Sunday, January 14, 2007

Surge in peacemaking

President George W. Bush has apparently decided to completely take leave of all decency and compassion in his recent speech announcing an escalation of the war against Iraq and has used provocative tactics and language against Iran as well. Why does he persist?

War profits are easy profits. His entire elite band of Republican corporate friends are making record profits in every war contracting arena. The loyalty of the warmakers in the Pentagon is assured as they garner lucrative contracts as soon as they take early retirement from DoD. It is shameful war profiteering at its worst. Dick Cheney's corporation (from whom he earns more each year than he does as Vice-President), is making out like bandits.

The US will be thrown out of Iraq and will be thrown out of Afghanistan. Our beachheads for predatory global corporate capitalism are being lost. The question is not whether we will leave in defeat, but when. How many losses can we tolerate before the people in those nations evict us and begin the process of sorting out their futures for themselves?

These are the simple facts. We can sit back and say, well, these people are nuts and I don't support them, or we can stop them. It's entirely our call. Right now, we are living in the vision of someone else and it's a nightmare. Our visions go uncreated and unlived and unfulfilled, if our visions include us as a just people. With enough of us in action, things change. With only a handful, they stay the same and the dying continues.

It is time. Politicians like Gordon Smith can be led to understand that George W. Bush will not be running for reelection in 2008 and can go down all alone--or Smith can join him.

It is not enough to say that one might be against the escalation of the war in Iraq. To credibly oppose this war, a member of the Senate or House must credibly promise to vote against any and all funding for the war or occupation, period. The surge is a red herring used by politicians worried that they have zero credibility with the majority of the people who vote and who want peace now. Talk is cheap, but this war is not. Either Smith and his ilk agree to vote against all funding or they deserve all the nonviolent resistance we can muster.

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