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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/25/10

The Anti-War Peace Movement Needs a Re-Start

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Around the world other tactics have been successfully deployed on issues that U.S. advocates are not well organized enough to deploy. These include general strikes where people take off work for hours or days to send a message that the people are organized in opposition to government policy. Similarly slow downs in the nation's capitol that bring the business of government to a halt demonstrate that the people will not let the business as usual go on without interruption. We can see the beginnings of such efforts in the U.S. peace movement in Cindy Sheehan's "Peace of the Action" that recently protested drones at the CIA and seeks to block the business of Empire in the nation's capitol in 2010.

Finally, and of critical importance, is for the anti-war peace movement to be truly non-partisan and politically independent. Recently peace activists have been drawn into silence when John "Anybody but Bush" Kerry ran a campaign where he called for escalation of the Iraq War and expansion of the military. And, when candidate Obama promised to escalate the Afghanistan war, attack Pakistan, only partially withdraw from Iraq and expand the U.S. military many in the peace movement remained silent or criticized his policies but promised to support him anyway. The peace movement needs to protest candidates from any party who call for more militarism, larger military budgets and more U.S. troops and demand real anti-war positions for their votes.

Movements cannot stop and start for elections, nor allow party loyalty to divide them. They must continue to build through the election. Indeed, elections can be prime opportunities to build the movement and push candidates toward the anti-war peace perspective. Peace voters must be clear in their demands: end to the current wars, no more wars of aggression and dramatic reductions in the military budget so that it is really a defense budget not a war budget. This does not mean leaving the U.S. weak and unable to defend itself, but it should not be a budget that allows aggressive misuse of the U.S. military as the primary tool of foreign policy.

Developing an effective anti-war peace movement is a big task that will take years. U.S. Empire can be traced back to the late 1800s and President Eisenhower warned America of the military industrial complex fifty years ago. The U.S. is currently engaged in a "Long War" supported by neocons, neo-liberals and corporatist politicians. The pro-militarist establishment has deep roots in both major parties and undoing the military machine will take many years of work. Advocacy against war and militarism needs to be persistent; constantly educating the American public that war undermines national security, weakens the rule of law and contributes to the collapsing economy. We need to show how investment in militarism rather than civil society undermines livability of American communities, weakens the economy and puts basic necessities like education and health care financially out of reach.

The facts are on the side of the anti-war peace advocates, now we must build organizations that represent the patriotic, anti-militarist impulses of the American people.

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Kevin Zeese Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
 
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