I received a large number of thoughtful responses to the message sent this past Tuesday, so I’m reprinting some now to enlarge the discussion (minus names):
From Cambridge, MA:
1. Our Pledge of Resistance didn’t work for Iraq. I sincerely and sadly conclude that a great deal more has to go wrong in this country in order to make people so unhappy that they will risk their lives and possessions in the cause of major reform here in the U.S., including our government’s commitment to endless war.
Remember our responses to the invasion of Iraq or any of the other “errors” of the Bush Administration, now being (in effect) ratified by President Obama. Compare our responses to those of protestors in the “Arab Spring.” Look at those being killed in Syria nearly every day.
The U.S. may have too many safety valves to keep it from blowing up. We have town meetings and peaceful demonstrations to vent our political displeasure; we have many, but not sufficient, safety nets for the poor; we have plenty of reformers working to correct wrongs in plenty of fields of endeavor. And we have the corporate media and the politicians who have been bought by corporations to tell us that everything is all right and to explain away any problems we discover.
Maybe the U.S. is too diverse and too large to ever have an effective and major reform movement or revolution. My own priorities are very different from those of Texans, Floridians, and the good people of the Mid West.
Can we all agree? Shouldn’t we first find out what we do agree on, then protest in an attempt to change it? The OWS protestors have done a great service for us. They have opened up the discourse and given a voice to many who haven’t had a voice until now. They have united the idealistic and given us hope.
But they have also opened a space to compare our OWS responses with those protestors in the “Arab Spring.” And I, for now, am skeptical of the possibility for meaningful change.
I pray that I am wrong.
I found only one thing ‘speaks’ to imaginations of western citizen who do not seem to be able to activate those imaginations themselves:
Turn the tables, tell the story of the US being submitted to such outrage, having it’s nuclear warehouses ‘bunker-busted’, its oil exports blocked, its crucial imports blocked, in short having its population, including women and children going into severe suffering, exactly as had happened in Iraq before the actual war.
Help them to imagine what it would mean in their daily lives, if for instance China would impose such ‘sanctions’ on them …
Iranians are no more idiots than we are ourselves and are perfectly capable of logical reasoning.
One of the oldest cultures known to mankind and still going strong. They could teach us many a lesson, in many a field, including being a peaceful nation.
If all Americans had to be judged -and attacked- on the basis of the behaviour of their presidents, the country would have been ransacked, bombed and the population decimated since a long time.
After all, the outrages of the US government may seem less than those of the Iranian one because they are familiar, but may the one who truly is without sin, throw the first stone.
- Iran so far has not dropped any nuclear bomb on anyone, and would be a complete idiot if it did so on Israel, because its fall-out would be disastrous for itself.
Both litterally through self-contamination if the winds would not cooperate and world-wide politically, including attacks by Arab neigbours of Israel who would automatically also be victims (Saudi Arabia reportedly already suggested quite some time ago to the US to attack Iran), as you cannot contain a nuclear bomb’s outreach with Hesco’s. In other words, such an attack would be utter and complete suicide.
The US have. In a far more distant country, so with less risk for self-contamination and no risk whatsoever of rnuclear etaliation. Not to mention life-endangering tests in Nevada and who knows where else.
- There is no proof that Iran has or is even seriously trying to get nuclear weapons. Remember the Iraq hoax?
As I’m typing this, another volley of those bloody army helicopters (always in couples) flies over the neighbourhood, having all my window panes rattling, that’s how low they fly …
From New Mexico:
The craziness of the Republican candidates for saying they would support any kind of illegal terrorist action against Iran, efficiently bypasses any sensible measures for ending the war in the Middle East. I was not surprised that Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the other guy that’s not Ron Paul agreed on illegal means of sabotaging any improvements in Iran’s energy problems.
Experts have concurred that Iran is not increasing their nuclear capabilities to attack the West, still the paranoia of these political jerks will tell us anything to get us to support their desire to attack Iran. One needs to realize that Iran supplies oil to numerous countries including Russia, China and Japan to name three, and Vladimir Putin has already warned the U.S. to keep their bloody hands off Iran.
There never seems to be any end to sanctions against Iran, since the U.S. is still angry with Iran for taking the hostages from the embassy in 1979. Not only did Iran feel completely helpless when the Shah, a puppet ruler supporting U.S. interests, broke the country’s back with his cruel reign of terror. The Ayatollah Khommenie came next to push Iran further back in time, but anything was better than the Shah!
China has remained quiet so far but I can see them allying against the U.S. should they keep up this bullying of oil rich nations in the Middle East. Any lie they can come up with seems to be the applied to create more negative propaganda for future wars. These would be raged against Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Pakistan (all at once if they could pull it off). In the midst of an economic collapse, tax payers are to shoulder the costs of all these planned wars. What the hell are we to do, continue fueling their nonsensical war machine?
The government still wants to imprison and torture its own citizens for not supporting more illegal wars. Obama passed the NADAA on 31 December 2011 to make the world a ‘battleground’ and put more people in FEMA camps. That’s the National Assisted Defense (&) Detention Act, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completely botched Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. We are in worlds of trouble now!
*Get petitions going, maybe both from WorldCantWait and other
centers, against any war, assassinations, support of anti-Iran
terrorist organizations, against Iran. The petition
is a good example, but has much too limited a number of
signers. 10,000 academics would make a real impression.
Another petition containing 100,000′s of thousands of
people from the WEB would make an impression.
*Conduct a pole of what the real attitudes of Americans
are as regards Iran, by a recognized poling company, e.g., Zogby.
Funds could be sought from philanthropists or your
lists of people. How much would this cost. Would
Zogby himself give a good deal?
Follow up with information correcting erroneous
propaganda. Involve Bill Moyer, and various
*Make the connection with OWS, the aims of the 1%,
and impending Iran War. The 99% are the cannon fodder,
and pay for the war, to boot. [Bush pushed the Iraq war
for the 1%, also for Israel and Neocons [all related]. The
99% were lulled into sleep by the housing/financials bubble.
A free war! And in the end, the people bailed out the banks.]
*Simple anti-War demonstrations are good. Focus solely
on the Iran issue.
*Wonder what the differences are of WorldCantWait and
*Sorry if you have gone over the above ideas many times.
There are already a lot of people who are against this war. We have to
remind those going to war that we the people can see exactly what they are
doing and we say NO. Also make it clear that we are not taking sides. Iran
also has problems that need to be addressed and that have to be solved. We
are at a cross roads where nobody will gain from this war if nuclear weapons
are to be involved thus necessitating the continued lying about the peaceful
use of uranium. There is no one on this planet that can safely deal with
mining uranium and handling nuclear waste. If the war posturing continues so
does the slow contamination of our planet through nuclear waste released by
nuclear reactors and nuclear accidents. The seriousness of this is being
ignored as nuclear weapons and who has them is a power tool. Those using it
have deluded themselves into thinking that what they are doing is OK. The
whole peaceful atom myth is a huge terrible lie that is harming people all
over the Globe as we speak. What has happened in Fukushima is being covered
up. Somehow we must continue to let people know the truth about the dangers
of using uranium and the myth of the peaceful atom. The countries using
uranium now are causing huge harm and must stop using uranium. The use of
procuring nuclear weapons as a just reason to go to war must be revealed for
what it is a big lie. I am Canadian and writing a blitz of letters to the
leaders of nuclear countries letting them know we know the truth about the
nuclear game. If there is a war with Iran they will never get away with
saying it is just this time. The people of the world will rise up together.
As well if they continue they will end up making themselves sick.
Controlling the world through money and oil is one thing – the contamination
is quite severe but nuclear contamination there is no coming back from that.
This is a difficult situation that we find ourselves in but we the people
have to let the powers be know that we will accept nothing less than the
truth and world peace!
Its time to write to the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.N. To let
them know we can see that they are pushing the war. We see through the War
on Terror but against we are not taking sides we are calling for Peace. All
nuclear energy countries let them know we will not accept nuclear energy and
nuclear weapons as a just reason to go to war and the powers that be will
now not have any peace because they will have to go to overt dictatorships
to hold their power. The people will rise up and not endorse anyone who says
this war is just. It is going to take all the people who love our planet
Earth and desire peace in every country and every part of the war to say NO
in one voice. A peace petition to every part of the World would be
wonderful. I don’t know how to set up a world wide partition but that would
be powerful. The time is now. There has to be a way to also get people not
on the Internet to participate. Perhaps get volunteers from every town and
city to get real signatures and mail in letters.
I think if you want to challenge the American people to mobilize to stop imperial wars, one thing which should be done — which a group of my friends and myself discussed over this past weekend — is to present the American people with the total cost of perpetual imperial war at every level of their daily lives, and to demonstrate to them that they are paying an extremely high price for imperial wars, and just how this state of perpetual warfare is taking a heavy toll on them in ways they don’t even realize.
Americans are vaguely aware of the economic cost of perpetual imperial wars, but the other costs of perpetual war — on the social, psychological, moral, cultural and spiritual levels — remain hidden from them, and when these costs of war remain hidden from the people, they will continue to silently sanction imperial wars, especially when a particular religious institution wants these imperial wars to prove that their belief is “superior” to all others.
So, presenting the hidden costs of perpetual war on our society, spirituality, culture, morality and our overall psychological health and well-being in a powerful, tangible, undeniable way to the American people will be necessary if you’re going to out and challenge Americans to stop perpetual imperial wars.
I think you should use whatever media and social activist groups are at hand to spread the word and encourage people to contact their congresspeople, senators and the President immediately before people are killed and retaliation by Iran is made possible.
Points which I think would be good to emphasize in order to influence people to act are…
“Pre-emptive” invasion is WRONG – it is immoral, illegal & insane
No matter how you look at it – it makes the US the bad guy!
WHY SHOULD WE MAKE WAR ON INNOCENT PEOPLE TO ENRICH SOCIOPATHS?
It is high time we took a path to peace and freedom at home and
overseas. We cannot dictate or force another country to step
away from nuclear weaponry until we do! Also, in these times
war wreaks long-term environmental damage on its victims which
eventually affect everyone worldwide.
Iran has powerful allies and their is more risk of retaliation
than with Iraq and Afghanistan. WE HAVE MORE TO FEAR IF WE
INVADE THAN IF WE DON’T.
We CANNOT afford another aggressive mistake – haven’t we learned
from Iraq & Afghanistan that we cannot win and will only
further weaken our country by impoverishing the people more.
Congress needs to focus on taking care of business at home and
quit meddling in the affairs of far distant countries.
Congress must listen to WE, the people instead of making
arbitrary & thoughtless blunders which serve only a few.
What about the BUDGET, the BUDGET, the BUDGET!!! Congress,
especially Republicans have been crying there is no $$ for
infrastructure and social programs – so how is there $$ for
another war especially when the very rich and corporations do
not pay taxes!!
Making war in Iran would be the greatest outrage committed by
the American government yet!!! I, for one am so tied of being
ruled by hateful megalomaniacs.
Thanks for all you do!
War is not the answer. It always loses. So we must discourage all talk of war, and actions which escalate tensions that lead to war. For Christians this means “Love thine enemies, do good to those who despise you…” For non-Christians it means to treasure and protect the lives of fellow human beings.
The people in the USA who hate war will stand up to protest any war. But the many who seem to love war, who feel so much more “American” when the country is sending young people to kill and to die….those people will only be challenged to NOT want war with Iran if we can convince them that any more wars will only Hurt their Wallets and pocket books. If we can show them with financial statistics how war is making them have less money, possessions, power, etc. then maybe they will stop waving their American Flags and beating their chests and calling for war – while they sit in their very rich homes far from the killing fields!!
Of course, this will not convince those folks who financially profit greatly from war (so we need to convince them by some other method, not sure how).
Thank you for all you do for all of us,
Debra thanks for asking for input. Bottom line is that the US must withdraw military funding for Israel. Its not enough for Obama to not want to go to war with Netanyahu. If Israel attacks Iran with or without Obama’s approval, it is a US funded war, hence a US war. It is not only wrong. It will be a war crime and constitute crimes against humanity. It seems to me that all other arguments are superfluous. If we fund it, its ours. Look forward to your report back from the meeting. Hope all is well for you. Will you be in California anytime soon?
From Washington state:
One message needs to get out: YOU CANNOT MAKE PEACE BY WAGING WAR. No matter how we differ from others, no matter how eggregious their actions may seem to be, WAR IS A LIE and it will NEVER solve even one problem. That is the simple truth. If sufficient people were to realize how important it is for the US to ACT ON THOSE WORDS, we could solve many problems in our country and in the world.
From West Virginia:
Tell them the biggest victims of both sanctions and war against Iran are the very young, the very old, the sick and the infirm. Tell them the winners of both sanctions and war are the ruling Mullahs, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the military and the weapons makers. Tell them Iran is more than five times as big as Iraq and 100 times more powerful. Tell them we will be there for 50 years. And finally, tell them the instant we attack Iran the price of gasoline will more than triple, shortly after that the price of food will triple.
Wow! doesn’t this seem like deja vu from 10 years ago! Since the
ruling class wants to dehumanize Iran, ti is on us to humanize them.
Like the article mentions, it is not to sanitize the oppressive
Iranian regime, but recognize the humanity of the people of Iran.
Promote cultural exchanges ASAP, let Iranian students address OWS
gatherings to show solidarity with our struggle, as the Egyptians did,
Films by and about Iranian society would help. Media access for
politically aware Iranian activists. Maybe a joint music festival.
Maybe a joint delegation of US citizens and Iranians going to Congress
to let them see faces of real people who are not anti-American, but
only anti-war policies that threaten all of us. Some in Congress are
beyond hope, of course, but we don’t need them all. We need to
pre-empt the war, which we were not able to do in 2002, despite huge
numbers. Then of course there is the Israeli factor. I guess the
logical thing would be to convince influential Jewish people here that
an aggressive war against Iran would be counter-productive for
Israel’s security. A tough sell, but doable. Rabbi Michael Lerner is a
good place to start.
PS meanwhile, all hands on deck vs NDAA. In Maine, the two Rep.
Senators voted for, while the two Dem representatives voted against.
If allowed to stand, it flushed Bill of Rights down the toilet.