Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America's War? More Than 655,000
Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In Bush's War 2863 http://icasualties.org/oif/
The War in Iraq Costs $342,801,812,323
See the cost in your community http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182
Perhaps my thoughts about balance were not clearly stated, although I do not go back on my strong feelings about the end of the war being priority. My (candidly used) word "revenge" may be semantically similar to your word "justice" and comes from my view that there is no justice anywhere on this earth. When we speak of justice we speak fear. When we speak of revenge, we speak violence. The first is defined by the individual and is rhetoric used by the state. The second, defined by the aftermath of such action.
I do not just meditate and believe that peace will come through spiritual "energy" around the world. No, as an activist and one who spends ten hours per day gleaning news and keeping up a blog, website, and list serve, I do not think that "nonaction" in the sense of the political is the "spirit way'.. and in fact the Tao does show us instances when we must respond to the "emperor" with such just enterprises as response and responsibility.
The impeachment movement has been trickling in to my abundant resources and indy journalism, as well as indy opinionated columnists for the last six years. During that time I felt the energy was misspent. A way to keep the progressive talking heads away from the slippery slope of impeachment and war crimes against the bastards. I note that it is easier to recognize that the bastards are destroying our rights, liberties, and privacy. However, when we become (as referred to in the sixties) coffee table activists, and revolutionaries, nothing gets done in the street. Of course there must be a move to create some justice against the powers that be. But just as the fractioning of the civil rights and antiwar movements in the '60s and '70s, as well as the feminist movement, the GLBT movement, the disability rights movements and most any social change, the discussion turns inward and the actions create the splintering I spoke about earlier. What are we to learn from history and not repeat the same mistakes?
I have a sister who is (what those in the street rebellions call) an Ivory Tower activist, spending the occasional evenings or weekend hours discussing the futility of the movement and the right to stand aside as she has already "done her thing". "Thing = talking with upper level echelon and creating inane maps for change, and speaking for the elite who have the privilege (faculty, students) to listen across the ivy league campuses. She doesn't feel she needs to do more. Resentment may be creeping out of that experience into this dialogue, and I apologize if it had been taken wrong or misunderstood as MY history and not the importance of work today.
When in domestic violence work and teaching change through generational education about the soldier-creation among men and boys in the linear view of schools, as well as the ongoing patriarchy that is inherent in all our systems that affect young minds, I do know that this type of social change, revolution as we once called it, was the silent giant that created the enlistment of so many through belief in the lies an "extended truths' of the military recruitment on campuses and in the streets. They will go to any end to justify the means.
These, my friends, are our children and our children's children. These are the new casualties of such education and propaganda. When a war resister speaks out and creates change in the one person - one world view, there is great value in the new "courage to resist" and for that, I am most honored to create my own little portal of escape for these brave soldiers and to bring to light the propaganda that inspires generational awareness whenever possible.
The message to our children must be the understanding not just that the immediate action of war crimes tribunals and impeachment proceedings for the bastards in power; I DO understand the need to show you children and our grandchildren the result of activism on the internal level. But how much of the corruption is due to the "insinuated" history of Watergate pardons and MyLai coverups, and Ollie 'shreading' passes. No. We are a very cynical nation. We are trained to listen to the next sound byte and to learn our news from the television and radio: A recent study of media influence on teens and college aged kids showed that most don't even read the papers and get their news from either tv or Mtv snippets. Do we fool ourselves into believing that this time, social change with be created through exposing the emperor as a naked war monger billionaire whose daddy and brother continue to use all the dirty tricks in the book to pay their way into what was once an office of presidential power for the people, no TO or OVER the people.
Our level of media propaganda is astounding. Media reform groups, media watchdog groups, and the higher education about the complicit and unaccountable rulers is usually filled with journalism majors (we had a brief 4 hours of classes on media ethics, then it became "how to write a feature story to slant it to you readership.) This university education is recent. I see the young people who stand up against the wave of cynicism and denial, and watch them as they are overwhelmed by the onslaught of the information highway and its foibles.... Hell we go through it ourselves when we don't use our full energy tracking down fair and balanced from around the world -- not just through the NYT op-ed columns.
That said. The discussion and education about impeachment is important. But if it creates credibility issues with the antiwar movements main objective, then again I say ITS THE WAR and focus on this as the most important change and focus for the new congress. Bush's supporters, though down in numbers by (who is slanting the) polling are still waving flags and calling him a new Christian saint, finally one of "us/them" in power. Political propaganda in churches around the country is loud, screeching, and testing the faith that if you don't vote or believe this or that way, then you aren't Christian "enough'.
After the infiltration of my home by a health care worker who was strongly Conservative Baptist and strongly conservative politically, I have listened to the outrageous creeping of using the weapons of faith against a system that "does not have enough power" over women's uterus , gays as humans with rights, and understanding cultural and religious diversity. Five years around her for 6 hours per week gave me insight into how to balance as well as how to keep aware of the "other side". I watch the propaganda from all sides when I can find representation and subscribe to AFA, and other extreme religious right groups. This country has always been grounded in tolerance for the "right" religious belief systems and the freedom that is penned and spoken so valiantly in our country's inception paperwork (constitution, Bill of Rights) is, in fact, creating a bigger and bigger gap among the 'believers' and the "cynics" and the "mainstreamers" and the "activists" and the "radical systems change".
Unfortunately we are just as overwhelmed by this information age as the student in her first polysci class or media education systems. Don't think for a minute that the balance between conservative and liberal political and social leanings is tilted to the extremes in campuses and classrooms around the country. In the grand history of campus integration of peoples and the ideological movement's rhetoric and unspoken social psychology, we are following in the footsteps of those who paved the way through patriarchal power, instruction, mores and a sliding scale of balance for each generation; the founders have created a rhetoric that creates young soldiers and "citizens" in the Jeffersonian and puritanic traditions.
SO here we go. Back to my point. Nope, I don't believe that meditations toward a universal conscience is a way to make social, spiritual, lasting or even obvious change in anyone but those who spent time calming their minds for a cause. I don't just keep my third eye focused and my mantras sung. I am a radical activist and have been for over 45 years. Watched the infighting that creates factions spinning off from the movement and into self-serving but respectful ideologies that often do not continue within the main groups, but actually pan out into smaller and more vulnerable groups. The country doesn't see the "bad apple" reality, it sees the infighting and subsequent weakening of the activists' charge in their wake. No better way to find vulnerable and politically charged "sound byte" groups that do not agree among themselves on every level; and those activist, in turn, spin off into less and more radical in groups.
My thesis has not changed. It is the war, brilliant writer. We must align ourselves to the one, the most important, the "can't wait for the waters to smooth" act of GLOBAL action against the wars created by this corrupt power, the history of corruption and the commander's continuation of murder for murders' sake on foreign soil. We must unify to keep the focus.
Yes, impeach the bastards. How are you, how am I, going to devote and manage time and focus between the inexorable response to both atrocities? How will the action against war show our children that we cling to the values we have set as antiwar activists? How will a massive drive to impeach (recent meetings about the impeachment of the bastards, set up by the Progressive Democrats on Veterans Day, were advertised as a forum where '"tickets must be purchased in advance.") When the hell are we going to create such rudimentary but colossal need for access to the people, all the people? Ivory tower, coffee table activism aside, how the hell can we change and hear leaders of the progressive (and new media: Bloggers) community and energy when the class war is part of the "solution" and not one of the main sources of the problem?
It IS the war. Support war resisters. Bring the troops home NOW. Impeach the bastards that created abhorrent act of violence against our children, or liberties, and our activism. We have all had our "Cambodian Moment," Fritz Hollings just didn't scream his enlightened awareness in the halls of congress, he mentioned it to the media.
I do not believe that media ethics is an oxymoron. Anyone familiar with my website knows the philosophy and attempts to live up to my mission statement knows where this beating heart of a radical activist resides. A wakened meditation simply means focus on what is the most important for personal balance--with the responsibility of complete focus on the universal balance. Don't find the easy way out and create the illusion that those of faith, any faith, are simply forces to be tolerated. AFSC has taught us that a history of non-violence in an activist faith community works. The civilian monitors who infiltrated Iraq were led by Christian groups and organized as humanitarian relief workers. Where were we when the nuns who created awareness of our missile silos and blood hungry ships sailing toward the war zones were charged, arrested, and imprisoned for their actions? Where is our support of those who chose prison over personal comfort and blogger activism? What have we done to keep the public aware of the information shown at the top of this page?
Those "missile silo nuns" sat, stood, and showed their strength in civil disobedience a few miles from my home. They were imprisoned. A personal friend headed their legal defense and is now teaching. Maybe you have written to, or on the behalf of, the "spotlight" prisoners around our nation. Of course I support the freedom campaigns for Peltier and Abul-Jamal; have you considered that their spotlight could be shared by the guy thrown in prison in California for his blog, the New York attorney who was arrested for wearing a PEACE t shirt (Cindy Sheehan's arrests aside), the 'Ghost Prisoners' of Guantanamo, and the seizure of the web-server from an IndyMedia e-publishing hub in Britain?
War MUST BE our focus. The pundits claim that the recent blue "sweep: (must have been a whisk broom) of the recent election was a result of American's fed up with the War in Iraq and the Bush policies that continue to generate body bags and Iraqi citizen murders. This is the one issue for which we must, as anti-war writers and bloggers, stand up and be counted.
Many compassionate dreams go into these ideals and ideas, as do many who believe that we are all inexorably entwined in universal suffering. The most important tool we have today is to ride the tide of the American public who voted against the policies and keep surfing that wave until the murders stop. Must we wait for a tsunami, as we did during the Viet Nam/Cambodia war era?
Those who can make you believe absurdities
Can make you commit atrocities. - Voltaire