I wanted to write something about Obama’s new escalation of the war in Afghanistan/Pakistan, but Cindy Sheehan said it pretty well:
30,000 Wrongs Won’t Make it Right
By Cindy Sheehan
I have had to reluctantly watch many presidential speeches since my son was killed in Iraq in 2004. I was even dragged out of a Bush State of the Union speech in 2006, that I didn’t want to go to anyway, for just wearing a shirt with an anti-war message.
Now, I knew that Obama was going to announce that he would be condemning 30-35,000 more troops to Afghanistan(Pakistan): that wasn’t exactly a state secret. I also knew that his speech would be filled with jingoistic propaganda—that’s a given with presidential speeches—and the Pope of Hope is no different. However, I was not prepared for the physical sickness that overcame me while he was speaking. His delivery was wooden and not convincing, but the words tore my heart apart like I was a newbie to presidential calumny.
I did not support Obama when he ran for president because he said he was going to send more troops to Afghanistan. He is a rare bird: a president that fulfills a campaign promise. I am not surprised, or disappointed, but I am filled with anger.
I am angry that thousands of more mothers will, without reason or rhyme, be served the unending pain of burying a child.
I was watching O’Bomber’s speech tonight at a bar in Las Vegas after our protest at the Federal Building there and I was punched in the gut with Obama telling the Cadets at West Point that he has:
“As President, I have signed a letter of condolence to the family of each American who gives their life in these wars. I have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed. I have visited our courageous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. I have travelled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans returning home to their final resting place. I see firsthand the terrible wages of war.”
Just like goddamned George Bush and his evil vice-president, Obama has no freaking idea what the “terrible wages of war,” are. Signing letters, or saluting caskets, or meeting with the wounded are NOT the same thing as receiving one of those letters, lying in one of those caskets or being maimed for the rest of your life. He has only “witnessed” the “terrible wages of war,” from a remote viewing location that is filtered through the gauze of a deep disconnect from the violent pain that he is imposing.
Another thing—no one in our armed forces are “giving” their lives. No one has “given” his or her life for decades now, if ever, in our history. The people who have been killed in the Racket of War have had their lives STOLEN from them and their futures denied by chicken hawks who sign condolence letters in comfortable offices surrounded by millions of dollars of protection and by Congress members who also have no idea of the never-ending ache that is not dulled by time. Don’t even start with the bullshit that our troops are “volunteers.” If they are “volunteers” then I would suggest every one of them, or any one of them try to “volunteer” not to be deployed to Afghanistan.
December 7, 1941 was a day that has lived in “infamy” but it was not used to justify the waging of unending wars, even though our permanent bases still remain in Germany and Japan after 65 years. However, Obama again uses the attacks on 9-11 to justify this absolutely bat-shit crazy occupation of Afghanistan—no matter what he says, it IS an occupation. Tonight, in the speech he gave in front of his Cadet “props,” Obama said that the attack on 9-11 was “vicious.”
I agree that 9-11 was awful and it’s a day that we surely will never forget, but if that was “vicious” then what does Obama call what America has been doing in Iraq-Af-Pak now for twice as many years as WWII lasted? What’s worse than “vicious?” Genocide, that’s what.
Genocide is the systematic killing of a racial or cultural group and please don’t waste your time telling me that Obama has a “good heart” or “great intellect” because if he had either one of those things, the troops would be coming home by now.
Obama is just another coward that has risen to the highest office in the world and I am tired of having to be shoved by crazy people, chased and shot at by police, tear-gassed, arrested, called names that make even me blush, scrimping for every penny to stay afloat in this peace business, traveling and protesting to the point of exhaustion, etc. Not only did Obama condemn 30,000 troops to horror, with just one speech, he also condemned the real anti-war movement that was opposed to his policies from the beginning, to many more years of our sacrifices.
Well, I am not going to stop protesting and doing all of the above things, but I am not doing them for the rest of my life. If you believe in the mythical “drawdown” that Obama has just lied through his teeth about, then I ask you where did the “one combat battalion per month” out of Iraq go? Remember that promise? There has been no significant “drawdown” of troops from Iraq at all.
No matter what Obama says, these wars aren’t “just” and we aren’t “right” and we only have the “might” of the War Machine to open those “new markets” he talked about in his speech.
No matter what Obama says, these ARE open-ended wars, but I am NOT an open-ended anti-war activist.
We have to end them as soon as possible. We have to escalate our peace as the War Machine escalates its violence.
Want to go all the way for peace?
Join us this spring in D.C. for Peace of the Action!
“If elections really changed anything, they’d make them illegal.” Emma Goldman
How are we going to get out of this situation? That’s the biggest question humanity is facing right now. How can we put a stop to this insanity before it destroys us? Obviously an answer cannot come from within the two-party system. But how can the basis for a wider movement be created? Do we have to work on a more local level? But local politics tend to be a pressure valve for the real problems. How do we approach this? We need change, and soon – but we need something more effective than the peace movements of the 60s and 70s. Violence won’t lead to anything, but passively sitting on our asses or protesting “culturally” won’t lead to anything either. Where do we start?
And frankly, I’m not interested in hearing that we’re doomed, or that we deserve to blow ourselves up. It is our responsibility, as thinking beings, to attempt to find a way out of this mess. If we have any dedication to moral or philosophical principles, if we care for other people in the slightest, then it is our duty to somehow fight this battle. To avoid it with sophistry and nihilism is nothing but cowardice.