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See You At Armageddon?

By       Message Tom Hayden       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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We already know this:

The public and the press were in the dark, but Vice President Cheney already knew British agents were arresting Muslim suspects in the trans-Atlantic bombing case when he attacked Ned Lamont and the Democratic Party for encouraging "al-Qaeda types."

The US war in Iraq is a failure in the eyes of most Americans.

The US-backed Israeli bombing of Lebanon has revived the discredited neo-conservative argument to carry the war to Middle Eastern terrorists.

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This is about the November 2006 election, Armageddon for Republicans who fear losing their monopolistic grip on the Congress, and about the 2008 election which will be a referendum on what the neo-conservatives have wrought.

This is about the fate of the planet for this generation.

Who has a plan?

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The issue of Iraq is "ripe" for an anti-war majority at the polls. The "war on terrorism" is a different matter, which is why Republicans want to shift the public focus from the debacle in Iraq to the latest terrorist threat.

Peace advocates don't have a consensus on what to say. We need to win on the issue that is ripe, which is Iraq, while not being trumped by other issues which are still ripening.

The case against Iraq must make sense to the broadest majority of Americans, and be bullet-proof against Republican and talk show fusillades.

But what should be said on terrorism? That we need a change from Bush policies that have not made Americans safer after 9/11? That Bush has talked about "taking the fight to the terrorists" but they already were in Britain, Canada, and almost in the air over the Atlantic while 140,000 Americans were sweating in Iraq? That Bush's slaughterhouse in Baghdad, Bush's arming of the Israelis with cluster bombs, and Bush's unilateralism have incited more anti-American hatred than ever before? That Bush's budget-cutting, tax-cutting philosophy has left us stripped of resources to protect our ports, airports, nuclear plants, and other exposed facilities? That Bush's oil policies are destabilizing the planet, the economy and the atmosphere itself?

Those are just suggestions. We cannot simply say "withdraw troops from Iraq", though of course we should say that too.

To the Democratic Party, I say keep the peace and justice movement in mind. Don't sound like flip-flopping echoes of the Republicans on terrorism and Lebanon. If you are going to take the fight to the Republicans, you can't sound like Republicans lite.

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To the peace movement, the progressives, and the bloggers, I say keep the big picture in mind. If you agree that the madness in Iraq and the madmen behind it are ripe for a defeat in November, focus your energy on how to accomplish that goal. If won't be easy after Connecticut, but try not to make the wars within the Democratic Party more important than the war against the neo-con agenda. Winning on an anti-war consensus in November and in 2008 is the way to inflict a transformative defeat on the neo-cons and their allies in the DLC.

And to the bloggers, I say stick to standards of evidence that will convince the mainstream voters. Sometimes we stray from what we know, and what can be proven to the public, into the world of, well, conjecture. We cannot fight against a faith-based crusade with one that sometimes appears to be fantasy-based. We cannot fight the conservative model with a conspiracy model [even though there are conspiracies out there]. The facts are staggering enough to cause deep public questioning and, in time, a radical public awakening. We should see ourselves as the questioning conscience of the nation, the prod to deeper digging by the media, the force that pushes politicians to address all the "inconvenient truths," every last one of them.

 

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After fifty years of activism, politics and writing, Tom Hayden still is a leading voice for ending the war in Iraq, erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, and reforming politics through greater citizen participation.

Currently he is writing and advocating for US exiting Afghanistan. (more...)
 

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