Backtalk, February 5, 2007

The Crime of the Century

We can easily analyze (1) the deceptions in Bush’s Iraq policy, (2) the generally subservient response of the Democrats in Congress as they try to determine how little pressure they can put on the president … and (3) the insane promotion of the invasion of Iran (the ships are all lined up, catalyzing incidents have occurred, the media is cooperating by reporting the buildup as a reasonable challenge to Iran’s “behavior”). Yes, we have to keep the pressure on Congress to de-fund the war through our reps and as well as using the threat of impeachment – it should not be off the table as Pelosi suggests. The question remains as to how the grassroots can fight this.

Does the grassroots have other means that we can use? Examples:

(1) Soldiers can refuse to deploy without proper equipment and training, which they aren’t getting. Currently, some soldiers will be sent with two weeks instead of six months training into the hottest combat zones. There can be both legal challenges (a role for those of you who are lawyers) and direct actions at deployment sites (especially good for veteran and military family involvement). Economically, we can also support resisters with funds for their legal trials and funds to help house and feed those who have gone to Canada (church groups). Some people are already doing these things.

(2) What about states that have recall votes – can we start to recall reps and senators that have not legislated in the people’s interest? (Remember the California recall?)

(3) Parents, teachers and students can build stronger counter-recruitment campaigns to get the army (ROTC) completely out of schools, not just “opt out” forms limiting recruiters which are less effective.

(4) Get your school board to have a series of educational events for both parents and students on the war combined with an action at the end.

(5) What kind of job actions could union workers do?

(6) And of course their is always tax resistance (not paying your taxes until funding the war stops – no taxation without representation). Of course, tax resistance has to be done by large groups resisting together (a community group, a small town, a bowling team, a church group, etc.).

We have the information now, we are continuing to spread it. We have won the first battle. Most Americans are against the war. So now is the time to develop actions, above and beyond blogging and criticizing and e-mailing Congress, waiting for them to act. While many of the actions I suggested seem “way out there,” the war is way out there and most of these actions are possible in both modified and full form. And are being done right now. Just not with enough people. The important thing is that we – each one of us – has to organize a few other people into an action that is more than informational, that has an effect. There is a pop song right now which seems to express the view of many young people. The song catalogs the ills of the world, and the war and then opines “We are waiting, waiting for the world to change.” We cannot wait. We have to do it. Get three of your friends and plan an action that will have concrete results – getting a candidate in or out, stopping the number of citizens willing to fight in this war, taking money from the government if it will not listen to the people (we can vote with our purse, even if Congress won’t).

Would love to hear what your community or group is doing.

~ Peg

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

I fear that the reader is correct that we cannot rely on our elected representatives. Is there leadership, energy, and sufficient will for grassroots opposition to stop the Bush regime?

I could not agree more, but how do we stop this thing? We have a Zionist-controlled media (or at least Zionist-friendly in the extreme) that pumps the propaganda out to Joe Sixpack daily. We hear over and over that Ahmadinejad wants to “wipe Israel off the map,” though most people repeating this are well aware he said nothing of the sort. We get nothing but the hard-line Israeli angle from Palestine, and indeed the entire region. Even Saint Jimmy is being savaged by these pigs.

I simply don’t see how we can rein these thugs in until Americans are in possession of the facts. The “journalists” in the MSM are not going to turn on those who sign the checks.

I think we’re screwed.

~ M. Johnson, Hawaii

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

I agree it is a difficult situation. The U.S. media are nothing but a collection of whores. Even on savvy Internet sites, many things cannot be mentioned.

Chuck Hagel and the Return of the Old Right


This was an excellent piece. I certainly hope Hagel shakes things up. I look for a major split in the GOP base over him, though. There are still too many rank-and-file Republicans firmly committed to war with both Iraq and Iran. (I fired off an e-mail to a local talk-show host the other day when he flatly stated that Hagel was a liberal for opposing the war, pointing out that Hagel has an 86 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union.) If Hagel gets the nomination, would these same people hold their noses and vote for Hillary since she’s an uber-hawk? …

~ Mike Tennant, Pittsburgh, Penn.

From a regular reader:

I offered to work for Hegel here in the South last year. However, his refusal to investigate the NSA surveillance was shocking and turned me off. People can change, but don’t ever forget he voted against that investigation.

~ Alex Sabbeth

Huh? Hagel “replicates not only the positions but also the essentially libertarian sensibility of the Old Right?”

Does that include his unwavering support for compulsory national service?

Now that I think about it, I guess you’re right. The Old Right liked the Vietnam draft just fine. I suppose they’ll like Hagel’s brand of involuntary servitude as well.

As for me, Hagel’s support for conscription is a fatal flaw.

~ Debbie Hopper, Mothers Against the Draft

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