Sunday, February 14, 2010

Editorial: Smash the clampdown

Noticeable cracks in public opinion regarding Barack Obama's alleged 'end the Iraq War in 2011' 'plan' are becoming evident. On campuses, many are feeling what Jonathan Katz expresses in "Why ending the occupation of Iraq will take more than Obama's Promises" (The Mac Weekly):

I don't believe Obama when he says we'll be done occupying Iraq and killing and being killed there by 2011 because that's not what we do. He'll withdraw some of the "combat troops" and "re-mission" the rest as "non-combat troops" (these operations include the physical protection "Americans and U.S. assets in Iraq" and "counterterrorism operations in which Iraqi forces would take the lead." That's all to say, they will still be killing and being killed.) We'll get a "lease" from the Iraqi government on some nice plots of land situated between some oil fields, kick up our feet, and have our "non-combat" frogs, our Blackwater toads, and our intelligence snakes go right on violently occupying foreign populations.

The clampdown works overtime to render people like Katz invisible. They're a large number on any campus but you don't see them invited onto Democracy Now! to speak with Amy Goodman, you don't see The Nation rushing to revive their laughable 'Campus Nation' and explore this student body sentiment. When you're a Whore for Barack, you're working for the clampdown. And they've got enough employees to bury the results of a major poll out of England.

Monday, Angus Reid Global Monitor released their latest poll which finds significant doubts as to any withdrawal.

Very confident
Moderately confident
Not too confident
Not confident at all
Not sure

71% of British citizens and 59% of Americans do not believe a withdrawal is happening. [Margin of error is 2.2. percent for the British sample; 3.1 percent for the US sample.] Those are huge numbers, those are highly significant numbers and, as telling as the numbers, so is the silence on the poll from Panhandle Media.


For those who refuse to be silent, Linda Greene (Bloominton Alternative) explains there is an upcoming action:

On Feb. 1 President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve a record $708 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2011. The budget calls for a 3.4 percent increase in the Pentagon's base budget to $549 billion, plus $159 billion to fund the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But citizens aren't sitting by while the Pentagon's budget balloons. On March 20, just after the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, protestors will march on Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On Friday evening, March 19, at least 55 Hoosiers and Kentucky residents will board a bus bound for Washington, D.C., for the second peace march since President Obama was elected. Participants will demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sponsored by the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R.) coalition and more than 1,000 other organizations and individuals, the march has as its rallying cries, "No Colonial-type Wars and Occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Haiti," "No War or Sanctions Against Iran" and "No War for Empire Anywhere."
Instead of war, the protestors will demand funding for jobs, free and universal health care, decent schools and affordable housing.

If you need more reasons to get active, study the words of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (link goes to audio) from last week:

We always believe America is number one. If you start the first World War, the Second World War, then you take Korea and Vietnam and Iraq I and II and Afghanistan -- just think of all the money that we spend on wars to save the world. Today we can't save America. What is this? Why do we always have to go to war continually? Why can't we rebuild America? Why is it we have to take three hundred, four hundred billion dollars and tell people we're only going to be there for a year and we're coming home and we declare victory. What is it? What is it about America? How did we start this century of ten years of war? Ten years of war. We started it and we continue to move forward. Where are the anti-war people? 'I looked down at the Dirksen Center' -- where are they? Where are they? They've disappeared. What happened? I thought war was evil. Where are the people who believed in their heart against George W. Bush? 'We have to organize and walk down Michigan Avenue and Clark Street.' What happened? I thought they believed in their heart. Oh! It became a political issue. 'Barack won the election, now we go home.' What happened to America?
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