Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Wish That Ever Day Were Peace Day (Alan Grayson)

Saturday message from US House Rep Alan Grayson:

The United Nations has designated today as the International Day of Peace. The war drums pounded out quite a cacophony, earlier this month. But in the end, the Peace Train was louder. Thanks to us.

The airwaves were rife this month with elected officials, think-tank analysts, retired generals, overpaid pundits and other bloviators telling us what they thought what we needed to think. But their voices faded, as ours grew louder. Listen:

"Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace."

We prevented a war between the United States and Syria.

I made sure that our voices were heard. I said the things that so many of us were thinking, but no one else was saying.

The current count has 25 Members of the House of Representatives supporting U.S. military intervention against Syria, and 263 against it. Listen to those 263 explain their reasons, and what you'll hear is geopolitical word salad. They all have their stated reasons, but the most important reason is this: So many of us want peace, and we made them listen to us. We sang it loud and clear, in sweet, sweet harmony.

In America, this is the greatest victory for the forces of peace since the end of the war in Vietnam.

We said "no" to the military-industrial complex. We said "no" to the foreign policy establishment. We said "no" to the ratings-desperate media. We said "no" to the bloodthirsty chicken-hawks. And we made it stick.

One Congressional office after another, Democratic and Republican; liberal and conservative; north, south, east and west; all declared that their e-mails and their phone calls from constituents were running more than 100 to 1 against military intervention. One Member who has served for 20 years in Congress told me that he had never seen anything like it before.

Finally, we left the warmongers like Sen. McCain with no choice but to pull the vote on military intervention in Syria. They weren't just going to lose. They were going to get crushed.

We spoke. They listened. They had to listen.

The U.S. Congress has declared or authorized war 18 times. And now, for the first time, the U.S. Congress has declared peace. Thanks to us.

And after all, isn't that exactly the way it ought to be? Going to war should be our decision, not theirs. We pay for these wars, and we die in them. So we should decide.

Now think about this: when you first heard about the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria, what would have happened if you had opened your window and shouted out your views, as loud as you could?

Answer: Nothing. Nothing would have happened. Except possibly your arrest, for disturbing the peace.

It takes an organization like ours to channel your voice, magnify your voice, and direct it exactly to where it needs to be heard. Like one of those giant amplifiers that the Rolling Stones used when they performed for a live audience of 1,500,000 people at the Copacabana Beach in 2006.

This is why our campaign is such a vital organization. And why you should chip in $25 or more today, on the International Day of Peace, so that we can continue to promote the things in which you believe.

I have had the extraordinary privilege of visiting every country in the world. And thanks to that, I've seen that some things are universal. Everywhere in the world, people want to fall in love. Everywhere, people enjoy music. Everywhere, people love children, even other people's children. Everywhere, there is a taboo against violence. And everywhere, people want to live in peace.

But you can't make peace happen all by yourself. You need organizations like ours to make that happen. Which is why we deserves your support, today. On Peace Day.

I normally end each letter with the word "courage." But today, thanks to us, I have a better alternative:


Alan Grayson

"Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come.
And, I believe, it could be, that something good has begun.

Oh, I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one.
And, I believe, it could be, that someday it's going to come.

Because out on the edge of darkness, there rides a Peace Train.
Oh, Peace Train, take this country, come take me home again.

Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come.
And, I believe, it could be, that something good has begun.

Oh, Peace Train sounding louder,
Glide on, the Peace Train.
Come on now, Peace Train.

Yes, Peace Train, holy roller,
Everyone jump on the Peace Train.
Come on now, Peace Train.

Get your bags together.
Go bring your good friends, too.
Because it's getting nearer.
It soon will be with you.

Now come and join the living.
It's not so far from you.
And it's getting nearer.
Soon it will all be true.

Now I've been crying lately,
Thinking about the world as it is.
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

Because out on the edge of darkness, there rides a Peace Train.
Oh, Peace Train, take this country, come take me home again."

- Cat Stevens, "Peace Train" (1971).

[If you would like to contribute to Act Blue, click here.  Act Blue is a group that backs Democrats for office provided they aren't centrists.  To find out more about  Alan Grayson and/or to contribute to his re-election campaign, visit his campaign website.]
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