March on the Pentagon, Mar. 17: Iraq, Iran & Oil…
March on the Pentagon, Mar. 17:
Iraq, Iran & Oil
The coward will ask is it safe?…Vanity, is it politically expedient or popular? But conscience will always ask, is it right?
– Mahdi Bray
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
On the 4th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, and as the neoconservatives in Washington and their corporate backers plan an attack on Iran, popular opposition to such wars of empire and aggression mounts. “The other superpower” – the citizens of the world, according to the business press and the UN – is beginning to wake. Hopefully we will not be too late. The age of empires is approaching its twilight hour, but it may not die peacefully. Let us usher it out as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
As to Canadian troops in Afghanistan, about the only thing we are accomplishing is to lend legitimacy to the U.S. imperial war for oil. If we keep this up, Canada can forget about its reputation as a peace-keeping nation. Presently, we are a propaganda machine for U.S. military aggression. We are lending diplomatic cover for wars of empire. Get the troops out now! Bring them home.
“On March 17, 2007, the 4th anniversary of the start of the criminal invasion of Iraq, tens of thousands of people from around the country will descend on the Pentagon in a mass demonstration to demand: U.S. Out of Iraq Now! 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 anti-war march to the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. The message of the 1967 march was “From Protest to Resistance,” and marked a turning point in the development of a countrywide mass movement.
“The people of the United States want an end to the war in Iraq. The elections in November were a clear repudiation of the Bush administration’s war of aggression. The new Congress, however, has no intention of ending the war. Bush and the Pentagon generals are determined to prolong the war. Tens of thousands of more troops will be sent to Iraq. We are building a massive antiwar movement on the national and local level. Only the action of the people will stop the war.
“We are returning to the Pentagon because the Iraq war has resulted in more than 655,000 Iraqi deaths (Lancet), on top of more than 1 million killed by sanctions between 1990-2003. This is genocide.
“We are returning to the Pentagon to demand the immediate closure of Guantánamo and all other torture facilities. The grotesque revelations of torture and abuse in Abu Ghraib were the tip of the iceberg. Punishing a few rank and file soldiers and counting on the mass media to tire of the story, the Pentagon has tried to conceal the reality that it engages in arbitrary detention and torture of those it identifies as “enemies.”
“We are returning to the Pentagon to demand an end to the surveillance and other spy programs conducted against the people of this country by the Pentagon and other agencies.
“We are returning to the Pentagon because it maintains 714 military bases in 130 countries to extend the influence of US transnational corporations, oil giants and banks. The slogan of national security and the war on terror stands exposed as a pretext for a global empire enforced by military might and limitless violence.
“We are returning to the Pentagon to challenge the system that is addicted to war and global domination. The Iraq war is a criminal endeavor based on lies. It was always about conquering the entire Middle East with its vast repositories of oil. While the Iraq war has been an absolute catastrophe for the entire people of Iraq and for tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers, it must be remembered that many U.S. corporations are benefiting. They are the recipients of new Pentagon orders for weapons, supplies and contracts. The Iraq war costs approximately $279 million each day. That breaks down to more than $11 million every hour of every day of the year. The total cost of the Iraq war will be $2 trillion, according to the Iraq Study Group report.
“Unless the people act now, the human and economic costs of the war will only increase. Let’s unite and stand together at the Pentagon on March 17.”
– Statement from the ANSWER coalition on why we’re marching (for full text see links below)
“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population… In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality… We should cease to talk about vague and…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”
– Chief long-term strategic planner for the U.S. National Security Council,
George F. Kennan, in a 1948 State Department Brief: the now-declassified NSC 68.
Note: This is not new. Bush is only the latest of war criminals. He is the successor to empire – an empire that is in crisis and crumbling, desperate to shore itself up while it may still be possible.
“The Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a (bipartisan) “Post War” foreign policy framework, which provides the basis for the planning of the contemporary wars and atrocities including the setting up of torture chambers, concentration camps and the extensive use of prohibited weapons directed against civilians.
“From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the “Truman Doctrine”. Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush have carried out this global military agenda.
“What distinguishes the Bush administration in relation to the historical record of US sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.
“To reverse the tide of war requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, mosques, schools, universities, municipalities, on the dangers of a US sponsored war which contemplates the use of nuclear weapons. The message should be loud and clear: It is not Iran which is a threat to global security but the United States of America.
“The corporate media also bear a heavy responsibility for the cover-up of US sponsored war crimes. Until recently these war preparations involving the use of nuclear weapons have been scarcely covered by the corporate media. The latter must also be forcefully challenged for their biased coverage of the Middle East war.
“What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called “Homeland Security agenda” which has already defined the contours of a police State.”
– Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, Ottawa U.,
founder and director of the Center for Research on Globalization
“Intelligent people realize that American claims to be a moral and democratic force are mere pretense behind which hides a policy of military aggression.”
– Paul Craig Roberts, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal
“[A] plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran [is]… Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in, quote/unquote, ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran…”
– Zbigniew Brzezinski, before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 1, 2007 (emphasis added)
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
~ James Madison
“The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 3rd American President
“Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” – Thomas Jefferson