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Open Letter to My Peacenik Friends

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Message Rafe Pilgrim

We have the current government, the cowardly so-called opposition, the social injustice, and the war we deserve.

In the 1770's, 4400 English and an assortment of other nationalities died to start an imperfect but courageous and remarkable example of democracy. Though it still required adjustment and refinement and, indeed, suffered growing pains, it was their gift to the generations who succeeded them.

The benefactors of the Revolutionary War have dishonored their patrimony more than once, but never so disgracefully as in the War for Oil, Greed, Ego and Perversion of Power that we antiseptically refer to as the Iraq War, or as the government we permit refers to as Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The number of Iraqis slaughtered -- mostly innocent civilians -- is actually unknown, but all the "experts" agree that it is measured in the hundreds-of-thousands. The number of American soldiers killed (not counting our shameful mercenaries) is now within one thousand of the Revolution's honor list, and promises to pass that noble standard before decent citizens take the necessary actions to finally stanch the bloodshed.

Not OUR fault, you say? Let's review the bill of particulars --

.... We VOTED for this disgraceful government, or, perhaps worse, DID NOT VOTE, and, much worse, ALLOWED the "winners" to steal the Florida vote in 2000, and to steal the Ohio vote in 2004, and objected with not much more than a whimper, or with certainly insufficient outrage to discourage those bent upon killing our children in a foreign desert.

.... We SUPPORTED an unworthy and feckless -- at times complicit -- opposition as our answer to the treachery. Our "champions'" perfidy was most recently endorsed just last week with their approval of the hundred billion dollar budget to fund yet more slaughter in Iraq. But there were signals before then that we chose to ignore, such as applauding our candidates' peace agenda when they asked for our peacenik votes, but CHOOSING to ignore that when they spoke to seniors they presented themselves as champions for medical insurance, with precious little if any mention of the priority for peace. There were those of us who detected this manipulation and the character deficiencies it signaled, but they were ignored by those seeking cheap comfort.

.... We abided and often encouraged and participated in a "peace" movement fraught with the gamut of (however worthy) diffuse issues, e.g. women's issues, gay issues, immigration, all sorts of social justice issues, etc., etc., rather than to raise one clear banner for PEACE NOW. We also were seduced by a peace movement gone astray, more into its individual organizational turf protection, egos and peace celebrities, book signings and weekend "festivals" on the Mall, and ultimately a movement to be dismissed as irrelevant by the power brokers.

.... Did we protest? Yes. Did we always make the appropriate decisions to sacrifice enough comfort and convenience to mount the actions necessary to stop a war and to oust a greed driven treacherous government? The answer I will leave to the individual conscience -- but WHAT WAS NEEDED DID NOT HAPPEN -- AND IT COULD HAVE.

Despite my perspective that some may view as extreme, I do treasure all of you who have tried. But I cannot escape the compulsion to believe that if we are to have peace and decent governance, we must do more, and do it differently. I know one way. I'll listen to yours. But it must be MORE and DIFFERENT and genuinely promise CHANGE.

Once again: let me know........Rafe Pilgrim

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Rafe Pilgrim, after "a life largely wasted on hard honest work," found himself a jungle of turkey oak, scrub pine and giant palmettos up a dirt road running east of Crystal River, Florida, which neither school busses nor the U.S. Postal Service dare (more...)
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