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A National Assembly to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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Over this past weekend about 300 people representing various anti-war and anti-imperialist groups came together in a small college near Pittsburgh to decide upon events for the coming months. The main focus was the G-20 conference scheduled for end of September in Pittsburgh proper.
The anti-war, anti-occupation movement will be there, supporting the ousted Honduran president, Zelaya, the Haitian people who campaign for the return of president Aristide, and the Gazans in their 1400 sq. mile open-air prison.
The determination of the various speakers was impressive. They represented groups which had hitherto not come together, putting aside theoretical or tactical differences.
The workshops were lively and well-headed. David Swanson of "After Downing Street" and Cindy Sheehan were there, and Cindy told me what we need is a revolution. I don't know whether she is working on such a project, but I understand why she said it.
My book: "A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness" uses modern science to explain how societies get to revolutions and other bifurcations.
As I told the Assembly, there is a disconnect between our efforts to "get people back to work", or "get credit flowing" and the state of the planet.
What we should be lobbying for, and demonstrating for when the G20 meet is 4 hour working days that will enable everyone to have a job producing less "stuff" that uses dwindling resources and pollutes the planet.
Being anti-imperialist is a good thing. But it's what imperialism does that matters. If we eliminate imperialism and we continue in the same life patterns that it promotes, we are not going to make a decisive difference in the destiny of humans or of the planet.
This is not a circumstance where we an afford to take one problem at a time: first stop the wars, then get rid of imperialism, then consider radical changes in the way we live and work.
Imperialism rendered the plundering of the planet all the more violent, but every civilization, unawares, has done it.
Imperialism comes at a time when the planet is saying "Enough!" The planet, as James Lovelock tells us, will endure. But it could rapidly become unfit for human habitation.
Negotiations on climate change and the elimination of nuclear weapons are, OVERALL, more relevant to the continuation of human life than the defeating of imperialism and the ending of any particular war or regime.
Bring Bush to Justice, as David Swanson urges, yes! Get out of Afpak and Iraq, as all peace activists are calling for, yes! But our military presence in the Middle and Far East is part of a larger plan, which is why, for us to stand down there - or in any region of the world - there would have to be a change in the larger plan: from trying to get the most oil to produce the most stuff, which will render our habitat inhabitable, to the much more challenging task, from the perspective of an over/under-developed twenty-first century, of making ourselves once again part of the environment that is the only place where we can thrive.
Chances are that if we can manage that, we will become more socialist and less imperialist in the process.
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Born in Phila, I spent most of my adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, my latest being Russia's Americans.

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring


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