|Peace on Earth requires peace with Earth -- A vision for returning democracy to the people.
Information for American Patriots
Copyright 2003 by Dave Ewoldt
It is time for all patriotic Americans to join together to defend our way of life. The threat to our way of life is not coming from a foreign source, but from within. This threat comes from the very top of the current US administration, from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, and their most influential underlings -- the majority of whom are associated with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). The number of US cities that have passed resolutions calling for repeal of the unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act, as well as the even greater number of US cities that have passed anti-war resolutions, demonstrates that many Americans realize the danger we face.
However, even more of the American public needs to be informed about what's going on and educated about why. In a society that was founded on the principles that citizens need to remain aware, informed, and to perform their duty to fully participate in our democratic system of governance, people need more than spin, propaganda, and a capitulating press in order to make informed decisions about whether or not they truly support the stated goals of the Bush administration's foreign and domestic policies.
All messages against the proposed wide-spread slaughter in Iraq need to include a call to bring Hussein to trial for war crimes. There is no doubt in my mind that Hussein, his top henchmen, and the heads of his military need to be captured/arrested and taken to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, trying to shore up the US economy through militarization and committing war crimes ourselves doesn't seem to be the proper manner to do this. The outright murder of at least tens of thousands of Iraqis simply so the US can field test its own latest generation of weapons of mass destruction doesn't leave me feeling proud to call myself an American.
All messages against the Bush regime's plan of imperialism also need to mention that a preemptive war against Iraq or any other country is both immoral and illegal. And the US war machine is not planning to stop at Iraq in the redrawing of the map of the Middle East. At the insistence of Israel's current right-wing government, Syria and Iran will probably be next. The attack on Iraq is contrary to both international and American law: it is contrary to the UN Charter and Geneva Convention, the US Constitution's restriction to the use of our military to the defense of our borders, and the Monroe Doctrine's stance that the use of military force is a last resort. First strike without provocation as well as the use of depleted uranium weapons both leave US troops, commanders, and political leaders open to face prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At what point do we, as civilized, rational, intelligent people stand up for the truth that violence only begets more violence? At what point do we insist that something be done about the main current threat to peace and stability in the Middle East -- Ariel Sharon? While Iraq may be in defiance of 17 UN resolutions, Israel is in defiance of over twice as many. It seems the sheer hypocrisy of the US stance is obvious to everyone in the world except Americans.
The 12 years of economic sanctions against Iraq haven't harmed Hussein, but they have been responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children. Why are we allowing an illegitimate president to put forth a plan of conquest that is planned to start with a "shock and awe" campaign of 8,000 bombs and missiles in 48 hours against a population that is 50% under the age of 15? Bush has stated that he doesn't care what the majority of US people think. After all, why should he? They didn't vote for him.
If a war is truly the only resort to respond to a threat or to actual aggression, why is the US propaganda machine turned up to 10? Why has the stated goal of the Bush regime toward Iraq changed every week? Why has every stated claim about Iraq that has spilled forth from Bush's mouth turned out to be either a distortion or an outright lie? Uranium buys in Niger, the aluminum tubes, the supposed chemical factory (which was actually in US controlled Northern Iraq, outside of Hussein's control), the drone plane which actually resembles a high school science project, the faked satellite photos, alleged mobile and underground biological labs -- all either discredited or without any actual evidence -- nothing from this administration in regard to Iraq today contains a shred of credibility.
Meanwhile, here on the home front, Bush is weakening ecological safeguards, cutting taxes for the rich, overturning the constitution and bill of rights, dismantling social programs and health care, and has squandered what used to be a budget surplus and turned it into a budget deficit.
And no one in the US government is willing to admit culpability for supplying Hussein with chemical weapons in the first place. Members of the current administration had a direct hand in this (as well as in supplying North Korea with nuclear technology.)
While it may be true that the US peace movement needs to divorce itself from the ideological sectarianism of groups like WWP, IAC, and ANSWER, none of us can stand idly by to US aggression, especially when the stated US plan will be at least as murderous and more devastating than Hussein's gassing of the Kurds, and will cause much, much more long lasting damage -- not only to the people, but to the environment through the use of depleted uranium weapons. People need to be made aware that even though the death toll from the first Gulf War was less than 400 US personnel, ten years later almost 20,000 are now dead, and another 185,000 (almost half of all who were exposed) are classified as disabled by the Veterans Administration due to Gulf War Syndrome.
Even though some neo-liberal apologists and many administration supporters like to insist that the proposed aggression against Iraq isn't about oil, the primacy of that aspect simply can't be ignored. Consider, for instance, the letter Rumsfeld and his deputy Wolfowitz wrote to President Clinton in 1998 urging a war against Iraq and the removal of Hussein because he is a "hazard" to such a large portion of the world's oil supply.
In the letter, Rumsfeld says that America should go to war alone, attacks the UN and says the US should not be "crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council." The letter further urges Clinton to seize the "opportunity and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the US and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power."
The other signatories of the January 26, 1998 letter include Bush's current Pentagon adviser, Richard Perle; Richard Armitage, the number two at the State Department; John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, under-secretaries of state; Elliott Abrams, the presidential adviser for the Middle East and a member of the National Security Council; and Peter W Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. PNAC has now become official American policy.
Control of Iraqi oil will mean the neoconservatives can finally attack Saudi Arabia without risking the West's dependence on OPEC oil. It will mean Europe and Japan, both more dependent on Middle Eastern oil than America, must go through Bush for their energy needs. It will also stop any plans for OPEC countries to switch their reserve currency to the now stronger euro from the US dollar, which only Iraq has done so far, and Iran has publicly stated it is considering. Might that have anything to do with their being the number one and two countries on the "axis of evil" list? Is this the real "hazard" that Hussein poses?
Saddam Hussein may be evil (although I have a bit of a problem with that word itself), but when you look at what the US is doing in Columbia today in support of terrorism, how the US is supporting the destabilization and overthrow of the democratically elected government in Venezuela, how we're supporting Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, as well as what the US government is proposing to do to Iraq, so is George W. Bush. For the safety and security of the American people as well as the rest of the world -- for peace, justice, and equality within the interconnected web of life -- the Bush regime must be stopped.
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