*On The 8th Anniversary of The Iraq War (Really 20th) A March 19th Veterans-Led March In Washington To Stop The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq-All Out In Support Of The Vets
Click on the headline to link to the Stop These Wars Website.
In the lead up to the December 16, 2010 Veterans For Peace led-civil disobedience action in Washington, D. C. where 131 people were arrested (many of whom later had the charges against them dropped) I motivated my support for that action as described below in a blog entry that I am re-posting today. That same general motivation applies (with a caveat noted just below) as another Veterans For Peace-led planned civil disobedience action is scheduled for March 19th 2011, the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War II. (Although as noted in the headline to this entry it really is the 20th year as the theme of the Catholic Worker-led demonstrations in Washington on January 15, 2011 made clear, correctly clear.)
I note here that while I support and will attend the March 19th actions (with as many of the local ad hoc anti-imperialist group that I belong to as can come that day) because they are very important symbolic actions on an important anti-war occasion I am worried, at least a little worried, that if we do not take more arrests (more than 131 that is) this action will be seen as a failure. Not by the media, of course, as they hardly paid attention on December 16th. Not the Bush I-Clinton-Bush II-Obama government, of course, they haven’t paid attention at all, ever. But militants, and potential militants, who will dismiss such actions out of hand and write off street actions as the work of cranky old men and women. In short, we do not want to get civil disobedience-itis any more than we wanted to keep doing those endless dwindling mass marches. So to do this right-All out in support of the Vets- All out to resist these wars- All out to end Obama’s Iraq and Afghan Wars.
December 1, 2010
A December 16th Veterans-Led March In Washington To Stop The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq-All Out In Support Of The Vets
On November 11, 2010, Veterans Day, I marched with a contingent of Veterans For Peace in the Boston Veterans Day parade and posted an entry in this space about my take on the event. (See, A Stroll In The Park On Veterans Day- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S. Troops From Iraq and Afghanistan!, dated November 11, 2010). As part of that commentary I noted the following:
“Listen, I have been to many marches and demonstrations for democratic, progressive, socialist and communist causes in my long political life. However, of all those events none, by far, has been more satisfying that to march alongside my fellow ex-soldiers who have “switched” over to the other side and are now part of the struggle against war, the hard, hard struggle against the permanent war machine that this imperial system has embarked upon. From as far back as in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) days I have always felt that ex-soldiers (hell, active soldiers too, if you can get them) have had just a little bit more “street cred” on the war issue than the professors, pacifists and little old ladies in tennis sneakers who have traditionally led the anti-war movements. Maybe those brothers (and in my generation it was mainly only brothers) and now sisters may not quite pose the questions of war and peace the way I do, or the way that I would like them to do, but they are kindred spirits.”
Now comes word (click on headline for similar March 19th action) that veterans are leading an action in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 2010 in front of the White House under the rubric of "Peace On Earth." There is no question that I, the anti-imperialist committee that I am a member of in Boston, any self-respecting radical or, hell, any self-respecting little old lady in tennis sneakers for that matter, could endorse this thing. If for no other reason that it begs, literally begs, Warmonger-In-Chief Obama (of the double troop escalations in Afghanistan with nobody holding a gun to his head remember) to “do the right thing.”
That said, the sentiment expressed above in that Veterans Day commentary still holds true. So I, and all I can gather to go with me, will be in Washington on December 16th. I will hold my nose in doing so, although not my tongue, trying to get my fellow vets to change course. In my hand I will hold this slogan-Obama- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S. Troops From Iraq and Afghanistan! And I won’t be begging him about it, no way.