Here's an easy question: would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or die?
Here's a poorly kept secret: the wars that a majority of Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that a majority of Americans want cut back is growing.
Here's a situation that is not secret at all but too horrifying for us to acknowledge: if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties or representative government intact. If we do not reach those catastrophes it will be because blowback or nuclear proliferation takes us out first.
You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed? Is the question getting easier?
Here's a well kept secret: many Americans are doing something about it, and Veterans for Peace is taking the lead. We're going to the White House on Thursday, December 16th: http://stopthesewars.org
You may have other obligations, but do they outweigh what's at stake here? How about this question: If you cannot risk arrest at the White House with us on December 16th to stop these wars, can you be there in support? Can you help with transportation or take photos and shoot videos and write reports? If you cannot be there in support, can you phone Congress and the media and demand the defunding of the war machine and an end to wars opposed by majorities of Americans in every poll?
The last time I was arrested at the White House we were "processed" at a table outside a jail and never entered any jail at all. Yes, it takes hours to do what could take minutes. Yes, the handcuffs pinch. But doesn't the knowledge that we are bombing families in other countries pinch a little too?
Don't take it from me. Take it from these people who will also be there:
"I am shamed by the actions of my government and I will do everything in my power to make it stop killing innocent people in my name." -- Leah Bolger
"'".to protect and defend the Constitution"' I took that oath as a sailor, and later as a police officer. I don't consider that oath to have an expiration date because I believe in accountability, justice and peace. Where I come from, we say: 'You don't have to stand tall, but you've GOT to stand up.' Stand up December 16, 2010, at the White House." -- Erik Lobo
"Besides causing untold suffering and destruction, our futile and unending wars distract us from addressing unprecedented humanitarian and planetary crises. To allow war to even exist dishonors the teachers of peace who came before us. To fail to oppose war is to submit to those who make war. I choose to honor the peace teachers; I choose to oppose and resist the war makers." -- Kim Carlyle
"As Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner of a year ago, embraces war on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, he's joined by most all the Democratic Party, and pushed on by the cabal of Republican war-mongers newly dominant in Congress. Obama was the right man for the job of expanding US domination internationally, and domestic surveillance and police-state measures. He's not solely responsible for the system.; neither is he a socialist, or illegitimate based on his birth. But we are right to be protesting at the White House now, as we were right when the Bush regime lived there. People who want to stop these wars being carried out in our name have to be visible and vocal about it, now!" -- Debra Sweet
"I strongly and enthusiastically support these actions! May we move forward peacefully, nonviolently, and with great courage." -- Ron Kovic
"I speak and write a lot about these things; but there comes a time when if you don't put your body on the line, then the speaking and writing becomes posturing. That time is now. December 16 at the White House. " -- Joel Kovel
"Those who know the full extent of America's imperial reach have a unique obligation to let their fellow citizens know what is being done in all of our names. But it is more than an obligation for veterans, since many of us have served in America's invasions and occupations abroad. Perhaps it is also a privilege, another chance to express our love for this country, this time putting their bodies on the line to demand that America once again join the peace loving nations of this world." -- Fred Nagel
"I listened today to Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech given at New York's Riverside Church in 1967, 'Why I Oppose the Vietnam War.' If any of us don't know it, make it a point to hear it. His truth is timeless. When I hear it, I feel as deeply as possible, the necessity and the responsibility to be a Veteran For Peace. My conscience, my refusal to let the world change me are in the forefront of my existence. I will be with my brothers and sisters on Dec. 16." -- Jay Wenk