Scott Horton Interviews Kevin Zeese and David T. Beito

Scott Horton, February 27, 2010

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Kevin Zeese and David T. Beito discuss the formation of a full-spectrum political alliance against militarism and empire, the unwavering commitment of Democrat and Republican leadership to the military-industrial complex, the media’s unwillingness to discuss (much less debate) US empire and how you can help the fundraising effort for a broad-based peace movement.

MP3 here. (30:48)

Kevin ZeeseĀ  is the Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace. Zeese also served as the Executive Director of Democracy Rising, is an attorney, and a long term peace advocate. Zeese took a leave from VotersForPeace for most of 2006 while he was running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. Zeese was a founding member of the Montgmery County Coalition Against the War in Maryland and has worked with various non-profit organizations on peace, justice, and democracy issues since 1978.

David T. Beito is Professor of History at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin, and he is the recipient of the Ellis Hawley Prize. Professor Beito is the author of Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare state: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, and Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power.

17 Responses to “Kevin Zeese and David T. Beito”

  1. Why should anyone believe Ron Paul would abandon his libertarian principles on the domestic side? Pols lie all the time. Which is why the left won't go along with him. Besides Ron Paul has no power, so who cares.

  2. I hope that we are finally successful in bringing together a powerful broad-spectrum coalition against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. (And possibly Iran.) Of course there has to be a discussion of Israel, AIPAC and pro-Zionist policies for this to have any real meaning. I know this is a very divisive issue, but it is much more important than the distinction between "empire" and "imperialism".

    I've written extensively on my blog, Future News Today, about Mark Twain and the American Anti-Imperialist League. American Empire began in earnest in 1898 with the Spanish-American War. (If you don't count the North American Empire.) Mark Twain and others were outspoken in their opposition to the US war against the Philippine People in particular. The US military used a form of water-boarding against the Philippine rebels at that time. (And they want us to believe that this is a new development.)

    In my imaginary response of Mark Twain to Obama's Afghanistan speech I wrote this:
    "My point was that we didn't have any business bein' there [the Philippines] in the first place. That's why we started the American Anti-Imperialist League. Now all those politicians on Capitol Hill, well they just hated us. They kept objecting to the name. Said we should change it. Said they weren't imperialists because they weren't trying to create an Empire. Uh-huh we said. But we never changed the name. Because if you can't call a spade a spade, then how are you gonna explain to plain folks just what exactly is going on."

    I highly recommend reading the following posts from my blog for a historical perspective on the anti-Imperialist movement in the US:
    Reflections on Mark Twain on Armistice Day
    Mark Twain responds to President Obama on Afghanistan
    US Military use of torture and terror: 1900 – Present
    Matt Taibbi and the Wall Street Racket

    The last article discusses the link between the banks and imperialism as highlighted by this quote from Smedley Butler:
    "And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers."

    And yes that picture you see by my name is Mark Twain. I have sort of adopted him as my inspiration. My nom de plume, Frank Hope, is even intended to evoke Samuel Clemens' pseudonym.

  3. You do not reform an empire. You do not reform insane megalomaniacs because they have already assumed omnipotence in their head. Once an empire is born and grown to the level where the leading oligarchs become full-fledge megalomaniacs, you can only wait until the empire collapses on its own because there is no infinite power grab in the nature. This is from my experience of human history for the past 3000 years and I don't think that anything out there can violate natural laws forever.

  4. You fight endless wars and what do you get?

    Millions of dead and trillions in debt

    St, Peter don't you call me I think you know

    I aint goin' to Heaven

    I'm headed below

  5. The missiles to be deployed on ships in the Black Sea in Bulgaria and on land in Romania and Poland are a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike according to Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-.

  6. I think that the ACB foreign policy, since 1996 or slightly before, is a failure. Its taken its toll on our nation, and others, and at this point is simply wrongheaded causing more problems than it was meant to solve.

  7. Actually it might be time to give Ron Paul some power by telling your Rep you will continue to elect them if they give Ron Paul more clout, get it? Isn't that how politics in a democracy is supposed to work?

  8. You fight endless wars and what do you get?

    Millions of dead and trillions in debt

    St, Peter don't you call me I think you know

    I aint goin' to Heaven

    I'm headed below

  9. YES, YES, YES.

    As I have long been saying here at AntiWar (sometimes in perhaps too strong tone to Justin), a Global Peoples' Anti-EMPIRE movement subsumes, integrates, and consolidates all the disparate 'symptom issues' movements into one holistic movement focused on the Global corporate/financial/militarist Empire which now controls our country (and several others) by hiding behind the facade of its TWO-PARTY modern 'Vichy' sham of democratic government, aided by its equally 'Vichy' corporatist media.

    A Global Peoples' Movement focused against the hidden, central, and causal cancerous tumor of the Global Empire is the only approach that will work.

    Congratulations, guys on forming such an Anti-Empire league — which will surely spread into a Global Anti-Empire movement.

    Count me in!

    Alan MacDonald
    Sanford, Maine

  10. Sounds more like a "how do we save the system" project to me. Let's get some upper-middle class types together and see if we can push reform on the oligarch class. Let's be friends like we used to guys! We promise not to ask any questions about specific crimes you may have committed!

  11. Sorry, I'm just upset because the one "fring" group you're excluding are the people who think we need due process when 3,000 New Yorkers are murdered in cold blood. When did it become "fringe" to advocate for a criminal investigation and public trial in the aftermath of a murder?

    More people will be responsive if you recognize that we are being oppressed by the same forces oppressing the Iraqis or Guantanamo Bay inmates and help them connect the dots as to how.

  12. [...] Kevin Zeese & David Beito on Antiwar Radio: Fundraising for peace [...]

  13. I wouldn't call myself "Left." I'm more Green. Most of my life I've fought for things like civil rights and universal health care. I'm pro-feminist and anti-racist. But I would prefer Ron Paul as President to Barack Obama any day. Not that the president has much real power, but peace and freedom are the most important issues.

    I really liked what Scott said, that "we're both on the same side of the class war." If Zeese and Beito succeed in pulling this coalition together, they could perhaps come to some solutions on other issues as well.

  14. Yeah. Zeese talking about needing some rich guys to finance ads in journals read by powerful people doesn't sound very revolutionary. But what they're doing is a start, isn't it?

  15. Right and Left Against Empire*

    *Unless you're a truther….

    It might make you feel really smart and cool and legitimate to talk shit about truthers but many if not most of them understand "War and Empire" and oppose it. Therefore it's stupid to marginalize and make fun of "truthers", this effort will be doomed from the start because it feels good to shit on people that support you.

    But hey, good luck with your task, maybe you'll get progressives to put away Ron Paul's newletters and stfu about Ayn Rand and Abortion.

  16. Stumped by a Libertarian? Upset that it isn't prioritizing Abortion and Identity Politics over Empire?

    Well have no fear, the Ron Paul Survival Report will always be there, to the rescue!

  17. Dr. Richard Curtis, a philosophy instructor with expertise in religion and politics and a long-time political activist, is considering taking up the charge for the coalition and representing it as we seek to either unseat the incumbent, or to force her, and those old-style two-party thinkers who tolerate the status quo, to actually fight for the interests of the American people instead of multinational corporations.

    Given the national significance of this effort, individual endorsements from prominent intellectuals and activists are already arriving. To date these include: Dr. Michael Parenti (Author and Political Scientist), Cynthia McKinney (former Democratic Congresswoman and Green Presidential Candidate), Cindy Sheehan (anti-war activist), Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret. ( former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force), and Ed Asner (Past President of the Screen Actors Guild, actor and activist) .

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