Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Song of Peace & a Protest for 6th Anniversary of the Iraq Occupation

Notice all the ways there are to signify the deep longing for peace...then visit the Beautiful New Year Holiday celebrated by many on March 21st the world over -- see the Post above. Then below this song, note the report just in on Saturday's protest march!

Here is a revisited song of Peace for 6th Anniversary of the Iraq Occupation

A Song I learned in Middle School and sang with a Mass Choir for another President, as I remember, who reached out to shake my hand. I wish I'd kept this photo of us "two" and the choir behind us in Orange County! Nevertheless a small group walked by candlelight on Thursday March 19th to note the 6 year mark for the occupation of Iraq and sang this song at the end. There is a slight changing of a few of the words for our increasingly inclusive peace gatherings. There's nothing amiss in singing this song with your own words if they are in keeping with the strong intention of seeking and BEING PEACE. (see also Thich Nhat Hahn's beautiful book by that title. I am re-reading this & once again finding so many golden nuggets for peaceful living, hour by hour.)

Let there be peace on earth - And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth - The peace that was meant to be.
With PEACE (or use LOVE) as our motto - FAMILY all are we.
Let me walk with my FAMILY - In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me - Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take- Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment - And live each moment
With peace eternally - Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.


Now Today, Saturday - Here's another way to NOTIFY the US & World that we have not yet even got our troops out of Iraq, let alone pulled way back on the other occupations!

Protesters march to Pentagon, call to end Iraq war
By NAFEESA SYEED, Associated Press Writer Nafeesa Syeed, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of war protesters from across the country gathered in Washington on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Organizers from the ANSWER Coalition said more than 1,000 groups sponsored the protest to call for an end to the Iraq war. Holding signs that read "We need jobs and schools, not war" and "Stop the war!" they rallied around noon across the street from the Lincoln Memorial and by 1:30 p.m., were beginning to march across the Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon.

Protesters demanded that President Barack Obama immediately withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, saying thousands of Iraqis have died and thousands of American troops have been wounded or killed.

Protesters lined up about 100 cardboard coffins on the ground draped with flags, including the American flag, representing countries where the U.S. has taken military action.

Anti-war activists said even though former President George W. Bush is out of power, they are disappointed with what they see as stalled action from Obama. Several of them said they supported Obama during his campaign, but that his administration has let them down by not ending the war sooner.

"Obama seems to be led somewhat by the bureaucracies. I want him to follow up on his promise to end the war," said 66-year-old Perry Parks of Rockingham, N.C., who served in the Army for nearly 30 years, including in Vietnam. "But the longer it goes, the more it seems like he's stalling."

Obama has said he plans to withdraw roughly 100,000 troops by the summer of 2010. He promises to pull the last of the U.S. troops by the end of 2011, which is in accord with a deal Iraqis signed with Bush.

A small group of veterans and parents of soldiers holding American flags gathered near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for a counter protest. Ron Kirby, of Alexandria, Va., was one of them.

"We're for victory. When our president and Congress send our men and women to war, they send them there to win or else don't send them at all," said Kirby, a Vietnam veteran.

Kirby said he thought the anti-war protest was sending the wrong message, and added that the country would not be at war unless the government believed it would be victorious. He added that he supported Obama's plan for a gradual withdrawal of troops, because an immediate withdrawal would thwart efforts to restore freedom in Iraq, he said.

James Circello disagreed.

Circello of Washington served in the Army from March 2003 until April 2004, when he said he deserted before his unit was deployed to Afghanistan. Circello, 30, said he left because of what he called the destruction the U.S. caused in Iraq.

"I was forced to remove people from their homes," he said. Circello turned himself in to authorities in 2007 and was administratively discharged, he said.

He said he participated in the Saturday protest to show his solidarity with the troops and the Iraqi people.

"We want to show the Iraqi people that we are not in line with the government, whether Bush or Obama, and we want immediate withdrawal of troops," he said. "Just because a new popular president comes into power, it's not going to stop us from demonstrating."

Among other concerns protesters raised, they criticized continued troop presence in Afghanistan and called for an end to U.S. support of Israel's military.

Taxpayer dollars should be used not for war but for domestic job-creation, health care, housing and education, demonstrators said.

This year, the protest was held on a weekend — a few days after the March 19 anniversary of the war, which began in 2003. Last year's weekday protest was marked by lower turnout than in previous years.

Protests also were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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