Peace needs our help
In addition to my flip comment that I personally didn’t have a clue about how to solve the horrific human tragedy we call the Iraq War, I provided Sara Donnelly with several comments in our ten-minute conversation that were constructive potential solutions (see "Does Peace Have A Chance?", December 29, 2006). I know other members of Bridges for Peace did the same, and were not quoted.
I indicated to you that the money is already there to bring the troops home (approximately $40 billion), that Congressman John Murtha’s plan for redeployment (now almost a year old) had merit and that setting a deadline also seems like a good idea. I recall giving June as a suggestion which has been suggested by various members of Congress as realistic.
Of course the “peace movement” has a variety of ideas and opinions. The common thread has been and remains, a desire by ordinary Americans to end US involvement in Iraq and bring the troops home. As John Kerry said in the last election: “it was wrong to go in and it’s wrong to stay in.” He was absolutely right.
Beyond that, individual citizens like myself cannot do the work of our elected officials who govern the citizenry. Sure, we can let them know our thoughts and recommendations but ultimately it is their responsibility to govern in our best interests. Had they done so, and not created and continued to fund the nightmare that our troops and Iraqis must endure daily, we could certainly find more enjoyable ways to spend our Sundays and other time spent on the work that we all do. But they didn’t, they haven’t, and now the focus is on the next Congress which is about to unfold. The current situation requires involvement if nothing more than to remind people that the war is still going on and that we disagree with it.
When I went to Washington DC on September 26, 2005, the protest was sponsored by several organizations and featured many speakers (Cindy Sheehan, Jesse Jackson, former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, British MP George Galloway and countless others). It was a great event and somewhere between 300,000-400,000 participated. Only C-Span was there to broadcast live most of the event and the MSM (“mainstream media”) barely mentioned it.
I’m sure the frustration of those that speak truth to power every day, and not just average Joes like us in our conversations and affiliations, but folks such as Air America hosts, Democracy Now, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Noam Chomsky, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Ray McGovern, etc. to name a few of the true patriots, is shared at a very basic level. Get out of Iraq and let’s investigate how the US could have been sold such a bill of goods at the expense of our nation’s blood and treasure and that of future generations as well. A war packaged and sold to the American public to find the WMD they knew Iraq had, then as “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” then expanded to the “The Global War On Terror” and now referred to by Newt Gingrich (a possible GOP presidential contender in 2008) as “The Long War,” which he expects to last for oh, 70 years or so. A war which took the focus off Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and illegally destroyed and occupied a sovereign nation led by Saddam Hussein, the dictator we armed and embraced when he was at war with Iran. A war that simultaneously benefits certain corporations (substitute “military industrial complex,” which President Eisenhower warned us about) and denigrates our image to the rest of the world by condoning torture, the use of illegal weapons (i.e., “depleted” uranium, new and improved napalm/white phosphorous, cluster bombs, etc.) and secures a nation's resources for US corporations while installing a government favorable to the corporatization of Iraq’s wealth . Did you know that the new Iraqi Constitution was written in English first, then translated into Arabic? “They hate our freedoms” is what we heard on the “news.”