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Commentary: Protest Activity
Satyagraha XXXI Invitation (excellent Read!)
by Jan (for Roger)
Email: Rogerning (at) aol.com (unverified!)
Current rating: 0
21 Sep 2003
food for thought,
Dear Peace and Justice Advocates,
Two Texas Presidents.
The other day my neighbor's son said to me that Bill Clinton wasn't a bad President --except for his "morals".
This man is political progressive; he too is appalled by George Bush's policies.
The corollary of Harry's statement, and the accepted wisdom in America today is that since no extra-marital affairs of George W. Bush have occurred --or at least been exposed-- the man is a moral exemplar.
I guess the real question to be asked, and the one our corporate media and Republican brethren aren't asking is, can a man who initiates a war without
provocation against an already battered people in which thousands were murdered be a moral model?
What kind of morality propels an unprovoked attack on a third world nation using the bogus rationale of weapons of mass destruction?
Tell me whose Bible calls that Christian?
When mothers and fathers and wives and husbands ennoble the soldier's role in an unjust war, as today in Iraq, we "enable" the soldier to do his/her unjust deed.
When we perpetrate the myth of the glory and nobility of a soldier's duty when the war is unjust, we do the same.
When we accept the soldier's notion that "ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do and die" --and kill-- we enable our soldiers to carry out their bad directives.
Spouses with partners addicted to alcohol often enable their partner's dysfunctional behavior by making excuses for it, protecting them from natural consequences, and in other ways enabling their spouse's toxic behavior.
When Laura Bush would not meet with antiwar poets at the White House poetry symposium, she was enabling her husband's dysfunctional policies
to remain unchallenged.
If behind every good man there is a good woman, what is behind every bad manâ€∫?
Why are Mrs. Rumsfeld, Mrs. Ashcroft, Mrs. Powell, (and Mr. Rice) silent?
Mr. Wellstone was not silent but Mrs. Carnahan was.
The dichotomy is simple: to enable or to not.
We can enable this unjust war and occupation, like Laura Bush did by canceling the poetry symposium, or we can stop cooperating and in other ways boycott the toxic policies of our dysfunctional politicians.
In the ancient Greek anti-war play Lysistrata, the wives took a political stand by sexually boycotting their soldier husbands until they put down their swords.
I have for years criticized the predilection of many men to use physical force to resolve conflicts.
Why do so many men solve conflicts violently?
George W. Bush has not been one to resolve conflicts diplomatically.
With two guns drawn he executed more people than any other Texas governor; and he attacked Afghanistan and Iraq without first trying to find diplomatic solutions.
Connie Shultz has this to say about men, women, and war. This was published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sept. 18, 2003:
It's Time for Women to Stand Against War
by Connie Schultz
The war in Iraq, like all wars, has left us women behind.
With the single - and disappointing - exception of Condoleezza Rice, the leaders of this war are men. Bush, Rumsfeld, Brenner, Franks, Wolfowitz, Powell: Men, men, men, every last one of them.
That's why many women are fuming.
Men declared this war. Men planned, or failed to plan, this war. Men misled the public to wage this war.
These men squandered the good will toward America that existed after the Sept. 11 attacks. Now they insist they need at least $87 billion more to protect our soldiers and rebuild Iraq - without shame or apology for
misleading the American public and the world.
â€∫To all you men who insist there are plenty of men, too, who want peace, I say: You're right. We thank you, and our children thank you.
Recent polls say the majority of women in this country oppose this war.
Last weekend, I spoke to more than 500 women at a gathering on Cleveland's West Side. The empathy in their nodding faces was palpable as I described
the mother who took her young daughter to a peace rally last March, not because she thought she could stop the war but because she wanted her daughter to
know she tried.
Most women oppose war, but, of course, we would. Women and children are the majority of victims in any armed conflictâ€∫
And yet, women's voices are virtually ignored in wartime. We're the softer sex, the relationship experts. We know nothing about waging war, the theory
goes. We need to leave this to the menfolk.
Well, we did, didn't we? And look at the mess we're in.
This is no time for women to decide that what we say doesn't matter. It's up to us to make sure it does. And remember, there is strength in our numbers.
Joan Blades, co-founder of the progressive Web site MoveOn.org, says nearly a million American women have logged on to voice their objections to this war.
"This is the perfect time to remind our elected officials that history knows an angry woman is a voting woman. Remind them - by phone, e-mail or letter
- that you plan to hold them accountable in direct proportion to their willingness to make the president accountable.
'We will continue to be ignored only with our permission."
I hope to see all you women and men among the grass roots of the median strip at 63rd and Ward Parkway this Tuesday @ 5 PM.
This will be our 31st consecutive Tuesday. When they pass by and shout "Get a life", I hope one day to oblige. Most of us would rather be doing something else with our precious little free time. I spend at least 10 hours a week doing my small part trying to keep business and government honest.
Despite their diatribes about how unpatriotic we are, we care so much about integrity and the quality of life for our country and world that we choose to sacrifice our precious free time to try to make it better.
Don't allow them to shame you, for you are more patriotic than they.