It's time to get serious about protest. We must protest the continued occupation of Iraq, the increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, and make everyone in this government uncomfortable when we are doing it.
As I sit here tonight listening to the crap about extending troop withdrawal 19 months, instead of 16 months, and keeping 50,000 troops in Iraq as so called “advisers” or “trainers” or whatever they want to nickname them, I am outraged! I expected this, but did you?
This is wrong. The occupation is wrong, and those of us in the anti-war movement have been screaming this at the top of our lungs for the last 6 years, even before the first boots were on the ground in Iraq. Even before the campaign of “shock and awe” even lit up the skies above innocent people. What the hell are we thinking?
Because it isn’t Bush and Cheney, those loathsome characters we so love to hate that isn’t doing this, it’s Ok? That because it isn’t Don Rumsfeld, that warmongering war criminal of a pig, it’s Ok? Because the face of the occupation is now Barack Obama it’s Ok?
Well I have a newsflash, it’s NOT OK! We have in our infinite wisdom killed over 1 million Iraqis, displaced 2 million, destroyed hospitals, mosques, historical sites, homes, agricultural, stolen natural resources, orphaned children, made widows, killed entire families, sent over 4,200 soldiers to their deaths, severely wounded another 50,000, not including those who have PTSD and are committing suicide in record-breaking amounts, and we think we shouldn’t be out in the streets demanding an end to this now? Why is that.
Right now, if this were 1970, thousands upon thousands of people would be marching outside, almost rioting because this war is not over. We went to the polls twice to tell our so called elected representatives that we want an end to this, and they are ignoring their mandate. Wait and see? Why so we can murder more innocent people, build more walls, and kill our own as well. Come on, people, get with the program. Stop fooling around, nothing was ever accomplished worth a damn by hoping for someone to do the work for you.
This occupation is costing us $10 billion a month, and Obama is now saying he will continue it for 19 months, maybe, possibly longer. That’s $190 billion if my math is right. And what about Afghanistan. How much will that cost us. Who is getting rich off of this and why aren’t the people being listened to.
We were warned of the Military Industrial Complex, and endless wars, and boy we got it. Those of us in the movement, if you want to call it that, haven’t even been a mosquito in the ear of any one in this government. They don’t give a damn about what we have to say, or what our sons and daughters have to go off and do in war.
My son is in Iraq, his third tour of duty in this hellacious war of terror. We have been terrorized, our lives will never be the same, and he could go back? Over my dead body. Get with it, they are not listening to you. When will the movement get out there and demand this end NOW. We attempted to do it under Bush, we must, absolutely must, do it under Obama. We cannot wait 19 months, or even a day. We have been out there calling “not one more day not one more dollar”, yet now those voices are silent.
March 19th marks the 6th year of this mess, and we will mark a 7th, 8th, 9th, and on and on if we don’t stop business as usual for these bastards in Washington. So it’s a weekday, oh, we have to take a day off of work, or move away from our computers, or not walk the dogs! Wherever you are, you must gather your forces and get out into the streets. Take over whatever it is you have to occupy. Demand this government shut down its warmongering policies immediately, and stop sending more troops to Afghanistan. Stop bombing sovereign nations because we “think” there might be a “high value target” somewhere lurking amongst some party goers or innocent villagers who happen to live in the hills.
Damn it. Wake up and see what is going on around you. When your child, wife, husband, brother, sister has to go fight will you be pissed off then? I mean really mad, like I am. Not occasionally mad because you don’t like war. I mean every day mad. Shut down your cities, your communities. Get out en masse and take to the streets, not on a Saturday, but on that Thursday, the day they bombed the crap out of Iraq.
Demand justice be served now, not when politicians feel like it. We cannot leave troops in Iraq. That wasn’t our demand at all. We keep yelling “troops out now!” Say it like you mean it. We lost the battle, but we didn’t lose the war, yet.
Mobilize on the 19th, do something loud and meaningful. Complacency is not acceptable, nor is silence. People are dying, people are crippled for life, we must act now. We owe it to the Iraqi people. We owe it to those who got out in the 60’s and 70’s, our predecessors in the fight for peace. Let’s pick up the sword and continue the fight. Or has the media won, and dumbed us down so much that those of us who want peace, think we can get it through the internet.
Anti-war activist, mother of three combat tour US marine; member of the national steering committee for the "World Can't Wait" www.worldcantwait.net and member of Military Families Speak Out (my opinions do not reflect the national position of MFSO).