Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Expanding" the Afghan army - to be continued

I was asked what we should do about Obama & Gate's plan to deploy 3 combat brigades to Afghanistan.

I think we need to be inspired by CATTIS LASKA and ANNIKA SPALDE of Sweden - http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/9/sweden_ranks_second_in_the_world and make a little "ofog" ourselves!!!

Days before he was elected, Obama clearly stated he wants to take our troops out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. What pause did that give us, those of us who supported this candidate? What motivation for action is it giving us now?

With the election of Obama, the status quo has been changed in this country, a huge blow dealt to racism and an equally huge boost to people of color. Obama has openly and shamelessly invited the old guard into his cabinet to what, change the status quo? Or did we elect him to act like any other white man taking office?

I listen to people - folks I have shared hope with - talk about giving Obama a chance. Some even say change cannot happen too quickly. Others keep saying that he has to align himself with the old guard for his protection and safety: so the CIA won't shoot him - or his family.

Did we come this far to be so terrified? Even when we witness how quickly we go to war, how swiftly the Patriot Act was embraced, how overnite $700 BILLION dollars was turned over to banks to save CEO's and the wealthy. And we STILL think that things take time? Only the downtrodden, the oppressed buy that load of crap actually handing precious time willingly over to those that are pulling the strings.

And only the severely oppressed think that we need our experienced powerful big daddy(ies) to make everything alright. I'm so thru, so totally thru with this terror that keeps us so oppressed and supporting all forms of inhumanity practiced so blithely precise in our name so we can continue basking in what we perceive to be our safe, little copious worlds - imagining we are more terrified that some strange, dark (as in of color) boogey man(s) is going to creep thru a window or slip thru our 66 double bolt locks to enter our homes to deprive us of our electronics and gold then we are of the big daddy(ies) that in a moment are destroying life - not just our lives for our U.S. lives have been on the path of crumbling into soulless phantoms long time ago, but the life of our mother earth.

We accept so willingly in our hearts that taking another human being’s life is so justified it is as common place as sun shining in California. We shore up our willingness to permit at best the end of another’s life by the belief that we MUST sacrifice these lives or else what, our own very lives will be threatened?

When did we human beings decide so collectively, so assuredly that the taking of human life to get what we want is the way in which we want - no need to live? When really, we only need to take another’s life when we want what they have. Isn’t that how it all started? Wanting what someone else has and being willing to kill for it?

Every one of us living in this country today benefits from this taking of human life - even those of us who have fled to this country or who were forced to come here: we ALL benefit today (in varying degrees depending on privilege) from the rape, killing, destruction of so many to be the richest, wealthiest people of the world.

We good people of this country think we are justified buying and buying and buying, simply because we can. We think nothing of living in great - or good - neighborhoods knowing deep in our hearts many women and children and men in this country have to sleep in places where we fear to even walk. Yet we fiercely protect our 'right' to be safe, to live where we live, to send our children to those privileged schools, to walk and love among those who share our economic and social privileges – at the expense of others.

I remember in college all the studies launched, by ‘good’ people, to ‘discover’ why people are poor, what is wrong with them, how can we help them, provide assistance, show them how to attain at least the meeting of their daily needs if not wealth.

We have to know in our hearts that there is only ONE reason there are poor people in this country and on this planet. There is only ONE reason a child dies of starvation every 7 seconds in our world – every SEVEN seconds. (How many children have starved to death since you began reading this?

The reason is that some people who can have taken way too much, leaving little or nothing for others. The rich have taken more than their share.

We all know there is enough on this earth to provide for the basic needs of everyone - and more. What is lacking is the desire on the part of those who are powerful because they are willing to take the life of another to capture another’s resources that would enable that person to live to cease doing so.

What does this have to do with Afghanistan, Obama, war, and us? A CodePINKer, Norma, asked us at a recent rehearsal for our Post Inaugural “Yes we CAN help Obama Change Direction” Show, what will peace look like in this country? What will our country look like, living in peace?

I didn’t understand what she meant at first, for surely we all can imagine bringing our troops home, closing 800 military bases around the world, spending our military budget for education, health care, housing.

But what will living in peace in our country with our foundation, history and our god-given 'rights', really look like? We cannot wait until our military budget is diminished and finished. While we are doing the actions to render the military industrial complex defunct, we also need paradigm changes in our own lives.

I have pointed out the irony of how often I find myself engaging in using the bible to shore up my arguments. In this instance, I’m thinking of the giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. We have be born into or forced into or chosen into a society and country benefits extremely from the bold, inhuman acts of our corporations and government.

We must figure out how to step out of those benefits, step off that path of privilege, step into the journey of paradigm change and REALLY begin to understand what we need to do to live, not be successful in this country, but live in our world.