[sixties-l] I Dreamed I Was Walking Into World War Three

From: Ron Jacobs (rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu)
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 07:52:43 EST

  • Next message: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu: "[sixties-l] PAUL MCCARTNEY IMPLICITLY ENDORSES US AIR STRIKES (fwd)"

    I Dreamed I Was Walking Into World War Three

    I don't want to be writing this. I'd rather be chilling out with a book or
    hanging out with the kids, but if we don't oppose this war in greater and
    greater numbers, who will? I was honestly hoping that the crime of 911
    would be handled like other crimes of that nature. You know, like the
    Oklahoma City bombing where the perpetrators (at least some of them) were
    brought to justice and faced their maker. Unfortunately, that was never on
    the agenda of the warmakers. They saw the opportunity to put the falling
    economy on a war footing without any debate in Congress and they took
    advantage of the moment-manipulating our emotions towards a campaign of
    endless war and authoritarian rule -rule that could make rallies against
    their plans illegal and potentially put those of us who organize them in
    Authoritarian rule that will affect every single one of us-in our travel,
    our internet use, our ability to say what we think, and our ability to
    oppose acts of our government we consider wrong. While some of these
    so-called precautions might make sense to a lot of people right now, they
    won't once they are used against those of us who take the Bill of Rights

    What do I mean by endless war? Already the US has notified the UN that
    they may attack other countries. This could mean Iraq, it could even mean
    Cuba--two governments the US has yet to convince to go along with its way
    of thinking. It could mean Palestine, where Israel has set up an
    apartheid-like regime which, among other totalitarian practices against
    Palestinians, locks up Palestinians at will, knocks down their homes and
    forbids them from entering many areas unless they have the right kind of
    pass-and that's during times of relative peace in the country. As we know,
    the resistance to Israeli military occupation and settlements has
    intensified since the election of Ariel Sharon in Israel, as have the
    bombings and other attacks from both sides in the conflict. Or it could
    mean Colombia, where a civil war has been going on for thirty years and
    where the notoriously brutal Colombian military receives millions of
    dollars in aid every month from the US to fight those who oppose the US
    plans for the region.

    I'd like to say a few words to the folks who aren't sure if they are
    against the war, but aren't really for it either. I'm talking about those
    people who know something doesn't feel exactly right or make sense about
    killing Afghanis but feel something must be done to respond to the killings
    of 911. For those of us who are certain about our opposition, read on
    anyhow. The following couple of paragraphs can be like a quick review-a
    renewal of our determination to end this murderous nonsense masquerading as
    justice and goodness.

    To start, we are told that this war is against terrorism. Let's look at

    In the 1950s and 1960s any movement or government that opposed the US was
    labeled communist by the US propaganda machine. Today, the new label is to
    be terrorist. While it is very, very important to acknowledge that the
    acts of 911 were terrorist acts, it is equally important to acknowledge
    that struggles like that of the Palestinians are legitimate struggles for
    self-determination. In Washington's new war, it is the intention of the US
    government and its cohorts to confuse these definitions to serve their own
    ends. Of course, though, they will tell us that any expansion of their war
    will be in self-defense.

    This is a lie! Bombing a country to smithereens is not self-defense.
    Attacking and invading a country that did not attack us is not
    self-defense. Forcing hundreds of thousands of already desperate people
    from their homes and into camps is not self-defense. Destabilizing an
    already tenuous world is not self-defense. It is nothing other than
    unabashed aggression in the name of US hegemony and the war machine.
    Especially when we are told by those very same folks ordering the
    bombardment of Afghanistan that after they finish their destruction and
    whatever comes next, there is a very good chance that the very men we are
    told organized the 911 attacks will still be on the loose and that the
    military must go into other countries and kill some more. When I hear that
    I find it hard to believe that capturing those guys was ever the main
    priority in this campaign.

    Let me digress for a moment: when I was a kid I lived in Pakistan as a
    USAF military dependent. My parents hired a man to watch us kids when they
    were busy. He also cleaned the house and cooked occasionally. As an
    adult, I look back on those days and realize how colonialist that set-up
    was, but at the time I saw it differently. We called the man who worked
    for us Sharif. He spoke three languages--English, Urdu, and Pushtu-and
    enjoined me in many conversations about his life, his religion and his
    culture. Sometimes I would go to his village with him and play with the
    boys my age and then eat dinner. He even invited me to his wedding. I
    often wonder what happened to him and his loved ones or the boys I used to
    play with. Because of my personal connection to this land through those
    memories I die a little bit each time those bombers kill another human in
    that land. In truth, though we all die a little bit each time this occurs.
     We must bring it home--it is human lives our government is taking, not
    some numbers on a scoresheet that will be filled only after the Pentagon's
    goals are achieved.

    We can not let them expand their war. It must end in Afghanistan and it
    must end NOW! No more cluster bombs. No more laser-guided bombs. No more
    cruise missiles. No more B-52 carpet-bombing. No more gatling guns on
    gunships raking death across the mountains and plains. No more death in
    our name. If the masters of war try to expand this war, (and they will) it
    will become very obvious that this is not a war against terrorism as much
    as it is a campaign of terror against those who would thwart corporate
    America's desire for global rule-something it was having a hard time doing
    by using more conventional means like trade agreements and such, although
    Bush and friends insist, in their greed-driven blindness, that free trade
    agreements thwart terrorism, when in reality not only do they increase the
    disparities in the world that drive desperate people to commit desperate
    acts of terror, the agreements themselves are acts of terror in that their
    very nature ensures the suffering of millions by denying them essential
    human needs. This is not to say that terrorism isn't a threat, nor that
    those who perpetrated the crimes of 911 should not be brought to justice^
    it is saying that a war against all of Washington's enemies is an even
    greater threat to all of humanity.

    But what about the Taliban? Aren't they oppressive and against women?

    Yes, they are. But, you know what, war is not going to solve that. Even
    if the Taliban are destroyed and a new government is put into place in
    Afghanistan, there will be grave problems with regards to the rights of
    women and those the Afghani population who are left out of any new
    government. However, no matter what, the current killing going on will not
    alleviate this situation either. Indeed, war and its aftermath usually
    tends to pave the way for even greater violation of human rights -of which
    women's rights are one of the most important aspects. It is my hope that a
    fairer regime will rule Afghanistan in the future, but this war must end in
    order for any meaningful changes in that arena to occur. As for the rest
    of the world, what has this war done in terms of freedom? Not a damn
    thing! Indeed, like I said earlier, here in the US we see more
    restrictions on our freedom to travel, our freedom to converse on the
    telephone and via email, and there are now laws on the books that would
    allow the government, should it so desire, to prosecute me and everyone
    else here as domestic terrorists. Not that that's likely to happen, but it
    could. GW may call this war Operation Enduring Freedom, but I've begun
    calling it Operation Ending Freedom.

    You know, when I listen to the words of bin Laden and his organization or
    the words of GW and the organization he currently runs, they sound
    frightfully similar. Both of these organizations-Al Queda and the US
    government-believe they are absolutely correct and both are willing to do
    whatever it takes to impose their plans for the world on the rest of us, no
    matter what that involves-mass murder via bombing, war, and starvation, or
    political, business and trade practices that deny the humanity of a large
    percentage of the world's population. Neither organization has the best
    interests of humanity in mind. Bin Laden and his organization use
    religion to gain supporters. GW and friends use patriotism, although, like
    American warmakers throughout our history, they'll play the religion card
    too. While both religion and patriotism are legitimate expressions of the
    human approach to life, the manipulation of either to condone killing is
    not only wrong, it is perverse. Unfortunately for the human race, it is
    all too common. Neither of these men and the organizations they lead care
    as much about humanity as they do about their political agenda and neither
    of them deserve our allegiance. Of course, we can't ignore them because
    their battle won't go away and the planet is in the middle.

    I want to take a moment to mourn those who have died in this battle between
    these two organizations of terror-here and overseas. I also want to talk
    about the service women and men (and those who are considering joining)
    involved in this war. These folks are honorable folks. They are not the
    enemy. It is they and their families who will suffer more than other
    Americans in this war. If history is any indication, many of the men and
    women in uniform will return from battle bearing its scars-physical and
    emotional. They will discover that there is no glory in killing and dying,
    and that the patriotism they were sold was little more than a cynical lie
    used by those in power to convince them to leave their families and kill
    other human beings who fell for another version of that same lie. We can
    support them best by ending this war, bringing all of the soldiers over
    there home, and by speaking with those whom we know in the service -family
    and friends-about what the historical role of the US military has been-not
    freedom, but oppression. Not defense, but intrusion.

    One more thing, it's important to address what lies ahead for those of us
    who oppose the killing going on in our name. It is not going to be easy,
    especially right now. People will harass us. At times, we will want to
    quit. At times we will question the point of our resistance. But we must
    never quit. No! We must raise our level of opposition to a greater level
    then. Sometimes we will offend some folks, maybe even our family or
    friends. Sometimes we will be verbally abused or physically assaulted. We
    must not, no, cannot, give in. Like the great fighter for the liberation
    of black people in this country from slavery , Frederick Douglas, said:
      If there is no struggle, there is not progress. Those who profess to
    favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without
    plowing up the ground. They want rain without the thunder and lightning.
    They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This
    struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both
    mental and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing
    without a demand.
    -ron jacobs

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Oct 31 2001 - 15:51:03 EST