Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Breaking the War Mentality (Obama article from 1983 -- full text)
Sundial (via NY Times) ^ | March 10, 1983 | Barack Obama

Posted on 07/05/2009 7:30:40 PM PDT by FocusNexus

Two groups on campus, Anns Race Alternatives (ARA) and Students Against Militarism (SAM), work within these mental limits to foster awareness and practical action necesary to counter the growing threat of war. Though the emphasis of the two p:roups differ, they share an aversion to current government policy. These groups, visualizing the possibilities of destruction and grasping the tendencies of distorted national priorities, are throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track.

The Reagan administration's stalling at the Geneva talks on nuclear weapons has thus already caused severe tension and could ultimately bring about a dangerous rift between the United States and Western Europe. By being intransigent, Reagan is playing directly into the Russians' hands.

(Excerpt) Read more at documents.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antiwar; bho44; fifthcolumn; obama; obama1983
Link to full pdf (easier to read):

Obama: Breaking the War Mentality (1983) (full article in pdf)

Related article from NY Times, mentioning this article"

Obama's Youth Shaped His Nuclear-Free Vision

Isn't it interesting that Obama's article was not discovered during the presidential camapaign?

1 posted on 07/05/2009 7:30:40 PM PDT by FocusNexus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus
Wow, he uses big words like "extrapolate" (completely out of context, of course, and quite bizarrely).

And oh, he was wrong about Reagan and is a marxist moron crypto-muslim usurper and security risk.

2 posted on 07/05/2009 7:34:29 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

BUMP!

FACTS are Obama is a wimpy loser. He drags us DOWN.


3 posted on 07/05/2009 7:34:59 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus; All
Isn't it interesting that Obama's article was not discovered during the presidential campaign?

Not sure of the date it was originally discovered, but it was linked to on an FR thread at least several months ago. So the discovery of O's Sundial article is old news.

4 posted on 07/05/2009 7:36:06 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

Who wrote it for him? You can tell someone else wrote this no “uh’s” or “um’s” in it.


5 posted on 07/05/2009 7:36:07 PM PDT by repubpub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

I assume it’s translated from Kenyan.


6 posted on 07/05/2009 7:37:05 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh
FACTS are Obama is a wimpy loser.

Nope...not a wimp.A collaborator.

7 posted on 07/05/2009 7:37:08 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Christian+Veteran=Terrorist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

but its ok for Iran to have nukes. what a joke.


8 posted on 07/05/2009 7:38:01 PM PDT by bluedressman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rome2000

“And oh, he was wrong about Reagan “

BINGO!

History proved Reagan right and Obama’s judgement wrong and it’s still wrong. THAT’s why this article was not allowed to see the light of day during the campaign — even the gullible American public would have started to get a clue.


9 posted on 07/05/2009 7:38:57 PM PDT by FocusNexus ("Good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise." GW Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: repubpub
Who wrote it for him?

I wouldn't doubt that he wrote it himself. They style is kind of pedestrian, nothing exceptional for an Ivy League college senior.

10 posted on 07/05/2009 7:39:31 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

Wrong then. Wrong now. Always wrong, all the time.


11 posted on 07/05/2009 7:39:46 PM PDT by TheWasteLand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheWasteLand

“Wrong then. Wrong now. Always wrong, all the time.”

Unfortunately for us, now he is in a position to do us great harm.


12 posted on 07/05/2009 7:41:57 PM PDT by FocusNexus ("Good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise." GW Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

ping for later


13 posted on 07/05/2009 7:42:19 PM PDT by zwerni (this isn't gonna be good for business)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

14 posted on 07/05/2009 7:42:28 PM PDT by SlowBoat407 (Achtung. preparen zie fur die obamahopenchangen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheWasteLand

Now I know where the phrase “Pussy Galore” came from.


15 posted on 07/05/2009 7:44:07 PM PDT by pankot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

That is some of the most piss-poor writing I have ever suffered through.


16 posted on 07/05/2009 7:45:22 PM PDT by HighWheeler (The higher the concentration of libs, the bigger the tragedy that follows.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

And now he is on his way to do what Reagan was too wise to do. Reagan said “Trust but verify.” BO says he is going to “temporarily bypass” the Senate ratification of this treaty, as required by the Constitution, in the new agreement he intends to reach with the Russians. Does anyone really believe that the Russians will not outmaneuver him on every issue and point? He has been planning since 1983 to undermine this country’s security, and now he’s got the chance. This will not end well.


17 posted on 07/05/2009 7:45:32 PM PDT by La Lydia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

Yup. 5th column.


18 posted on 07/05/2009 7:45:44 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("A new Dark Ages made all the more terrible and prolonged by the sinister powers of science.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

TOTUS would never tolerate drivel like this.


19 posted on 07/05/2009 7:52:54 PM PDT by depressed in 06 (For the first time, in my life, I am not proud of my country. Thanks ZerO.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus
What a good little marxist he is.
20 posted on 07/05/2009 7:55:22 PM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: repubpub; ml/nj; ExTexasRedhead; LucyT; sheik yerbouty; Liz; romanesq; Clintonfatigued; ...
On second thought, he might have done the draft and then had someone more senior edit it, putting in some more sophisticated words and phrases. (William Ayers - known to be in the neighborhood at the time?)

Showing this piece under his byline might have helped get him into Harvard Law School a few years later, although he's known to have had wealthy Saudi backers by then.

21 posted on 07/05/2009 8:00:48 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93; FocusNexus

From the NYT article inked in post#1 by focusnexus...

“If the implications were not so serious, the discrepancy between Mr. Obama’s plans and real-world conditions would be hilarious,” said Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a Reagan-era Pentagon official who directs the Center for Security Policy, a private group in Washington. “There is only one country on earth that Team Obama can absolutely, positively denuclearize: Ours.”


22 posted on 07/05/2009 8:24:58 PM PDT by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

bttt


23 posted on 07/05/2009 8:26:33 PM PDT by 1035rep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

“Students Against Militarism”?

I can feel the pretentious self-righteousness from here.


24 posted on 07/05/2009 8:27:43 PM PDT by DemforBush (Somebody wake me when sanity has returned to the nation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

To read later


25 posted on 07/05/2009 8:30:40 PM PDT by Pantera
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

“FACTS are Obama is a wimpy loser. He drags us DOWN.”

thanks for my new email signature line


26 posted on 07/05/2009 8:31:50 PM PDT by cd jones (Liberals: spreading misery, calling it equality)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

BREAKING THE WAR MENTALITY (MARCH 10. 1983 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - SUNDIAL)
By Barack Obama

Most students at Columbia do not have first hand knowledge of war. Military violence has been a vicarious experience, channeled into our minds through television, film, and print.

The more sensitive among us struggle to extrapolate experiences of war from our everyday experience, discussing the latest mortality statistics from Guatemala, sensitizing ourselves to our parents’ wartime memories, or incorporating into our framework of reality as depicted by a Mailer or a Coppola. But the taste of war the sounds and chill, the dead bodies-are remote and far removed. We know that wars have occurred, will occur, are occurring, but bringing such experience down into our hearts. and taking continual, tangible steps to prevent war, becomes a difficult task.

Two groups on campus, Anns Race Alternatives (ARA) and Students Against Militarism (SAM), work within these mental limits to foster awareness and practical action necessary to counter the growing threat of war. Though the emphasis of the two groups differ, they share an aversion to current government policy. These groups, visualizing the possibilities of destruction and grasping the tendencies of distorted national priorities, are throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track.

“Most people my age remember well the air-raid drills in school, under the desk with our heads tucked between our legs. Older people, they remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I think these kinds of things left an indelible mark on our souls, so we’re more apt to be concerned,” says Don Kent, assistant director of programs and student activities at Earl Hall Center. Along with the community Volunteer Service Center, ARA has been Don’s primary concern, coordinating various working groups of faculty, students, and staff members, while simultaneously seeking the ever elusive funding for programs.

“When I first came here two years ago, Earl Hall had been a holding tank for five years. Paul Martin (director of Earl Hall) and I discussed our interests, and decided that ARA would be one of the programs we pushed. Initially, most of the work was done by non-student volunteers and staff. “Hot issues, particularly El Salvador, were occupying students at the time. consequently, we cosponsored a lot of activities with community organizations like SANE (Students Against Nuclear Energy).”

With the flowering of the nuclear Freeze movement, and particularly the June 12 rally in Central Park, however, student participation has expanded. One wonders whether this upsurge stems from young people’s penchant for the latest ‘happenings’, or from growing awareness of the consequences of nuclear holocaust. ARA maintains a mailing list of 500 persons and Don Kent estimates that approximately half of the active members are students. Although he feels that continuity is provided by the faculty and staff members, student attendance at ARA sponsored events - in particular a November 11 convocation on the nuclear threat-reveals a deep resevoir (sp) of concern. “I think students on this campus like to think of themselves as sophisticated, and don’t appreciate small vision, So they tend to come out more for the events; they do not want to just fold leaflets.”

Mark Bigelow, a graduate intern from Union Theological Seminary who works with Don to keep ARA running smoothly, agrees. “It seems that students here are fairly aware of the nuclear problem, and it makes for an underlying frustration. We try to talk to that frustration.” Consequently, the thrust of ARA is towards generating dialogue which will give people a rational handle on this controversial subject. this includes bringing speakers like Daniel Ellsberg to campus, publishing fact sheets compiled by interested faculty, and investigating the possible development of an interdisciplinary program in the Columbia curriculum dealing with peace, disarmament, and ‘world order.

Tied in with such a thrust is the absence of what Don calls “a party line.” By taking an almost apolitical approach to the problem, ARA hopes to get the university to take nuclear arms issues seriously. “People don’t like having their intelligence insulted,” says Don, “so we try to disseminate information and allow the individual to make his or her own decision.”

Generally, the narrow focus of the Freeze movement as well as academic discussions of first versus second strike capabilities, suit the military-industrial interests, as they continue adding to their billion dollar erector sets. When Peter Tosh sings that “everybody’s asking for peace, but nobody’s asking for justice,” one is forced to wonder whether disarmament or arms control issues, severed from economic and political issues, might be another instance of focusing on the symptoms of a problem instead of the disease itself. Mark Bigelow does not think so. “We do focus primarily on catastrophic weapons. Look, we say, here’s the worst part, let’s work on that. You’re not going to get rid of the military in the near future, so let’s at least work on this.”

Mark Bigelow does feel that the links are there, and points to fruitful work being done by other organizations involved with disarmament. “The Freeze is one part of a whol (sp) disarmament movement. The lowest common denominator, so to speak. For instance, April 10-16 is Jobs For Peac (sp) week, with a bunch of things going on around the city. Also, the New York City Council may pass a resolution in April calling for greater social as opposed to military spending. Things like this may dispell (sp) the idea that disarmament is a white issue, because how the government spends its revenue affects everyone.”

The very real advantages of concentrating on a single issue is leading the National Freeze movement to challenge individual missile systems, while continuing the broader campaign. This year, Mark Bigelow sees the checking of Pershing II and Cruise missile deployment as crucial. “Because of their small size and mobility, their deployment will make possible arms control verification far more difficult, and will cut down warning time for the Soviets to less than ten minutes. That can only be a destabilizing factor.” Additionally, he sees the initiation by the U.S. of the Test Ban Treaty as a powerful first step towards a nuclear free world.

ARA encourages members to join buses to Washington and participate in a March 7-8 rally intended to push through the Freeze resolution which is making its second trip through the House. ARA also will ask United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War (UCAM), an information and lobbying network based in universities, nationwide, to serve as its advisory board in the near future. Because of its autonomy from Columbia (which does not fund political organizations) UCAM could conceivably become a more active arm of disarmament campaigns on campus, though the ARA will continue to function solely as a vehicle for information and discussion.

Also operating out of Earl Hall Center, Students Against Militarism was formed in response to the passage of registration laws in 1980. An entirely student-run organization, SAM casts a wider net than ARA, though for the purposes of effectiveness, they have tried to lock in on one issue at a time.

“At the heart. of our organization is an anti-war focus”, says junior Robert Kahn, one of SAM’s fifteen or so active members. “From there, a lot of issues shoot forth-nukes, racism, the draft, and South Africa. “We have been better organized when taking one issue at a time, but we are always cognizant of other things going on, and collaborate frequently with other campus organizations like CISPES and REELPOLITIK.”

At this time, the current major issue is the Solomon Bill, the latest legislation from Congress to obtain compliance to registration. the law requires that all male students applying for federal financial aid submit proof of registration, or else the government coffers will close. Yale, Wesleyan, and Swathmore have refused to comply, and plan to offer non-registrants other forms of financial aid. SAM hopes to press Columbia into following suit, though so far President Sovern and company seem prepared to acquiesce to the bill.

Robert believes students tacitly support non-registrants, though the majority did not. comply. “Several students have come up to our tables and said that had they known of the ineffectiveness of prosecution, they would not have registered.” A measure of such underlying support is the 400 signatures on a petititon (sp) protesting the Solomon Bill, which SAM collected the first four hours it appeared. Robert also points out that prior to registration, there were four separate bills circulating in the House proposing a return to the draft, but none ever got out of committees, and there have not been renewed efforts. An estimated half-million non-registrants can definately (sp) be a powerful signal.

Prodding students into participating beyond name signing and attending events is tricky, but SAM members seem undaunted. “A lot of the problem comes not from people’s ignorance of the facts, but because the news and statistics are lifeless. That’s why we search for campus issues like the Solomon bill that have direct impact on the student body, and effectively link the campus to broader issues.” By organizing and educating the Columbia community, such activities lay the foundation for future mobilization against the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country. “The time is right to tie together social and military issues,” Robert continues, “and the more strident the
Administraion (sp) becomes, the more aware people are of their real interests.

The belief that moribund institutions, rather than individuals are at the root of the problem, keep SAM’s energies alive. “A prerequisite for members of an organization like ours is the faith that people are fundamentally good, but you need to show them. and when you look at the work people are doing across the country, it makes you optimistic.”

Perhaps the essential goodness of humanity is an arguable proposition, but by observing the SAM meeting last Thursday night, with its solid turnout and enthusiasm, one might be persuaded that the manifestations of our better instincts can at least match the bad ones. Regarding Columbia’s possible compliance, one comment in particular hit upon an important point with the Solomon bill, “The thing we need to do is expose how columbia (sp) is talking out of two sides of its mouth.”

Indeed, the most pervasive malady of the collegiate system specifically, and the American experience generally, is that elaborate patterns of knowledge and theory have been disembodied from individual choices and government policy. What the members of ARA and SAM try to do is infuse what they have learned about the current situation, bring the words of that formidable roster on the face of Butler Library, names like Thoreau, Jefferson, and Whitman, to hear on the twisted logic of which we are today a part. By adding their energy and effort in order to enchance (sp) the possibility of a decent world, they may help deprive us of a spectacular experience - that of war. But then, there are some things we shouldn’t have to live through in order to want to avoid the experience.


27 posted on 07/05/2009 8:32:04 PM PDT by missnry (The truth will set you free ... and drive liberals Crazy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

“Showing this piece under his byline might have helped get him into Harvard Law School a few years later, although he’s known to have had wealthy Saudi backers by then.

Somehow I missed the info about his Saudi backer, so I did a search — it seems it’s quite accurate, the Investor’s Business Daily did an article on it in Sept. 2008.

Barack Obama — Magna Cum Saudi?

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=305508174916939

“Election ‘08: Does Barack Obama owe his meteoric rise to an Israeli-hating adviser to a Saudi billionaire? Why did a race-baiting mentor to the Black Panthers favor this yet unknown community organizer?”


28 posted on 07/05/2009 8:48:32 PM PDT by FocusNexus ("Good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise." GW Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus
He was 22 years old when he wrote this?! Sheesh... we have a saying about 22 year olds. They're 18 PLUS 4!... and that means that they're still basically nothing more than a "Primary Support System For a Penis!"

Which 22 year old has ever produced anything worth paying any great amount of attention to? There were of course exceptions, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But Obama ain't no Mozart!
29 posted on 07/05/2009 8:51:30 PM PDT by hiredhand (Understand the CRA and why we're facing economic collapse - see my about page.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hiredhand; All
" But Obama ain't no Mozart! "


30 posted on 07/05/2009 9:03:30 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see a REAL C.O.L.B. BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: cd jones

You would have thought of it ... .

Abuse the heck out of it!!!

;)


31 posted on 07/05/2009 9:16:37 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93
On second thought, he might have done the draft and then had someone more senior edit it, putting in some more sophisticated words and phrases. (William Ayers - known to be in the neighborhood at the time?)

I don't think it is badly written, he bandies about SAT words and uses them correctly. Trickily, he applauds the work of what were basically Soviet front groups, but still maintains a journalistic distance. Since we know nothing of what Obama was doing at the time, it is easy to imagine him having recourse to doting editorial assistance.

32 posted on 07/05/2009 9:32:07 PM PDT by Plutarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

Thanks for the ping!


33 posted on 07/05/2009 9:33:13 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: 2CAVTrooper

ping for later read


34 posted on 07/05/2009 10:21:08 PM PDT by 2CAVTrooper (For those who have had to fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93
Yes I find it hard to believe, at the age of 22, that Obama wrote this article without editorial help. The man needs eight teleprompters as backup when he leaves the White House.

(William Ayers - known to be in the neighborhood at the time?)

Only a few blocks away.

35 posted on 07/05/2009 10:31:30 PM PDT by Red Steel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: FocusNexus

Really crappy writing. When was this? Was he already out of law school?


36 posted on 07/06/2009 5:03:42 AM PDT by dinodino
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93
There have been other examples of competent writing. See this thread about a con law exam he gave.

ML/NJ

37 posted on 07/06/2009 6:02:53 AM PDT by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Plutarch
...it is easy to imagine him having recourse to doting editorial assistance.

As you might know, studies comparing the writing style in O's "autobiography" "Dreams" with that in known Ayers works suggest strongly that Ayers was the real author of that book allegedly written by Obama. Combine that with the facts that Ayers was geographically proximal to Obama at the time the latter was at Columbia and that Ayers would pretty much agree with the content of the Sundial article, and you can see why Ayers would be a suspect in such "editorial assistance."

38 posted on 07/07/2009 8:01:01 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson