I made a point of watching NBC’s 5:30pm broadcast last evening, and if I had been blinking my eyes, I would have missed the under-five-second spot covering massive anti-war demonstrations in 11 U.S. cities. The shot was of a demonstration in San Francisco and the script just said there were demonstrations in 11 cities, here’s San Francisco, they did a die-in, and buh-bye. It’s as if there’s no anti-war movement in the States, when hundreds of thousands of citizens protest, write letters, vote, write blogs. Who’s not listening? Mainstream media or congress or administration — all of the above? How do we continue to finance a war when the majority of the populace is against it? What kind of democracy do we live in? I think it might be a fake one, a pseudo-democracy. We tell ourselves we are free, we vote, we speak up, and all that counts. How does it count if those counting and those reporting the counting are looking elsewhere?
Naomi Klein’s speech to the American Sociological Association’s conference as recorded at Democracy Now! analyzes moments of historical effervescence (I like this term she uses) and the crushing of such moments. Klein gives us an answer for progressives: we need movement thinking that maintains confidence in our ideas. This speech is a great read. Check it out!
Reading The Nation piece by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian is gut-wrenching. It is about the nature of war and how we are dehumanized. It shows racism, xenophobia, ignorance, incompetence. Not only do we need to impeach Bush and Cheney but we should also give ourselves up to the World Court in the Hague to be indicted for crimes against humanity. The only way we could begin to right this wrong (which can never be righted) is to take the billions of dollars we spend on war and figure out how to spend it to make amends. I read the words of Iraqi vets in this article and I am ashamed to be American. The only thing that has kept me from despair since this war started is to be able to speak against it in places like this blog. I sign petitions, I make phone calls to representatives and senators, I attend rallies. None of it seems to be enough. This government and the current congress still has not listened to the majority of the American people, who are against the war. What must we do to demand accountability from our government?
The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness, an article by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian in the 30 July 2007 issue of The Nation, is a must-read.