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Globalization and the US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

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The most recent anti-war protest in Washington D.C. felt like a festival or a big concert, at least for a while, as I basked in the emotional warmth of the crowd and the physical warmth of that sunny Saturday. But then Joe Lombardo, a member of the National Assembly, a network of anti-war groups, gave a speech that linked globalization with the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether or not his amplified voice was heard by anyone across the street in the White House, what he said killed the buzz I had from cycling amidst national icons. For better or worse, Lombardo's speech diminished my springtime-induced optimism.

"The flight of US industry from US shores to find cheaper resources and labor with no unions and no environmental, or health, or safety regulations is a process known as globalization and has required new military thinking. To protect US corporate interests abroad we now have our military in over 135 countries with close to 800 permanent foreign military bases. Our now globalized economy will mean permanent war as US corporate-controlled government seeks to protect US corporate interests abroad.

"As national populations in these countries seek to reclaim their national resources and wealth for their own people, they will be accused of terrorism. And so as Bush told us, we will have a permanent war on terror. War will be part of politics in this country from now on. As the US military enters country after country in the interests of corporations and the class that they represent, they use a common tactic called divide-and-conquer.

"They seek to divide the population, breaking down their unity and solidarity and supporting one against the other. So, we see Sunni versus Shia, Kurd versus Arab, one tribal leader versus the next. The peace movement in this country has also been divided. We have been unable to find a way to work together, and this has been one reason the peace movement in this country has not approached its potential.

"There is a movement calculus that goes like this. If one organization can bring out a hundred people and another can bring out a hundred people, together they'd bring out a thousand people. Let's bring out tens of thousands of people."

There will be a national peace conference in Albany, New York July 23, 24, and 25.


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