Coming to Jakarta and Deep Politics:
How Writing a Poem Enabled Me to Write American War Machine
(An Essay on Liberation)
Peter Dale Scott
For Mark Selden
For most of my life I have felt split between two conflicting approaches to reality: 1) as a researcher trying rigorously and methodically to understand violence in the world, and 2) as a poet, responding to intuitive impulses to say what moved me, whether rational or not. But recently my editor Mark Selden suggested that I write about the role of Coming to Jakarta in my political thinking. In responding to his request I have come to realize that the two sides of my life have become synergistic, each side not just facilitating the other but indeed enabling it. Because each can be characterized as an attempt, using radically different methods but towards the same goal, of becoming more aware of forces in our life that are not easily understandable by normal rational investigation. So that each is an exploration, if you like, on the same frontier between the known and the unknowable.
In particular I have had to acknowledge to myself that I could not possibly have depicted the scene in the opening pages of American War Machine if I had not first, with some pain, written Coming to Jakarta. This poem is often presented (even by myself) as my response in 1980 to the anguish of knowing facts I was unable to share, about U.S. involvement in the 1965 massacre by the Indonesian army of over half a million Indonesian men, women, and children. But it was also a confrontation with the disturbing reality that there is a gap between the world as we think we know it, and darker, more inscrutable forces at work both in the world and in ourselves. As I wrote in 2000,
Soon ... I was looking at the same process of denial in myself: I had once discounted my own university's support of elements working with the army. In this way Jakarta took the form of an argument, at first with the external world, but increasingly with myself"1
Mark's request was a timely one. Just then I was attempting to write in prose about what I consider the failure of structural (or what I call Newtonian) social science to deal adequately with deep unstructured and unarchived forces in our society, such as the international drug traffic. I was also studying the prose writings of the Nobel-winning Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, who helped inspire the Polish Solidarity movement, and later wrote that the social task of the inspired poet is "to transcend his paltry ego," and remind the "soul of the people" of "the open space ahead."2
The first draft of my poem Coming to Jakarta was written in an intense burst of energy thirty years ago, as I strenuously wrote myself out of a near mental breakdown. A decade later, when the poem was honored in an issue of the literary review Agni, I attempted to analyze the diverse sources of my mental discomfort:
The first was a growing self-hatred for carrying around a headful of horrors which most people (including my former editors and publishers) were less and less willing to hear about. An afternoon talk in 1980 with Noam Chomsky about our increasing difficulties in reaching audiences, right after each of us had had a book suppressed by its publisher, did indeed help trigger the very real personal crisis at the opening of the poem, the fear that I might be at the point of losing, like some close friends, my personal sanity altogether.
Major General, Suharto (right, foreground) attends a funeral for generals assassinated on 5 October 1965. (Photo by the Department of Information, Indonesia)
But deeper than this external frustration with publishers was the sense that my own judgmental head was in some profound sense not right, my disgust (which can still haunt me) at "giving one last broadcast too many/ about...the heroin traffic." Unlike many Americans whose prevailing discomfort in this era was guilt, my own nausea (I now believe) was from the poisonous facts I had assimilated and could not disseminate.
The first eight sections of the poem record my search for the source of this nausea, and my delayed recognition (in II.iv), that it derived, not from knowledge reiterated, but from knowledge and emotions held back. By appealing to a more human and less compartmentalized audience, poetry, precisely poetry, allowed me to trace more inclusive relationships than those authorized by orderly prose analysis.3
Today I am more confident than before that my psychic rebellion against using prose to describe our society—and our world— was legitimate from the point of view of truth-seeking, an existential critique of the political science methods in which I had been trained at university. Section ii.iv, to which I referred, was an autocritique for limiting myself to archival sources about the great Indonesian massacre of 1965, and the subsequent murder in Cambodia five years later of my friend Malcolm Caldwell, who had first encouraged me to research that massacre:
I am writing this poem
about the 1965 massacre
of Indonesians by Indonesians
which in an article ten years later
I could not publish
except in Nottingham England with
a friend Malcolm Caldwell who has since
himself been murdered
no one will say by whom but I will guess
seeing as this is
the CIA's and now Peking's Cambodian
assassins the Khmer Serai
In that article I estimated
a half-million or more
killed in this period
it took Noam in a book
suppressed by its first publisher
to quote Admiral Sudomo
of the Indonesian junta
more than 500,000
and now Amnesty International
many more than one million
so much for my balanced prose 4
Liberated from the need for rational documentation, my poem (using the catalogue topos of ancient epic) wandered freely through the manifold deep forces affecting American politics and my own depression, not excluding references to my suppressed prose book -- which Pocketbooks, despite a written contract, had failed to publish.
My book would have asked
as the Warren Commission staff
working for Allen Dulles
was unable to
why Levinson's pit boss
McWillie gambler and murderer 23 WH 166
from the old Binion gang
in Dallas and Fort Worth
who had a fix with Mr. Big
I don't think we'd better
go into that phase of it Reid 156-57
twice brought to Havana
most likely as a courier AR 151
his close friend
A dumb subject
The book went into galleys
and was photographed
for the Pocketbooks spring catalogue
but never published
to write this poem.5
More and more, the search for relief and empowerment from voicing what was bottled up inside of me led to the recovery of other suppressed memories. Some of these were from childhood; but one, which should have been unforgettable but in fact was swiftly suppressed, was only a decade old. The fact that I had suppressed it (as I wrote later) "constituted evidence that there were darker forces at work in our society than I would normally allow myself to admit."
Perhaps the most powerful of these suppressed memories, and certainly the very last to be recovered, is near the end of Section V.ii, reprinted here. It was of a witness to opium flights in Asia who, after agreeing with Alfred McCoy and myself to be interviewed, changed his mind overnight. And for good reason: in those hours someone had warned him by burning a hole in the steel door of his M.G. with a sophisticated implosion device. One might think that such a vivid and incongruous message could hardly be forgotten. The fact was that I had totally suppressed my memory of it, even through the first two years of my determined poetic search to recover such memories!
And so, as I rightly suspected, had Al. In the preface to the latest edition of his monumental classic, The Politics of Heroin, he writes in prose about his own suppression of the same facts. At the risk of seeming self-absorbed in the context of larger tragedies, I would like to quote his prose account of an unforgettable event almost instantly forgotten.
I landed in San Francisco for a stay with poet and Berkeley professor Peter Dale Scott. He put me in touch with an ex-Green Beret, just back from covert operations in Laos, who told me, over the phone, of seeing CIA aircraft loading opium. He agreed to be interviewed on the record. The next morning, we knocked at his door in an East Palo Alto
apartment complex. We never got inside. He was visibly upset, saying he "had gotten the message." What happened?
"Follow me," he said, leading us across the parking lot to his M. G. sportscar. He pointed at something on the passenger door and named a chemical explosive that that could melt a hole in sheet metal. It was, he said, a signal to shut up. I looked but cannot recall seeing. The next day, I flew to Los Angeles, visited my mother, and then flew on to Saigon, forgetting the incident. I refused to recognize the reality of this threat until, 20 years later, I came across a passage in Professor Scott's poem, Coming to Jakarta:
but that clean morning in Palo Alto
the former Green Beret
who just the night before
had said he would talk to us
about opium in Laos
showing us the sharp black hole
in his M.G.'s red steel door
the floorboards hardly scorched
and saying that hot
an imploded thermal charge
must have come from my old unit6
I presented these remarks at a 2003 conference on "Literary Responses to Mass Violence," with discussions of massacres in Auschwitz, South Africa, Rwanda, and (in my case) Indonesia. One of the emergent facts from those discussions was the recurring denial among those coping with the psychic pain of traumatic (or even difficult) experience. I was made aware of a vast literature on the widespread phenomenon of cultural trauma, and on psychological repression as a response to it. To quote Arthur G. Neal
The enduring effects of a trauma in the memories of an individual resemble the enduring effects of a national trauma in collective consciousness. Dismissing or ignoring the traumatic experience is not a reasonable option. The conditions surrounding a trauma are played and replayed in consciousness through an attempt to extract some sense of coherence from a meaningless experience. When the event is dismissed from consciousness, it resurfaces in feelings of anxiety and despair. Just as the rape victim becomes permanently changed as a result of the trauma, the nation becomes permanently changed as a result of a trauma in the social realm.7
I remain fascinated by the fitness of this account to my own anxiety and attempt, in writing Jakarta, "to extract some sense of coherence" from my disturbing experiences -- even though my experiences were minimally traumatic by today's standards. It is as if all of us, at least in the so-called "developed" countries (a term I reject after having lived in Thailand) can be to a lesser or greater extent traumatized by the nightmare shadow of our expensive paradises, and find in art a means to either escape from the nightmare, or attempt to understand it.
Al McCoy's account, as much as my own, reveals that these forces working for self-preservation by the repression of indigestible truths are internal as well as societal. This speaks both to the repressive origins of deep politics and also to the social function of poetry: the space where we return to thoughts so pure and alien that they cannot be easily shared in the normal discourse of a corrupted society.
Thus I believe that poetry, in its own mysterious way, is part of humanity's heuristic approach to truth. More particularly, my poems are often an antechamber to a subsequent more engaged treatment in prose. For example, this episode of the firebombed MG in Palo Alto, recovered by writing Jakarta, now constitutes the opening episode (and containing metaphor) of my latest and perhaps most ambitious prose book, American War Machine.8
In our mutual repression of the discomforting bombing memory, and my eventual recovery of it in writing Jakarta, one can see clearly both how the phenomenon of deep politics – the sphere of the unmentionable – arises, and also how poetry and the imagination can be of use in recovering access to this sphere (the result in this case being American War Machine, which I very probably would otherwise not have written).
In saying this, I am not privileging poetry as more veridical than prose. On the contrary, it was only after much rational reflection that I concluded that the Palo Alto bombing was (as I wrote in American War Machine) an example of
what I now call deep events: events that are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military, and intelligence documents as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness....In earlier versions of this book, I attributed the sanctioned violence of the Palo Alto incident, like the Letelier assassination I discuss next, to the CIA's global drug connection. But that statement does not solve a mystery: it opens one up. As a matter of description, it sounds more precise than terms I have used in earlier books: "the dark quadrant" from which parapolitical events emerge or "the unrecognized Force X operating in the world," which I suggested might help explain 9/11. But the precision is misleading: in this book I am indeed attempting to denote and describe a deep force, or forces, that I do not fully understand.9
In this passage I was retreating from my earlier attribution of such deep events (in The Road to 9/11) to the influence of the "deep state" – a term which, following the Norwegian social scientist Ola Tunander, I borrowed from Turkey. I was now in effect admitting that the term "deep state" was itself reflective of the social scientific structural bias – the urge to reduce all social phenomena to definable structures -- that was my explanation for the resistance of intelligent critics like Noam Chomsky to studying deep events at all.10 That is why I have since preferred to refer to "deep forces" – a term free of the structural connotations implicit in the word "state." I am coming now to envisage deep politics as revealing a realm beyond that of social structures and systems, much as Einstein's seminal early essays unsettled and looked beyond the Newtonian assumption of an ordered or structured universe.11
I was extremely fortunate to have Al McCoy in particular as a corroborating witness to this event, since Al, by writing and rewriting his classic The Politics of Heroin, was unusually aware of the forces at high levels in our society protecting the drug traffic, and thus more capable than most of recovering our shared memory. For example he had already, by the time I recontacted him about the episode, reported how the warnings in 1980 of Carter's White House drug adviser David Musto, against providing support to the opium growers in Afghanistan, had been systematically ignored (as they are still being ignored today), and his access to information denied.12
There are other examples in Coming to Jakarta of what I now call deep force interference.13 Unfortunately the witnesses who might have corroborated them were not nearly as sensitized as Al to the presence of a controlling irrationality in our daily affairs. Almost all had forgotten what they had witnessed (as had Al and I), which was to be expected. But unlike Al, almost none was able or willing to recover the memory when I urged them. So I was rendered cognizant of the widespread social conditioning of our thoughts, which were and are largely constrained to what can be easily shared. And Jakarta, from this perspective, had represented a revolt from within against this social conditioning. Le coeur a ses raisons.
All this leads to the current thinking about all art as a form of corrective alterity, "reminding us" (as I have written in a lecture on Milosz) "that as humans we are more than settled furniture in the architecture of the status quo."14 In that lecture I quoted from the social critic Theodore Adorno's account of a dialectical engagement between the other world of poetry and this tangible, secular world. In Adorno's words, "Even in the most sublimated work of art there is a hidden 'it should be otherwise.'As eminently constructed and produced objects, works of art...point to a practice from which they abstain: the creation of a just life."15
However (in the tradition of Schiller and Marcuse) I disagree that art, or at least poetry, always abstains from the creation of a just life. As a poet I have tried to reinforce a tradition of socially engaged poetry. The poetry I taught as a professor, from Virgil's Aeneid to Wordsworth's Prelude, was poetry I taught as examples of how great poetry could exert leverage upon the world, by showing it a vision of something imaginably better, a "space ahead."16
Coming to Jakarta reads in places like the chronicle of a nightmare:
the disposal of the corpses
has created a serious sanitation problem
small rivers and streams
have been literally clogged with bodies
has at places been impeded Time 12/17/6517
It is perhaps not a very brilliant example of showing a space ahead. The poem does however end prospectively:
let there be the courage
......not just to have seen
but to ease into the world
......breathing within us18
I do believe that the whole arc of the poem had led me to a glimpse of what Buddhists call original mind (or anatta), where we get back to the purity we begin with. And that this glimpse, like Dante's passage through the very bottom of the Inferno, was the beginning of a return to a healthier view of life.
By the time these lines were written, I was already well embarked on the next volume of what would eventually become a trilogy, Seculum, continuing to explore the process to which I had been opened by writing Coming to Jakarta. The next volume, Listening to the Candle (1992), moved antithetically to some of the good things in life, and the third, Minding the Darkness (2000), to a reconciliation of the two first volumes – through the process of
language and humans
redefining each other...
where we struggle to discover
what has always been known19
I wish I could say that it has always been self-evident to me that a poet should love the world, and therefore should wish to change it. In fact my vision has been frequently occluded by crises, like the one occasioning Jakarta, at which times I could think only about changing myself. But it seems self-evident to me now that these two urges, to heal oneself and to heal the world, are ultimately one and the same.20
It is for this reason that my poem "Changing North America," one of my latest, begins with the same Milosz quote that opens this essay.
Changing North America
I. We Are Not As We Are
For Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg
Having helped initiate
the liberators of Poland21
Czeslaw Milosz said to a Harvard audience
that in every era
the task of the inspired poet
is to transcend his paltry ego
and remind the soul of the people
of the open space ahead.22
His example – sorely needed --
of overcoming the schism
between the poet and the human family
was Walt Whitman23
his simplicity and power of the word24
but Whitman could never speak
to the whole of America
the way Mickiewicz or Milosz
could unite Poland
in the face of a foreign oppressor
It was Whitman's fate
to address an America
at war with itself
His version of freedom
was not whole-heartedly received
even by Emerson
who warned him America
was not prepared for a poet
who celebrated prostitutes and masturbation25
much less in the South
where his self-confident expansiveness
provoked the Confederate Sidney Lanier:
Whitman's argument seems to be
that because a prairie is wide,
therefore debauchery is admirable
and because the Mississippi is long,
therefore every American is God.26
Whitman could never assume the mantle
of Adam Mickiewicz
(whose wife was a Frankist27
believing all laws will fail28)
the poet of national liberation
foreseeing the sun of freedom
and the wind that would blow off
the frozen cascade of tyranny29
like Milosz a century later
with his commitment
to a poetry that can save nations.30
Whitman knew how best to praise the world
not how to change it
although much later he walked
under the pale green leaves of the darkened republic
to the hermit thrush's abode
in the pine trees31
with the sacred knowledge of death32
And your fate too Allen Ginsberg
was to address an America
still at war with itself
when as you wrote The world
has a soul America
is having a nervous breakdown
and you asked by what authority
we are not as we are
What fiends determine our wars?33
The liberation of Howl
was welcomed by us poets
when we had been reasonable so long
you seemed to open the doors
to a crazy wisdom from the east
I think of you with your squeezebox
chanting cross-legged on a stage
with Tibetan Rinpoches
or chanting in the face of tear gas
and of your testimony to Congress
that psychedelics gave you the power
to stop hating President Lyndon B. Johnson
and start praying for him34
just as John Leonard described you
his ultimate role
at every engagement
in our second Civil War
was as a nurse
like his buddy Walt Whitman35
The court's decision when Howl was seized
was welcomed by us poets
as a liberation of all language
but thanks to the ACLU36
which defended Howl and Ulysses
the law always clumsy
moved swiftly from liberating
Ginsberg's four-letter words
to the imposition of them
on reluctant small-town libraries
Having been raised in Quebec
with its exotic mix
of individual and group identities
the freedom I want is neither
that of the ACLU
which defended the right of Nazis
to march in Skokie Illinois
past the homes of holocaust survivors37
nor that enforced in Canada
where a man was held in solitary confinement
for two years in a Toronto jail38
and then deported
for denying the holocaust.
Least of all is it
Allen's notion of freedom
which led from his arrest for stolen goods39
to the AIDS-ridden sangha of Chögyam Trungpa
until in the end he wrote
Nobody does anything right!
Gods, Popes, Mullahs, Communists, Poets, Financiers!
My own life, scandal! lazy bum!
with how many boys...
trapped in nightmare....40
Ginsberg the wise man among us
you saw more clearly the limits
of Flatland social science
than the space ahead
Awakened by Milosz's
what is poetry which does not save
nations or people?41
I want that freedom
which Gandhi said
is like a birth42
to a world changed
the power of truth
Changing North America
II. Stopping History
For Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, and Daniel Ellsberg
In our lifetime we saw it
how Poles crowded the doors
of their parish churches
to chant in unison the Nicene Creed
even those words sitteth
on the right hand of the Father
until with the aid of mobilized
atheists Jews and
(according to Adam Michnik)
the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz43
their solidarity was able to expel
the Soviet army
What gospel what lyrics
what blithe psalm
will unite the peace-loving
Northern Agrarian disciples
of the Canadian Tory George Grant44
and those of Allen Ginsberg to the south
to ensure that the armies of our continent
for whom that border hardly exists45
will never again anywhere commit
Will it be mystical
like Leonard Cohen's
bird on a wire
or Czeslaw Milosz's
bird thrashing against a window?46
Or as simple and direct
as when we used to sing
we shall overcome
while nonviolent leaders were beaten
and killed in the deep South?
As Americans white and black
slowly began to wake up
from the unspeakable traumas
and the war that ended slavery
the FBI found the bodies
of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman
with the help of a contract murderer
from the Colombo gang in New York City
who extorted the facts with a razor47
and although the ringleaders eluded jail
for another forty years
it was obvious by that time
that the nonviolent in their simple
preparedness to die
had changed forever
that region of America
What will it take
to make the same FBI
stop protecting the murderers
of those antiwar leaders
Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy
and to cleanse the Dallas Police
who let in a peon of the mob
to shoot Oswald the designated patsy?
Allen Ginsberg you sat on stage
at the Human Be-In
with its rock music kites and balloons
where I was sure I glimpsed
what Milosz saw in Pan Tadeusz
an image of pure being48
and a home for incorrigible hope.49
I remember looking up
at Carol our baby-sitter on my shoulders
and above her my young son Mika
who in the ocean sunlight
I was going to reprove you Al Purdy
Canada's national poet
in a copybook country
that has bounced no rockets off the moon50
for having so little to say
on this matter of liberation
but then I remembered Leonard Cohen's
like a bird on a wire
I have tried in my way to be free
that calmed the angry crowds
more than five hundred thousand of them
at the Isle of Wight Music Festival
who had just set the stage on fire51
Joan Baez said later
only Leonard could have done it
it was his poetry
* * * * * *
Dan Ellsberg you told me
it is as human to be cruel
as to be kind
there are no prior inclinations
I said that as a poet
I could never accept
that hate is just as natural as love53
and now I ask you
when the skies in the sixties
opened up for a glimpse
of a gentler America
before violence closed in on us
and you saw a chance
of bringing about real change
away from violence and revenge54
were you not also caught up
in a moment of pure being?
I ask this of myself
left the cover of Time
to march with King at Selma
and sing in the fields by the side
of Cesar Chavez and the migrant farm workers
Leonard was at the Isle of Wight
on a burning stage
... calming tigers
despite that electric
excitement in the cool air
of a San Francisco beach
I remained frozen
between the sensibilities of Hamlet
and the challenge of the Situationists
who forced the Paris uprising in '68
you have to maim a horse
on stage to remind these people55
You Dan were out there at the Rocky Flats
Nuclear Weapons Plant
having discovered ahimsa nonviolence
like Gandhi from Thoreau's words
a minority is irresistible
when it clogs by its whole weight56
knowing you might be killed
you sat on the railway tracks
and the train stopped
Changing North America
III. The Space Ahead57
Allen Ginsberg you were the wise one among us
the fiercest preacher against Moloch
you saw clearly the limits
of our sixties' protests
that p.r. revolution
of Flower Power
The Summer of Love
not all of us survived
at the time of the nonviolent
civil rights events in the south
and la révolution tranquille
from its nostalgic messianism58
backed by Quebec's long-time premier
the former lawyer for Shawinigan Water and Power59
a time of high drama
but our movement
we pretended to think was a group
of like-minded people
seems in retrospect more like
a social convulsion
in which our roles were predetermined
although not as yet written
in which a few not seeing
the open water
of the space ahead
proclaimed with the elitist
arrogance of the Weathermen
a violent class war
provoking as should have been seen
the reaction of the Powell Memorandum
urging the rich to respond
as they did with the Four Horsemen foundations
and the Council for National Policy60
so we now have a class war
more naked than for a century
in which as Warren Buffett observed
it's my class, the rich class,
that's making war,
and we're winning.61
High-level corruption and theft
are worse now than in the fifties
with thousands of children in the world
dying every day from hunger
we have as a matter of policy
diverted a quarter of our corn crop
to make gas for our SUVs62
(and subsidies for Big Oil)
While Jeffrey Sachs the former
director of the UN Millennium Project
has observed The world is drowning
in corporate fraud,
and the problems are probably greatest
in rich countries
with supposedly "good governance"
Every Wall Street firm
has paid significant fines63
the unions are struggling
supported by MoveOn
to preserve what remains
of the Democratic New Deal
while the Tea Party suburbs
whether or not they know it
mobilize behind the Koch brothers
to restore the inequalities
of the Gilded Age
the real choice
one so obvious
most people never mention it
is the one we face
between a world
where the rich go on getting richer
the combined wealth
of the 225 richest people
already nearly equals
the annual income
of the poorer half of the earth64
or the alternative
redistributing wealth and power
the only way
to ward off food riots
the collapse of secular order
(Civilization cannot survive
the loss of its soil reserves)65
and as a first step
the choice in America
between a social security
where no one is forced to be homeless
and the freedom of the Pentagon
to fight still more wars
in whatever countries it pleases
the freedom of Moloch
which if not opposed wholeheartedly
by a strong and single will66
is on track in the end
to bring down American empire
as abruptly as greed brought down
the fallen empires of Spain
France the Netherlands
and Great Britain in our time67
leaving us at last
with the space ahead
that third who always walks beside you
as the thrush sings in the pine trees68
without whom we are not who we are
that necessary Other
both within and beyond us
we can never see completely
lost in endless rational disagreements
whether from instinct
for the roots of our language
we still call it ineffable
beyond all description
or now with the spreading
leafwork of the Internet
we seek to discover
Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.
Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, Coming to Jakarta and Deep Politics: How Writing a Poem Enabled Me to Write American War Machine (An Essay on Liberation), The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 9, Issue 26, No 1, June 27, 2011.
1 Peter Dale Scott, "Afterword," Minding the Darkness, 245.
2 Czeslaw Milosz, The Witness of Poetry (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1983), 28, 25, 14.
3 Peter Dale Scott, "How I Came to Jakarta," Agni 31/32 (1990), 297-304.
4 Peter Dale Scott, Coming to Jakarta: A Poem about Terror (New York: New Directions, 1989), 24-25. The complete section is online at Poetry Foundation. My suspicions in the Caldwell murder have since expanded to include Indonesian secret services, who in the 1970s were much more influential in Cambodian politics, and massacres, than is generally recognized. See Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation, 2008), 238; Peter Dale Scott, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), 128.
5 Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 102; quoting from Warren Commission, Hearings, Vol. 23, p. 166; Ed Reid, with Ovid Demaris, The Green Felt Jungle (New York: Pocket Books, 1964), 156-57; House Committee on Assassinations, Report, 151. The complete section is online.
6 Peter Dale Scott, "The Sleep of Reason: Denial, Memory-Work and the Reconstruction of Social Order," in Literary Responses to Mass Violence, (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University, 2004), 38-39; quoting from Alfred McCoy, Politics of Heroin, xii (emphases added); quoting in turn from Coming to Jakarta, 147-48.
7 Arthur G. Neal, National Trauma and Collective Memory: major events in the American century (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1998), 4. Cf. Neil J. Smelser, "Psychological Trauma and Cultural Trauma," in Jeffrey C. Alexander, Cultural trauma and collective identity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). 31ss.
8 Scott, American War Machine, 1-5.
9 Scott, American War Machine, 3, 5. In June 2010 I quoted this last sentence to a Russian authority on drug trafficking, after he confessed to me that he had been studying the traffic for thirty years, and had come to realize he did not know who the enemies were.
10 See for example, Peter Dale Scott. "9/11, Canada, left gatekeepers & Zelikow."
11 Cf. Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), 90-94, 323, etc.
12 Alfred McCoy, Politics of Heroin, 461-63.
13 See especially Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 133-35; online here.
14 Peter Dale Scott, "Poets Who Grow Gardens in Their Heads," Stronach Lecture, 2010 (Berkeley: Bancroft Library, University of California Press, forthcoming). Cf. "Art as the Experience of Alterity: Theodor W. Adorno's Aesthetic Theory," Poiesis XII, 2010 [not seen].
15 Theodor W. Adorno, "Commitment," New Left Review I/87-88, September-December 1974; in Terry Eagleton and Drew Milne, Marxist literary theory: a reader (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996), 202. One can perhaps see in this an echo of Marx's thesis on Feuerbach: "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."
16 Consider for example the closing lines of The Prelude: "What we have loved, /Others will love, and we will teach them how" (Prelude XIV. 446-47).
17 Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 109, quoting Time, December 17, 1965; cf. Scott MacPhail, "Poetry and Terror in Peter Dale Scott's Coming to Jakarta," Chicago Review (1998), 41-50.
18 Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 149-50.
19 Scott, Minding the Darkness, 242-43
20 Cf. T.S Eliot, "I believe that at the present time the problem of the unification of the world and the problem of the unification of the individual, are in the end one and the same problem, and the solution of one is the solution of the other." (T.S. Eliot, "Religion Without Humanism," in Norman Foerster (ed.), [Humanism and America: Essays on the Outlook of Modern Civilization New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1930], 112; misquoted in Peter Dale Scott, Listening to the Candle, 68; cf. Peter Dale Scott, "The Social Critic and His Discontents," in A. David Moody, The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994], 63).
21 Peter Dale Scott, "Czeslaw Milosz and Solidarity; or, Poetry and the Liberation of a People," Brick 78 (Winter 2006); citing Adam Michnik, "In Search of Lost Sense," Sign and Sight, 9/21/05. Cf. Adam Michnik, Partisan Review, Winter 1999, 19.
22 Czeslaw Milosz, The Witness of Poetry (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1983), 28, 25, 14.
23 Milosz, The Witness of Poetry, 26, 14.
24 Czeslaw Milosz, The Land of Ulro (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985), 120.
25 Paul Zweig, Walt Whitman: The Making of the Poet (New York: Basic Books, 1984), 320.
26 Sidney Lanier, Select Poems, ed. Morgan Callaway, Jr. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899), xxxix-xl.
27 Jadwiga Maurer, Z matki obcej: Szkice o powiazaniach Mickiewicza ze swiatem Zydów (London: Polska Fundacja Kulturalna, 1990). 31. Cf. Ezra Mendelsohn, "The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer," in Literary Strategies: the Jewish Texts and Contexts (New York: Oxford UP), 1996), 125, 128. Milosz doubts that Mickiewicz's Jewish mother was Frankist, but asserts emphatically that his wife was (Milosz, The Land of Ulro, 116-19).
28 Jacob Frank, trans. Harris Lenowitz, The Collection of the Words of the Lord, Saying 103; Jacob Frank, trans. Harris Lenowitz, Selections (Berkeley, CA: Tree, 1978).
29 Adam Mickiewicz, "Digression," in Waclaw Lednicki, Pushkin's Bronze horseman: the story of a masterpiece (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1955), 122.
30 Czeslaw Milosz, To Begin Where I Am (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001), 351; Peter Dale Scott, Poets Who Grow Gardens in Their Heads (Berkeley: Bancroft Library, University of California, forthcoming); "Czeslaw Milosz and Solidarity; or, Poetry and the Liberation of a People," Brick 78 (Winter 2006), 67-74.
31 Eliot, "The Waste Land," v. 357.
32 Walt Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd;" Harold Bloom, The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 904.
33 Allen Ginsberg, "Poetry, Violence, and the Trembling Lambs, or Independence Day Manifesto," Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995 (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), 3-5.
34 Francis X. Clines, "Allen Ginsberg: Intimations of Mortality," New York Times, November 11, 1984.
35 John Leonard, The Nation, April 28, 1997.
36 American Civil Liberties Union.
37 Philippa Strum, When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1999).
38 CBC News, February 15, 2007. The man, Ernest Zundel, was eventually deported from Canada to Germany, where he was sentenced for the same offense to five years in prison under German law.
39 Aaron Latham, "The Lives They Lived: Allen Ginsberg; The Birth of a Beatnik," New York Times, January 4, 1998.
40 Allen Ginsberg, "Elephant in the Meditation Hall," Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems, 1986-1992 (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), 43-44.
41 Czeslaw Milosz, New Collected Poems (New York: Ecco, 2003), 77.
42 Young India, December 15, 1921; in Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi: His Life, Work, and Ideas: an Anthology (New York: Vintage, 1963), 150.
43 Peter Dale Scott, "Czeslaw Milosz and Solidarity; or, Poetry and the Liberation of a People," Brick 78 (Winter 2006); citing Adam Michnik, "In Search of Lost Sense," Sign and Sight, 9/21/05. Cf. Adam Michnik, Partisan Review, Winter 1999, 19.
44 Ron Dart, George Grant: Spiders and Bees (Abbotsford, BC: Freshwind Press, 2008).
45 United States Northern Command, "U.S. Northern Command, Canada Command establish new bilateral Civil Assistance Plan," Press release, February 14, 2008: "SAN ANTONIO, Texas — U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency."
46 Czeslaw Milosz, "Treatise on Theology," Second Space: New Poems, trans. Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass (New York: Ecco, 2004), 47.
47 Sandra Harmon, Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2010), 57-64.
48 Czeslaw Milosz, The Land of Ulro (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985), 122.
49 Milosz, Witness of Poetry, 13-14.
50 Al Purdy, "On Canadian Identity," in Al Purdy, Poems for All the Nanettes (Toronto: Contact Press, 1962), 47, 48.
51 "Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970" [movie].
52 "Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970."
53 Cf. Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness (New York: Image, 1963), 37: "Man is neither a devil or an angel. He is not pure spirit, but a being of flesh and spirit, subject to error and malice, but basically inclined to seek truth and goodness;" Dante, Paradiso 2:19-21.
54 Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (New York: Viking, 2002), 214.
55 Peter Dale Scott, Rumors of No Law (Austin, TX: Thorp Springs Press, 1981), 43.
56 Ellsberg, Secrets, 263.
57 ''The fate of poetry depends on whether such a work as Schiller's and Beethoven's 'Ode To Joy' is possible. For that to be so, some basic confidence is needed, a sense of open space ahead of the individual and the human species" (Czeslaw Milosz, [The Witness of Poetry Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1983], 14).
58 Cf. Michel Brunet, "Trois dominantes de la pensée canadienne-française: l'agriculturisme, l'anti-étatisme et le messianisme," Ecrits du Canada français (Vol. 3, 1957), 33-117.
59 Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. His Union Nationale Party opposed the Liberal Party program of nationalizing Quebec's electrical power companies.
60 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Power, and the Future of America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 22.
61 Ben Stein, New York Times, November 26, 2006.
62 Lester R. Brown, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011), 60-61.
63 Jeffrey D. Sachs, "The Global Economy's Corporate Crime Wave," Project Syndicate, April 30, 2011, .
64 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 254; citing Daniel Singer, Whose Millennium: Theirs or Ours? (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999).
65 Lester Brown, "The New Geopolitics of Food," Foreign Policy (May/June 2011).
66 Augustine, Confessions, 8:8:19: "For to go along that road and indeed to reach the goal is nothing else but the will to go. But it must be a strong and single will, not staggering and swaying about this way and that--a changeable, twisting, fluctuating will, wrestling with itself while one part falls as another rises."
67 Peter Dale Scott, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010), 32-33; citing Paul M. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (New York: Random House, 1987); Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (New York: Broadway Books, 2002). Cf. Thucydides, History, III.45.4, III.82.8; Lucan, Pharsalia I.158-70.
68 T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land," vv. 357, 360. It has been suggested that Eliot identified the hermit-thrush "in the neighborhood of the Eliot family summer home on Cape Ann" in Massachusetts (Ronald Bush, T.S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style NewYork: Oxford University Press, 1984], 250n; cf. Martin Scofield, T.S. Eliot: The Poems New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988], 13 ["This derives from a New England memory"]). But Eliot's own notes to "The Waste Land" specify that he heard the hermit-thrush "in Quebec County" – i.e. on Lake Memphremagog, where he spent a summer about ten miles from my own family summer home and camp on Lake Massawippi in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, visited also by Leonard Cohen. In my mind this cross-border experience strengthens the analogy to Milosz's "thrush on a branch" (New and Collected Poems, 569), if not also Cohen's "bird on a wire."