Monday, August 23, 2021

Afghanistan: Jimmy and Zbig's War (SOAPBOX PODCAST AUGUST 23, 2021)


August 23, 2021




TOPIC: The debacle of Afghanistan was no "mistake," it was carefully plotted by Carter and Brezezinski years before 9/11/2001

This show is a deep dive into the mess the U.S. has made in the
"Graveyard of Empires."

GUESTS: Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould.


New Book ("The Valediction") Exposes US Perfidy in Afghanistan

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9/1/2021 - The Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond” by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould is their novelized memoir of how the United States lured the Soviet Union into Afghanistan in 1979, demonized it as a threat to world peace, and paid Muslim extremists to destabilize Afghanistan in order to squash détente, scuttle the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, and justify a massive arms build-up that neglects infrastructure investment in America to this day.


“Afghanistan changed everything,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in a recent interview. “It killed the peace movement that ended the Vietnam War and was trying to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Overnight, the left fell silent and let pro-war voices dictate foreign policy. Ms. Gould said, “President Carter called the so-called invasion the greatest threat to peace since World War II. Yet America had been secretly destabilizing the Muslim countries of the Soviet Union for years by that time.”


According to Fitzgerald and Gould, President Reagan’s crusade against the Evil Empire set the stage for endless war by privatizing covert action and spawning an independent financial network that put the planet up for grabs to the highest bidder – and Afghanistan’s mythic dimension as the graveyard of empires is undoing not only the American empire but also the concept of empire itself.



Book Release Date: September 22, 2021                

For more information visit 

To Purchase visit Trine Day or Amazon

Liz and Paul

About the guests
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began working together in 1979 co-producing a documentary for Paul's television show, Watchworks. Called, The Arms Race and the Economy, A Delicate Balance, they found themselves in the midst of a swirling controversy that was to boil over a few months later with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Their acquisition of the first visas to enter Afghanistan granted to an American TV crew in 1981 brought them into the middle of the most heated Cold War controversy since Vietnam. But the pictures and the people inside Soviet occupied Afghanistan told a very different story from the one being broadcast to Americans.

Following their exclusive news story for the CBS Evening News, they produced a documentary (Afghanistan Between Three Worlds) for PBS and in 1983 they returned to Kabul for ABC Nightline with Harvard Negotiation Project director, Roger Fisher. They were told that the Soviets wanted to go home and negotiate their way out. Peace in Afghanistan was more than a possibility, it was a desired option. But the story that President Carter called, "the greatest threat to peace since the second World War" had already been written by America's policy makers and America's pundits were not about to change the script. 


As the first American journalists to get deeply inside the story they not only got a view of an unseen Afghan life, but a revelatory look at how the U.S. defined itself against the rest of the world  under the veil of superpower confrontation Once the Soviets had crossed the border into Afghanistan, the fate of both nations was sealed. But as Paul and Liz pursued the reasons behind the wall of propaganda that shielded the truth, they found themselves drawn into a story that was growing into mythic dimensions. Big things were brewing in Afghanistan. Old empires were being undone and new ones, hatched. America had launched a Crusade and the ten year war against the Soviet Union was only the first chapter.  


It was at the time of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 when Paul and Liz were working on the film version of their experience under contract to Oliver Stone, that they began to piece together the mythic implications of the story. During the research for the screenplay many of the documents preceding the Afghan crisis were declassified. Over the next decade they trailed a labyrinth of clues only to find a profound likeness in Washington's official policy towards Afghanistan - in the ancient Zoroastrian war of the light against the dark - whose origins began in the region now known as Afghanistan. It is a likeness that has grown visible as America's entanglement in Afghanistan threatens to backfire once again.


Afghanistan's civil war followed America's Cold War while Washington walked away. A new strain of religious holy warrior called the Taliban arose but at the time few in America cared to look. As the horrors of the Taliban regime began to grab headlines in 1998 Paul and Liz started collaborating with Afghan human rights expert Sima Wali. Along with Wali, they contributed to the Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future book project published by Palgrave Macmillan (2002). In 2002 they filmed Wali's first return to Kabul since her exile in 1978. The film they produced about Wali's journey home, The Woman in Exile Returns, gives audiences the chance to discover the message of one of Afghanistan's most articulate voices and her hopes for her people.


In the years since, much has happened to bring Paul and Liz's story into sharp focus. Their efforts at combining personal diplomacy with activist journalism are a model for restoring a necessary dialogue to American democracy. Their book, Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, published by City Lights (2009), lays bare why it was inevitable that the Soviet Union and the U.S. should end up in Afghanistan and what that means to the future of the American empire. Their book, Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, published by City Lights (2011), lays out the paralyzing contradictions of America’s AfPak strategy. It clarifies the complex web of interests and individuals surrounding the war and focuses on the little understood importance of the line of demarcation between Afghanistan and Pakistan called the Durand line. Their novel The Voice , first published in 2000, is the esoteric side of their Afghan experience.


Gould and Fitzgerald’s articles and blogs have been published in numerous online and print journals and newspapers such as The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune, Huffington Post, The New York Times, GlobalPost World News, Middle East Institute’s Viewpoints, CounterPunch, Sputnik News and OpedNews. They have been interviewed by major media outlets such as MSNBC, RealNews TV, Democracy Now and numerous commercial and PBS radio stations from Boston to LA They have also made presentations that have aired across the country on C-Span Book TV and the Cambridge Forum (WGBH Forum Network). Their presentation-Afghanistan and Mystical Imperialism: An expose of the esoteric underpinnings of American foreign policy- is viewable here  A review of the presentation titled Afghanistan bedeviled by 'Mystical Imperialism' is available here. For more information visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk.  


Liz and Paul's  novelized memoir, The Valediction-Three Nights of Desmond, will be published this September. A major focus is on the most Russo phobic operative of all time, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski! It’s been amazing looking back and remembering how we figured out that Brzezinski was using the February 14, 1979 assassination  of the U.S Ambassador to Afghanistan to undo détente and draw the Soviet’s into their own Vietnam quagmire. For Brzezinski Afghanistan was an American crusade to win the war against the “Evil Empire.” This telling reveals Brzezinski’s active role in planting the poison seeds of Russo Phobia deep inside the White House that are still flowering today. As America attempts to extricate itself from its own Afghan quagmire, it is clear why Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of Empires. Their memoir delivers a revelatory look at how that happened through encounters we had with many fascinating people along the way. 




Thursday, August 19, 2021

Recall in California: A "No" Vote for the Recall is a "YES" Vote for Newsom and his Failing Governnorship by Cindy Sheehan


 Full Disclosure: I have been a candidate for Cal Governor (in 2014) against Jerry Brown (D). I was a member of the Peace and Freedom Party, running from his left which considering his fast tumble to the right was not too difficult. Even though California is a state controlled by Democrats, I would argue its a very corporate, corrupt, and conservative manifestation of a party that some people mistakenly believe is radical-left.

And before we get to deep into this piece, NO, I am not a Trump supporter and, NO, I do not want a Republican to win. The simple fact is though that the U.S. is a one-party entity and whoever prevails will be on the side of the special interests, and not the people.

I am NOT running in the 46 person race to unseat Newsom if the recall effort is successful, although, I do support the effort from the left.
Newsom and his minions in the right-of-center Cal Dem Party keep calling this recall effort the "Republican Recall," but I am living proof that a left-wing independent supports the democratic (from the people) ouster. I know countless democrats who are supporting the recall effort, as well. If mainstream Republicans jumped on the grassroots effort early, they were copying Democrats who love to co-opt lefty movements for their own nefarious agendas. Some political activists are saying that the recall is a "conservative power grab," and in doing so, I believe they are exposing their own creeping conservatism.


As a matter of fact, the Recall initiative in California began in the early 1900's as a progressive movement, led by such progressive heroes as Hiram Johnson (pictured left) to rein in the power of the mighty Southern Pacific Railroad (along with the direct democracy initiative [propsition] power). It's this very direct democracy that many early Californians fought for! It wasn't very easy or safe to go against the Big Four (Huntington, Stanford, Hopkins, and Crocker) of the SPRR back then and the recall process is also not easy today: the recall proponents needed to collect almost 2 million signatures to clear the 1.5 million needed for it to go on the ballot. As someone who has collected signatures for political efforts in California, I am here to tell you it ain't easy. However, during the recall signature gathering effort, whenever I passed people sitting in public collecting signatures, the tables were always inundated with eager petition signers.


My answer to the people who are afraid of a conservative coup in California is that NEWSOM IS AN ELITIST CONSERVATIVE when it comes to totalitarianism, and capitalist profit. He is in the pockets of special interests and his little foray to The French Laundry (California's most expensive restaurant) during his draconian lockdown shows not just a level of political retardation, but it was a party to fete his lobbyist best-friend! In Newsom's lame "defense" he said he hadn't been out for months, and it was his "best-friend's 50th birthday." Well, tens of millions of Californians were in the same boat, but most of us could not afford $500/plate.

As I sit here, trapped in my home because of another PG&E (today's SPRR?) fire which is inundating our region with smoke and toxic air, A "NO" VOTE FOR THE RECALL IS A "YES" VOTE FOR PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC'S SLASH AND BURN POLICIES ACROSS OUR STATE.  How many cities do they get to burn to the ground with their crappy equipment before they are held to more than a judicial hand slap? PG& E is protected by Newsom and his ilk. It's not like we get discounted rates from them, our bills are out of control expensive to give the power mad power lords the power to fund political campaigns and NOT upgrade its ancient equipment.










There is a slippery slope that appears anytime there is another bourgeois election. From the left of center it goes like this:
"Well, if we vote against the Democrat by voting for our principles, then a Republican will win!"

Hello! Consistently and constantly blaming we voters that have unwavering values for the troubles of the Democrat party is keeping us in this political quagmire of diseased capitalism and destructive imperialism.

If Newsom loses on September 14th, there's only one person to blame: Newsom; and only one entity to blame: The Democrat Party.
Newsom and his minions are trying to get us to vote "NO" on the recall, then not vote for our preferred candidate, which is our option to do. The other option is to vote "YES" on the recall and vote for our preferred candidate. However, we can always vote "YES" on the recall and not vote for a candidate, as well.

Does your heart lie with a California that uses its tremendous resources and budget surplus to make the lives of its citizens better? We could be leading the nation in education and the environment, yet what we are currently leading in is how many people are fleeing the state.

Give California a fighting chance.
Vote "YES" to recall Newsom!



Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Gold Rush in Space (SOAPBOX PODCAST AUGUST 3, 2021)


August 3, 2021


click to listen


Guest: Bruce Gagnon

Topic: Stooges in Space

(Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson)

This week, Cindy chats with Bruce Gagnon from

The Global Network Against

Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space


Keep Space for Peace Week



The Funnies: Pretentious space stooges

Escaping from taxation.

Escaping from Earth gravity.

Escaping from reality.

Put the space stooge bums
in jail,
let them try to escape
from behind bars.

still children,
these space stooge
billionaires are.

It is a trip,
a big trip,
an ego trip.
Bruce Gagnon  
'Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.'
~ Henry David Thoreau