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Stop the War on Iran: A Pledge of Resistance

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Message Mike Kress
Politicians and pundits are ramping up their rhetoric to demonize Iran. The boogeyman of "al-Qaeda in Iraq" is all but forgotten as the blame for US casualties in Iraq suddenly shifts to Iran. The media coverage of Iran is disingenuously framed by the question of how much threatens us, not whether it's a threat at all.

Two naval carrier groups sit in the Persian Gulf, a third is being prepared, and more navy assets are in the hemisphere. A Navy admiral is the new commander of US forces in Central Asia. About 50,000 additional troops are going to Iraq, allegedly for George Bush's escalation but likely to facilitate an attack on Iran. Patriot missile batteries are deploying to nearby countries (Saudi Arabia, Israel) to help protect them from Iranian retaliation.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, recently testified to the Senate that a war with Iran would be disastrous, but that the Bush administration was intentionally escalating tensions with Iran and appeared to be seeking an incident that would justify war. Considering Brzezinski's insider credentials and participation in provoking the USSR to invade Afghanistan, he should be taken seriously.

The Iraq occupation becomes more tenuous daily and greater numbers of Americans demand a withdrawal. The gamblers in our government (the neo-crazies, to paraphrase Colin Powell) want to raise the stakes to "double or nothing" with regime change in Iran. Beyond crazy, they talk about using nuclear weapons to do it - an avenue opened up by the Bush cabal in its National Security Strategy. The Israeli right wing and its influential US lobby supports this insanity.

The Constitution and international law are no restraint on the dishonest and greedy thugs who currently hold the reins of our government. The "marketing campaign" and military build up against Iran is well underway, and it looks eerily like the prelude to our invasion of Iraq. Congress is behind the curve by offering non-binding resolutions on Iraq, while the mainstream media act as loyal stenographers for those who want to destroy Iran.

With all evidence now pointing to an approaching US bombardment of Iran, it falls upon people of peace and good conscience to prevent it.

In essays published online two years ago, I proposed and explained a strategy and tactics that almost anyone could use to help end the occupation of Iraq ("Getting Out of Iraq: A Letter to the US Peace Movement", and "The US in Iraq: Bluffing With a Losing Hand"). While the numerous counter-recruitment and counter-retention campaigns related to Iraq should continue, those who oppose a war on Iran must be prepared to use new and different methods to prevent it from even getting started.

One way to do this is to put the nation and its leaders on notice: Attack Iran and there will be real consequences, not just symbolic protests.

This is where a "pledge of resistance" comes in.

As we learned in 2003, protests alone can't stop wars. Important as they are for our morale and showing the world that we all aren't sheep, most protests fit into an accepted system of dissent that keeps our resistance within boundaries deemed acceptable by the government and corporate media. Like the campaigns for civil rights and women's rights, our dissent must go beyond the symbolic and actually have an impact on those who participate in decisions about war and peace.

Since there appears to be a split in the ruling class over attacking Iran, we need to persuade them to make the right decision. I suggest this 7-point pledge of resistance as one step. Please consider signing it, then make copies and mail them to all of your elected representatives and to your local media. Pass it on to your friends, family, peace and justice groups, churches, social and environmental organizations, or anyone you think might have an interest in stopping another senseless war.

Pledge of Resistance to a War on Iran

The lessons of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq demand that American citizens oppose unnecessary wars. I oppose a war on Iran, a sovereign nation and people that is no threat to the United States. This "pledge of resistance" notifies you that:

1.) I will write letters, send emails, and speak to elected officials and media representatives in an effort to stop a war on Iran.
2.) I will create and/or distribute written, recorded, painted, drawn, or photographed media to counter the campaign of disinformation being waged against Iran.
3.) I will encourage military members to refuse serving in a trumped up war with Iran, and help them if they ask for my help.
4.) I will organize and/or join anti-war demonstrations.
5.) If Iran is attacked, I will engage in or assist non-violent acts of civil disobedience until US forces cease all hostile action and return to their home bases.
6.) If Iran is attacked, I will spend money only on life essentials and household bills until US forces cease all hostile action and return to their home bases.
7.) I will find other citizens to join me in this pledge until US forces come home.

Signature or Initials _______________________ Date _________________
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Mike Kress served two tours in the Persian Gulf (93/94) before leaving the Air Force as a conscientious objector. He has served as vice-chair of the Spokane Human Rights Commission and is a member of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (more...)
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Stop the War on Iran: A Pledge of Resistance

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