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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

memorial weekend action

in washington d.c.

conscientious objectors flyer back - quotes about war

Quotes about war

from our Military & Presidents
War is fear cloaked in courage. ~General William Westmoreland

The dangerous patriot...drifts into chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm for military actions. ~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. ~General Smedley Butler

The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. ~Major Ralph Peters, US Military

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.  General Douglas MacArthur

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood...War is hell.  ~General William Tecumseh Sherman

We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children. ~Jimmy Carter

The dangerous a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory.
~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

The war...was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided if forbearance and wisdom had been practiced on both sides. ~Robert E. Lee

That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Theodore Roosevelt

War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. ~General Smedley Butler

from others:
Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich. ~Sir Peter Ustinov
War doesn't make boys men, it makes men dead. ~Ken Gillespie
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~Jose Narosky
The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same. ~Marie Beyle
In this war – as in others – I am less interested in honoring the dead than in preventing the dead. ~Butler Shaffer
Let us become inspired by inherent beauty, & not impassioned by manufactured hate. ~Nima Shirali,
The worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being. ~Ellen Key
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
In this war … I am less interested in honoring the dead than in preventing the dead. ~Butler Shaffer

memorial day -

Today we honor the women and men presently in the military who have the courage to resist:

  • Several hundred soldiers who have applied for C.O. status
  • The 8000+ soldiers who have refused to fight
  • The soldiers who have publicly refused to fight:

Jimmy Massey        Mathew Potts
David Sanders         Chris Magaoay
Abdulla Webster     Kyle Snyder
Michael Sudbury     Robin Long
David Bunt              Patrick Hart
Aidan Delgado         Jessica Faustner
Darrell Anderson    Neil Quentin Lucas
Adam Mowery        Dale Bertell
Joshua Key             Jonathan Barriga
Preston Betts          Jessica Faustner

“War will exist until … the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” ~John F. Kennedy

We honor the women and men of all wars who have had the courage to resist:

  • 500,000 during the War against Vietnam
  • 2500 soldiers during the Gulf War who were jailed
  • 37,000 C.O.’s during WWII
  • 4,700 C.0.’s during Korean War

GI Rights Hot line  800-394-9544
Central Committee for Conscientious Objections
Courage to Resist

Fly away, war - updated

I've done it again - jumped right to the most violent, agressive reaction while failing to mention standing on the street corner for almost 93 minutes before receiving one negative reaction to our vigil! In fact, sometimes every single car that goes by or that is waiting at the light, responds with waves, peace signs, deep sighs of gratitude, determined fists, shouts of 'yes' & 'right-on'.

We stand in the medium on Pennsylvania Ave, a very busy thorough-far that is about 6 lanes of traffic going both directions. 93 minutes pass before we get one single finger - actually we get two fingers in the last 13 minutes, both from middle-aged white males driving late model pick-up trucks. And this woman.

“Fuck you” An angry, middle-aged white woman has pulled her late model sedan over to the side of the road to scream at me as I stand with a sign that says: “6 more U.S. soldiers dead today” and “2 women & one almost-born child murdered by U.S. soldiers today”.

I approach her extended middle finger hanging over her cream-colored leather seats as her tinted window slowly lowers. I invite her to pull over & have a conversation with me in between her vacillating between screaming ‘fuck you’ and ‘bitch’ and ‘ugly slob’.

“You’re emboldening the enemy” she yells at me. “Oh really?" I querry. "How's that?” “You just are, by standing here not supporting our troops”.

“I’m ending war, killing, bombing” I counter. “I’m bringing our troops home now – that is the only way to support them” I state unequivocally. Later I think I should have said “Bush & warmongers are my enemy – and I’m undermining them”.

I keep trying to get her to get out the car, talk with me. She thinks she’s coming up with more & more hurtful things to say as she attacks my clothes, my weight, my single status (like she knows me). She shouts with some inner victorious streak that she has a husband! I guess she sees that as a major accomplishment of her life!

I tell her we are women, we are capable of talking with each other. She tells me she wants to murder me if she could. I ask what she means, if she could. She repeats her vehement desire to murder me if only she could. I ask her why she can’t? I invite her to go ahead, murder me. Then what?

She has worn herself out calling me names, wanting to murder me – I keep pointing to a parking place across the street & telling her to park. I tell her I am not her enemy, I am committed to ending war. I keep repeating war is wrong, killing is wrong as she tries to drive off in a cloud-less puff of smoke-less squeal.

The six year old, Hillary’s daughter who is staying with us now in her house, has painstakingly designed & decorated the sign she now holds up to this woman: “Fly away war”

an almost-born child murdered

I weep today in wretched grief and rage as I read the news: two women and an almost-born child are murdered today on their way to the maternity hospital by U.S. soldiers.

I read this news as the voices of those pro-war people we met yesterday in front of the White House loop through my head weaving intricately into this news: we’re giving them democracy dead; we’re giving them freedom murdered; we’re doing a good job in Iraq killing women & children; I support war 6 more soldiers dead; I support bush 6 more soldiers dead; I support the troops six more soldiers dead; we need to be there until the job is done 2 more women & an almost-born child murdered; if you don’t support the mission killing women & almost-born babies, you don’t support our troops six more soldiers dead”.

Six U.S. soldiers have also been killed. I'm furious. I'm desperate. I’m sick.

Two women and an almost-born baby. I'm enraged. I'm inconsolably bereaved. I'm incensed.

I am here in D.C., reaching tens of thousands of people - sometimes 30 to 50 folks at a time getting off buses or gathering with a tour guide; sometimes one or two individuals sightseeing. Sometimes elementary school children or entire junior high graduating classes. Sometimes tourists from the Benefit Funds Union or from Gadston, Missouri. Sometimes handfuls of visitors from Egypt, from Thailand, from Bolivia. Sometimes white men dressed in million dollar suits that could be lobbyists, could be legislative aids, could even be congress people - definitely the 'powerful'. Sometimes just regular D.C. folks surviving in this city where predominantly white affluence & racism lords so completely over predominantly black poverty & the ravages of racism. Sometimes soldiers in full uniform or in casual everyday clothes; sometimes top brass or enlisted grunts. Sometimes soldiers recently returned from Iraq; sometimes soldiers on their way to Iraq.

I desperately try to cling to the (real) power of the work we are doing – yet I feel so diminished, so self-indulged as I entertain the thoughts that we are making a difference, we are changing lives, we are helping to end this horrific war.

I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that there are not enough of us doing too little. I am engulfed in shame and rage toward us – the everyday American folks that cannot stop our days for a moment to end this war. We are trading good jobs, secure homes, ‘safe’ beautiful neighborhoods, degrees in geology or law, for death & destruction in Iraq.

Monday at the ‘parade’ glorifying not just soldiers but this war for ‘freedom & democracy’ in Iraq, an older white woman asked me how I prevent evil from coming into my life. I told her by coming to D.C., standing here, and trying to prevent my government from engaging in acts of evil in my name, in the name of my freedom & democracy.

She snorted like a horse in a stable & stalked off, throwing evil looks over her shoulder with some words meant for me but I couldn't hear.

I don’t believe in evil – but I do believe we as a nation have made a pact with the devil (although I don’t believe in the devil either); we’ve made a pact with everything that is against life & humanity, and goodness & compassion: it is fine for us to pursue our lives, our homes in the suburbs or condos in the cities, our privileged jobs in the 35k & up range, our great schools for our special children, now our summer programs & activities, it is acceptable & desireable for all of us to consume up to 60% of the world's resources – we are given all these things as long as we allow destruction, torture, murder, rape, despair of most of the world’s population & lands.

When will our only purpose in life be to stop our country & countrymen from capturing thru force so much of the worlds humans & resources?