Sunday, August 29, 2010

Editorial: Biggest action of last week

Last Monday, Afghanistan War veteran and Iraq War resister Matthis Chiroux gathered with others outside Fort Hood? Why? Among other reasons, he informed via a PA device, "This regiment is deploying wounded warriors! That is a crime in and of itself! Our soldiers deserve more than this! We will not tolerate endless war! We will not tolerate these crimes any longer!"

Fort Hood

Fort Hood's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was set to deploy on Sunday, headed to Iraq and a number of activists were present on Sunday hoping to take part in the action calling on the military not to deploy; however, the deployment time repeatedly changed and did not take place until after 4:00 a.m. Monday morning when the five still present were Matthis, Crystal Colon, Bobby Whittenberg-James, Jeff Grant and Cynthia Thomas. Even then, the police felt the need to make a show of presence and the military, so 'brave' to deploy soldiers, would begin attempting to 'sneak' through the deployment while sending out soldiers and, yes, dogs to confront the protesters on Highway 190.

Dogs. Just a little touch of Abu Ghraib brought to Texas by the US military. And just a little confession as to how troubled by the protest the military brass so clearly was. They couldn't do it during the day due to the activists being present so they did in the darkness, in the early morning hours, sneaking the troops they were deploying off the base.

Whittenberg-James would be assaulted and knocked to the pavement. Cynthia Thomas would be grabbed by her arm and 'vigorously escorted' to the side. And, to repeat, the military would attempt to 'sneak deploy' the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. That last one, more than anything else, would demonstrate just how much power the activists had and just how much panic the military brass was in.

This was a major moment in the week and in the story of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. If you didn't hear about it or read about it, possibly you turn to corporate media or even more worthless outfits? The Nation magazine, for example, never had time last week to cover the protest -- but, hey, something like 550 'articles' slamming Glenn Beck won't write themselves, right? A blow hard on Fox 'News' is something they obsess over, before he even speaks, because they're the advance p.r. team for him. They're not? They certainly acted as if they were. And they were among the many ignoring the Fort Hood action.

If you were fortunate enough to hear about it, you might have done so at Fort Hood Disobeys, World Can't Wait, Alice Embree's The Rag Blog, Under The Hood Cafe, Raw Story (where Stephen C. Webster reported on the action) or US Socialist Worker (where Cindy Beringer covered the action).

Or maybe you just caught Free Speech Radio News' headlines on Monday:

At around 4 AM this morning at Fort Hood, Texas, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars blockaded six buses filled with soldiers deploying to Iraq. Matthis Chiroux was one of the veterans who took part in the action outside the nation's largest military base.
"We slowed the busses to a halt for around 10 seconds, they stopped and we were looking eye to eye with the soldiers on the busses with our banner that said 'Occupation is a crime and the other, 'Don't make the same mistake we did.'"
Chiroux said some soldiers responded with raised fists of defiance.
"We got a lot of raised fists of defiance out the window. A lot of soldiers seemed very excited that someone wanted them to stay home as bad as they want to stay home."

This morning's action follows last week's withdrawal of most combat forces ahead of a September 1 deadline.

It was a brave action, it was an important action. The military brass went into a panic over it. Too bad so many of our left and 'left' outlets greeted it largely with a yawn and shrug. Their priorities -- these 'leaders' and their outlets screwed up priorities -- are the reasons the wars continue.
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