NY Times provides the translation, despite their lie of omission in failing to point-out what it says in definitive refutation of war rhetoric. If you have Persian friends, talk with them. I have a Persian friend who is a manager at NASA; incredulous and outraged the US government can tell such an enormous and obvious lie to threaten the results of Iraq on friends and family in Iran.
Once you confirm this specific example of an official civic lie for war it also becomes clear that such a transparent lie is being protected by corporate media. I will address the evidence of corporate media collusion after the economics section. If you would like to understand how US “official” claims of Iran’s “nuclear program” are similar lies of commission and omission, read this.
The “wipe Israel off the map” lie shows that American civic education leadership requires synergy beyond politics and media. HGSE can and should take a leadership role.
HGSE can catalyze this transformation; just as the Civil Rights Movement and Gandhi’s work for independence for India were functions of broad-scale public education. Civil Rights, freedom, and peace all require civic education breakthroughs to accomplish, and are our most-treasured human accomplishments in national civic education.
The Civil Rights Movement educated and demanded enforcement of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution’s crystal-clear spirit and letter of the law for equality under the law for all people. The movement was to realize what already was legislated. The “emperor has no clothes” project I’m proposing for HGSE’s Ed.L.D. Program is public education and demand for enforcement of what is already legislated with war laws; a victory of WW 2. Indeed, all members of the military and government employees have already taken an Oath to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. My proposal is transformative civic education to recognize America is under “deception and evasion,” by “the impostures of pretended patriotism.” We, as a nation, can only declare ourselves “educated” if we honor a world that secures future generations from the scourge of war, as we have already committed to do under treaty status of the UN Charter.
I can provide anecdotal evidence for the power of this information in high school history and government classes. In my five years teaching at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles Unified School District, the Social Science Department averaged 40% of students failing. My students averaged 3%. My observation is that students’ sense of justice was engaged from learning facts such as you’re reading in this brief. My students wanted to come to class to learn what they felt was true in their world but now could factually verify. They accepted my invitation to join millions of people around the nation and world who would intelligently and strategically work to improve the future. Student learning accomplishment and satisfaction were so high that two Los Angeles mayors and USC honored me as one of the city’s top few teachers.
American adults also sense many of these facts even if they cannot accurately articulate them; only one in five Americans report trust and satisfaction with their government. Americans are ready to act; HGSE can lead to factually inform, harness America’s passion for justice under the law, and constructively build a brighter future. A dangerous possible consequence of destructive public anger is civic violence. And given the state of the US economy, that we will discuss next, public anger could explode.

Tomorrow: exposing and ending oligarchic economics.