Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"No Good War, No Good Drone" By David Swanson (With Practical Actions)

Predator Drone - Photo courtesy of Dark Gov and internet (copyright not specified)

From Tue, 2009-09-22 on AfterDowningStreet dot org
See Other related Links at After Downing Street

* Activism
* Afghanistan
* Iran
* Pakistan

This Article, "No Good War, No Good Drone" shows emphasis with CAPS which are blogger's here at oneheartforpeace....

Eight years of slaughter, and not so much as a hint at what a "victory" would look like. It's gotten to the point where even polls by Fox News show a majority of Americans against escalating the war in Afghanistan, and polls by more honest organizations show a majority wanting to bring home the troops that are there now.

But our so-called representatives in Congress are reluctant to "interfere" with their own primary Constitutional responsibilities, and the so-called executive whom they've given free reign is undecided about whether to listen to us or the military. THERE'S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO "GO OUT THERE AND MAKE HIM DO IT."

On Monday, October 5, citizens from across the country will join together at the White House in nonviolent resistance to and demonstration against the ongoing wars. You can safely demonstrate or you can choose to risk arrest as many of us will be doing. Sign up now at here

The more people who come, the more reluctant the police will be to arrest anyone, and the more reluctant our government will be to defy the will of the majority we represent. IF YOU CANNOT COME TO DC, YOU CAN CALL YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 5th at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to vote NO ON ANY MORE MONEY FOR WARS. Here's where your congress member stands: here And here are two lists of events happening all over the country marking 8 years in the Graveyard of Empires: here and here

If, on the other hand, you CAN join us in our empire's capital, please consider coming for more than one day. On October 2nd and 3rd, Friday and Saturday (and you can come for just Saturday too), there will be a CONFERENCE at GEORGETOWN LAW SCHOOL in downtown Washington, D.C., that you won't want to miss called "Who Decides About War?" Here are some of the speakers:

* Jean Athey, Peace Action, Montgomery County, MD
* Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
* Leah Bolger, National Vice-President, Veterans for Peace
* John Bonifaz, Attorney at Law
* Elaine Brower, Military Families Speak Out
* Prof. Marjorie Cohn, President, National Lawyers Guild
* Rep. Michael Fisher, State Representative, Lincoln, Vermont
* Bonnie Gorman, Military Families Speak Out, Boston
* Mort Halperin, Senior Adviser, Open Society Institute, Keynote Speaker
* Sen. Richard Madaleno, State Senator, Montgomery County, Maryland
* Ben Manski, Esq., Executive Director, Liberty Tree
* Geoff Millard, Chair of the Board of Directors, Iraq Veterans Against the War
* John Nichols, Esq., The Nation magazine
* Caleb Rossiter, Professor, International Service, American University
* Jeremy Scahill, author, Blackwater, Keynote Speaker
* Benson Scotch, Senior Legal Counsel, Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law.
* David Swanson, Founder, After Downing Street
* Don Wallace, Professor, Georgetown Law School

Learn more: WhoDecidesAboutWar here

Wouldn't it be nice to hold a conference like this in your own town? You easily can, by arranging for one or more of these speakers to be there, and by using the magic of video. Videos of this DC conference will be made available. And there are wonderful videos already out there. For example, take a look at the videos called "This Is Where We Take Our Stand" ( here ). The latest one shows a U.S. veteran in tears after having mistakenly called in air strikes against an Afghan village. For more powerful footage along the same lines see the "Winter Soldier" videos: here

Or consider showing Robert Greenwald's new film "Rethink Afghanistan." There are six parts available now online, covering the civilian casualties, the financial costs of escalation, the futility of the occupation, the impact on Pakistan, the impact on women, and expert views on the impossibility of "victory." Check it out: here

But please don't do events without music. I did some events this week with the amazing music of David Rovics here A musician in DC named Brenda Elthon just sent me this wonderful set of songs: http://www.myspace.com/SongsForOurSoldiers And of course Emma's Revolution and dozens of great groups that I pre-apologize for not mentioning have been leading the way for years now: here

And do not -- I repeat -- do NOT hold an event meant to educate without making sure that people will attend who do not already agree, or without videotaping the event and immediately posting the video online. We actually have the technology and the reach needed to educate this country. We've already turned a majority against all wars, Republican wars, Democratic wars, bad wars, "good" wars. But our understanding of war, of what creates it, and of how exactly to stop it needs to deepen.

I received an Email today celebrating the "morality" of pulling out troops and sending more drones. Others have begun pushing the idea that Afghanistan may be, like Iraq, the "wrong" war, whereas the REAL "right" war is in Pakistan. All such talk reveals the thinness of our war opposition. Talking about the financial cost of war and the cost to the war-makers themselves can be useful if it brings a specific war to an end. But we must not stop clearly demanding an end to wars because they kill people. Period. Complicating the issue is not strategic or smart. It can be severely damaging. We must end all aggressive wars, or ending any one of them will just launch the next one.

Lobbying a president to end wars can be useful if it communicates the message far and wide, but presidents will never end the use of war, and strengthening the misunderstanding that such decisions should be up to presidents can do great damage. Influencing a president is almost impossible. Influencing a senator is extremely difficult. Influencing a House member is actually feasible and strategic. And luckily, we don't need the White House or the Senate in order to end wars. All we have to do is convince our representatives that we will give them hell, make their lives miserable, and vote them out of office if they vote for any more funding. That is the message you should call with on Monday, October 5th.

David Swanson is the author of the new book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when tour will be in your town: here

2 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/world/asia/23policy.html
[2] http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20090923/pl_cq_politics/politics3207715_1
[3] http://blog.peaceactionwest.org/2009/01/09/afghanistan-changing-the-approach-to-the-war-on-terror/

Also go to twitter.com/AfghanWitness

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Connie L. Nash said...

On Oct 5 & 6 World Can't Wait invites you to respond to Obamas' surge of troops to Afghanistan by fueling a surge of resistance that will reignite and build a movement to stop the death and destruction unleashed on the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan by this government.

Within the next weeks, President Obama will announce up to 20,000 more troops will deploy to Afghanistan in addition to replacing up to 14,000 support troops with "trigger-pullers." This will only mean increasing the death and destruction brought to the Afghan people. Many of us will be protesting the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan ? All of us can take part in donating much needed funds to fuel this movement. Every donation counts and we all can give something.

Our goal - $5000 in 48 hours; then turn that momentum to ask for matching funds and raise $10,000. It's ambitious, but it can and must be done. We are beginning to see more people openly object to the US occupation of Afghanistan and your help and money is needed in order to change sentiments into visible resistance.

Why?

The actions people are taking in DC & at recruitment centers around the country are essential to stopping the crimes of this government & they need to be multiplied and strengthened. World Can't Wait is committed to being in the streets and amongst the people but cannot do it without YOUR support.

World Can't Wait has never backed down and we have plans to organize visible protest throughout this fall including bringing the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour to many more schools across the country so students not only see/hear the truth about the war, but mobilize to stop military recruiting in their schools and communities.

The military has free access to recruit high school students and billions at their disposal to suck this generation into killing machines for empire. Funds are urgently needed to get veterans into the schools engaging students in the reality of what these wars are about.

How Can You Help?

By donating generously on Oct 5-6th and challenging all your friends to do the same.

Check out our Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=141168148396&index=1

Let us know why YOU want a surge of RESISTANCE this fall: e-mail Lina Thorne.

Post this announcement to your e-mail list and Facebook page, invite your friends and co-workers and ask them to match your donation.

Raising $5,000 in 48 hours is a challenge but we know we can do it with your help!

Gather who you can and pledge to make a difference. Join me on October 5 ? 6 at World Can't Wait's Virtual Fundraiser to SURGE THE RESISTANCE!

See you in the streets and at worldcantwait.net and on Facebook on October 5 & 6th.

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait