Sunday, February 13, 2011

Editorial: Continued war, continued silences -- both kill

Do you remember the summer of 2005?

Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan camped out in Crawford, Texas. That's where George W. Bush was vacationing. He had said that the deaths in the Iraq War were for "a noble cause." Cindy wanted to know "what noble cause" her son Casey died for?

So she started Camp Casey and kick started the peace movement. But, as she explained to Abby Martin (Media Roots Radio) last week, even then there were 'peace' groups endorsing fake 'answers' to 'end' the Iraq War that really existed to increase the electibility of Democrats. She refused to sign on with those lies, but they continued. And, as she explained, that's why United For Peace & Justice -- a supposed peace organization dedicated to ending the Iraq War -- refused to hold a fifth anniversary demonstration in DC because "they didn't want to embarrass the Democrats." (To be clear, Cindy was drawing a line between the national leadership and the local and had much praise for local peace groups.)

So even then, even when the peace movement was at its highest wave, it turns out that some weren't in it for peace. Leslie Cagan was in it to elect Democrats. As she made clear in that laughable note she posted at UPFJ's website three days after the 2008 elections: "For more than six years, United For Peace and Justice and the antiwar movment have stood firm in our opposition to the war in Iraq. Our consistent work played a major role in turning public sentiment against the war, and that sentiment helped lay the foundation for the Obama campaign's success." Hilarious. And pathetic. (We first called it out here.)

But what can you expect? Leslie Cagan has no real talent of any kind and a woman with no talents and her looks rarely garners attention. By pretending to be pro-peace and against war, Cagan was able to receiving fawning profiles in The New York Times and elsewhere. Again, untalented, unattractive women aren't valued in this society. But Leslie managed to ride to fame by whoring out the peace movement.

She was far from alone.


And then, after Barack's election, she declared herself "tired" and "worn out" and retreated (in order to avoid calling War Hawk Barack out). You think Cindy Sheehan wasn't tired? How many times has Cindy broken down from exhaustion? How many times has Cindy been attacked from all sides?

Cindy didn't walk away. Cindy didn't excuse a War Hawk president.

But Cindy's the minority. The majority were Leslie Cagans.

Think back to the summer of 2005. Think of all the fire and brimstone Leslie Cagan, Tom Hayden, Danny Schechter and assorted others were serving up on Iraq. Yeah, they all lost interest long ago; however, that's not our point right now.

In the summer of 2005, if Bully Boy Bush had announced, "In three years, the Iraq War will be over," do you think everyone would have packed up and gone home?

We doubt it.

The slogan was "OUT OF IRAQ NOW!" It was not, "Out of Iraq in a few months or years."

But how the same 'outraged' 'leaders' did fall silent once Barack was in office. Many of them lied repeatedly claiming that the Status Of Forces the Bush Administration rammed through meant the Iraq War ended at the end of 2011. Three years from after the election -- if not the beatification -- of Barack.

Pretend for a moment that the SOFA did mean the end of the Iraq War. In December 2008, one month after the eleciton, alleged peace movement 'leaders' were happy with an Iraq War that would continue for three more years and saw no reason to call that out and to organize and demonstrate against it.

The term for those leaders is "WHORES."

And the tambourine
It's playing for free

It's telling me trust in the Lord
Sing Hare Krishna or Jesus or Mithra
It doesn't matter anymore
They say got relieves
If I'd only believe

But I just can't whore
Honey, I'm trying
To deal with the dying

And I can't score

-- "Bigger Than Real," written by Janis Ian, first appears on her album Restless Eyes

Now the SOFA never meant the Iraq War ended. If you tried to tell the truth on that (C.I.'s told the truth on that since Thanksgiving Day 2008 when it passed the Iraqi Parliament), you were attacked and savaged. It's 2011 now. And what do we know?

We know that the plan is to either extend the SOFA or to move US soldiers out from under the Defense Department and place them under the State Department to allow the continued occupation of Iraq.

This is not a secret. These options were covered in opening hearings this month. For the Senate Armed Services hearing, you can refer to C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "In appreciation of Lindsey Graham (Ava)," Wally's "It's a bi-partisan hole (Wally)" and Kat's "John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Jim Webb." For the Senate Foreign Relations hearing, you can refer to C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "The forgotten covert wars on Latin America (Ava)," Wally's "It's a boom economy!" and Kat's "Senate Foreign Relations Committee." And last week, we offered a discussion on both hearings in "Face The Press."

Yesterday, translating Arab-language media outlets, C.I. reported, "Al Mada notes the secret talks taking place to extend the Status Of Forces Agreement and cites Qassim Mohammed Jalal as the source for the extension meetings currently taking place between Nouri's reps and the US inside the Green Zone. Qassam Mohammed Jalal is part of the National Coalition. He is a member of Parliament's Commission on Security and Defense."

Will the Iraq government go along with either option? That's guess-work. But that is what the US government is shooting for, an extended SOFA (or new agreement) or switching the soldiers under the umbrella of the State Department. That's continued war and continued occupation.

You can say "NO!" Even while our 'leaders' are silent, you can say "NO!" Next month,
A.N.S.W.E.R. and March Forward! and others will be taking part in this action:

March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.

The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.

While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.

Actions of civil resistance are spreading.

On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.

Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.

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