Posted by Sadie from D007115.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 at 1:24AM :
They are right - that the U.S. &, to some extent, the British medias are downplaying the devastating effects of this war to quiet the peace movement & the rest of U.N., in particular the concerns of the E.U.
Ceylon Mooney (from Voices in the Wilderness), who just passed through town a few days ago, said that it appeared that the U.S. military wasn't as prepared for this "war" as they thought they were. Apparently, they weren't expecting Iraqis to fight back so well (not for Saddam, but for their own lives).
So, Alexander, you are right. : )
The global movement that suddenly emerged in the past six months in opposition to Bush and the U.S. war drive is a singularly important development. People all over the world, in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, in the United States and in Europe marched in coordinated action. These movements have now defied borders and built an international voice of solidarity. Even the New York Times on February 17 referred to this movement as the second "superpower" in the world. This movement has directly confronted and slowed the Bush's administrations war drive. It forced the governments of the world to distance themselves from the war plan and thus stripped this war of aggression of any pretense at legitimacy, legality or international approval.
While people are filled with anger and sadness they are going forward to build this world movement for peace and social justice.
On April 12 and 13, there will be simultaneous demonstrations in scores of countries. (See below for a list of countries where the global peace movement will be holding rallies.)
This movement represents the hopefulness of the planet that war, imperialism, oppression, racism and any form of colonialism can be overcome through the globalization of human solidarity. Come out into the streets on April 12 and 13, as part of this global peace movement. If you can volunteer your time, click here. If you can make a tax-deductible contribution to help keep this important work going and support this ongoing movement for peace, please click here for a secure connection to donate by credit card, or for information to write a check.
It would be the most tragic and wasteful outcome if this movement - less than a year old - decided that its efforts had failed because Bush and the Pentagon proceeded with their slaughter in Iraq. The war on Iraq does not prove the failure of the anti-war movement. If anything, the war on Iraq proves only that the economic, political and military authority in the United States is morally bankrupt. It is nurtured by a system that has become addicted to militarism and war.
The unintended consequence of Bush's plans for "endless war" has been the galvanization of peoples worldwide who-- reaching across borders, races, religions and nationalities -- have stood together in mass expressions of hope and demands for justice. We know that the collective will of the people united has the political strength and power to create a world borne of our human aspirations for true peace, and the ability to defeat racism, militarism, exploitation and cruelty.
The Bush administration and the Pentagon are keenly aware of this other "superpower"-- the world-wide peace movement that poses the single biggest obstacle to their ongoing war drive. Enlisting the support of the corporate media, the government of the U.S. has consistently lied to the people of the U.S. about the reasons behind the war on Iraq, and now about the realities of the war, in the hope that it can subdue and paralyze the domestic peace movement. Having slaughtered and maimed tens of thousands of Iraqi people, the U.S./British invasion forces are celebrating the use of their massive, overwhelming and brutal military power. The images portrayed in the U.S. media conceal the truth of the devastation wrought on the Iraqis. While hospitals are overflowing with civilian casualties caused by the U.S., the streets of the country are littered with incinerated bodies, destroyed homes and families buried alive. (See "Amid Jubilation, a Child Lies in Agony, Clothes Soaked in Blood," Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK): http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=395117 )
Baghdad's hospitals are out of space for the dead and one hospital has had to begin burying in the hospital's garden. Reuters reports, "Dozens of corpses lay rotting by roadsides or in cars blown up by U.S. forces as they captured Baghdad. Near the airport, volunteers wearing face masks and rubber gloves used shovels to scrape human remains from the burned-out wrecks of cars, trucks and buses, just yards away form U.S. forces and their tanks. With no possibility of identification, corpses were being buried in shallow graves on the roadside," which will cause a major sanitation and water system crises. ("Is This Freedom, Ask Iraqis as Chaos Reigns," David Fox, www.Reuters.com, April 11, 2003).
Hospitals are running out of supplies, including anesthesia, to treat the grievously wounded who have come in at the rate of 100 per hour, and they are also being stripped bare by thieves as U.S. and British soldiers encourage the total breakdown of social order and wholesale looting. The massive looting going on is a prelude to the systemic plunder that awaits a post-war Iraq. The U.S. Defense Department has appointed retired General Jay Garner to be the new ruler over the Iraqi people, where he will divvy up the spoils of war -- the awarding of contracts to U.S. and British petroleum, construction and engineering companies for the administration of Iraq's oil fields and the "reconstruction" of Iraq from the U.S. devastation.
There is great anger in the population directed at the occupiers. Iraqis are suffering from the results of thirteen years of genocidal sanctions coupled with the intentional denial of food and water to the population as a tool of warfare. The U.S. mass media is carefully orchestrating a propaganda campaign showing the same close shot images of relatively small crowds and the U.S. military itself pulling down statues of Saddam Hussein, or others seeking food and water from entering forces. Other media, who chose not to be "embedded" into the U.S. military and who independently reported what they witnessed in Iraq have been targeted, injured and killed by the U.S. In one day alone, the U.S. intentionally fired on the hotel rooms of Reuters journalists, and the al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi television offices in Baghdad, killing three journalists.
The Bush administration is moving rapidly to impose a colonial-style occupation government on Iraq. This is not liberation. It is the use of overwhelming firepower to seize the land and resources of Iraq, and eliminate Iraq's sovereignty, while violating the most basic principles of self-determination. This is a war for Empire. The Bush administration, having carried out a war of conquest in Afghanistan and now in Iraq, will now step up its plans for future wars of aggression in the Middle East and elsewhere and has already threatened to do so. John Bolton, undersecretary of State warned Syria, Iran and North Korea this week to "draw the appropriate lessons from Iraq."
The people of the United States and the world must stand together with all of those who resist in the Middle East and elsewhere to say no to imperialism and to Empire. The occupation of Iraq will be used to set the stage for intensified war planning against Syria, Iran, southern Lebanon, North Korea, the Philippines, and against the Palestinian people who continue to resist occupation in their homeland. On Saturday, April 12, people in Washington DC and around the world will continue the mobilization against the invasion and the occupation in an international day of action with demonstrations in major capitals around the world.
Dick Cheney, speaking on behalf of the administration, promised after September 11 that there would be "endless war" and a war lasting a lifetime. These were neither idle comments nor rhetorical flourish. Since then, the administration has been absolutely brazen about its planned military adventures abroad and its systematic war against Arab Americans, Muslims and civil rights and civil liberties at home.
Only the people's movement - and it is truly a global movement now on all continents - can offer an alternative to endless war.
While they will never admit it, this planned "endless war" is a war waged by the U.S. government on behalf of corporate and banking elites against all the people and governments in the formerly colonized world that have dared to maintain nominal independence and control over their natural resources. Bush put it succinctly when he said to the world "you are either with us or with them." Working people in the United States have nothing to gain from this war for Empire. It is for the enrichment and power of the same corporate and banking circles that have engaged in mass layoffs, union busting, wage cutting, elimination of healthcare and other benefits. In fact, Bush's war for Empire requires a massive transfer of wealth from social service programs to fund the Pentagon's rapidly expanding budget.
The Bush administration's plans for world domination are based on a fantasy entertained by the right wing and neo-conservative movement and corporate thieves that military power alone is the ultimate arbiter in world politics. The New World Order that they aspire to is similar to the Old World Order of 19th Century colonialism. The people of the world aspire for freedom, justice, equality and self-determination. Brute force alone will not reverse the long historical process whose necessary outcome is liberation.
The essential element in this struggle is to maintain and build the global movement -- the force that has always and can win against military and economic might.
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