...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
      ( 9:21 AM )
The World Still Says No to War

If you haven't heard, this coming Saturday, March 20, 2004, is going to be an international day of action against the unilateral US invasion of Iraq. On March 20, 2003, the United States began a massive bombing attack and invasion of the sovreign country of Iraq. The violence was excused by those in the government and many of its supporters because of what we now know to be lies told to us about Iraq being an imminent threat to us.

In the last 363 days, almost a year since that bombing and invasion began, thousands of Iraqis have died, 665 soldiers have died, estimates of up to 8,000 or more soldiers wounded, many gravely and irreparably, reports of the highest rates of suicides in a conflict arena ever, and a country is descending into political chaos (and I don't mean Iraq).

One year ago, the media was a willing participant in the march to war, repeating with glee the press releases of the administration, failing to question anything, and happily giving up all autonomy so that they could have the "honor" of having their soldiers embedded. Even now, the media's reporting of the war and its consequences barely rises to the level of journalism in its lack of true investigation, true calling to account, or even relaying of actual facts. This week, the spin that will go out will most likely once again merely mimic the governmental propaganda, ignore the lies the war was based on, forget the conniving the administration did to manipulate the UN, and turn a blind eye to the thousands of demonstrators that will hit the streets on Saturday. We can only defeat this corporate agenda by joining together so that we cannot be ignored.

One year ago, we were marching in the streets protesting the war, proclaiming that this was not the way we wanted our country to represent itself in the world, asking for peace. A year ago, this blog discussed frequently the importance of taking a stand, making public your belief that when the government has gone wrong it is not only our right to publicly keep it accountable, but it is our responsibility. We were mocked, we were called traitors and unpatriotic, we were reported as hooligans, anarchists, troublemakers, and even terrorists. But we were right.

This Saturday is not a victory march. It is not "mission accomplished." It is part protest, part witness for peace and part communal grief. Veterans will gather, mothers and fathers will gather, children will gather, families, young, old, every race, creed, and even newly married people will gather together. Sometimes there isn't a convenient time to speak out, but there is never a time to remain silent against injustice. Just because we are already in Iraq and now we must deal with those consequences does not mean we cannot and should not stand together and declare that we continue to protest our government's actions, that we will work together for peace, and that we will not remain silent in the presence of injustice.

Our Peace Rally here in Portland will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at Pioneer Courthouse Square. It is sponsored by over 100 local organizations. Find out where your local Rally will be and go to it. If you live here in the Portland area, come to hear local community leaders and march with fellow neighbors and citizens to show that we will not be cowed by intimidation, we will not fall victim to labels and discrimination, and that our ultimate display of patriotism is indeed the best effort we can make to keep our country from doing wrong in this world. That is, until we get to vote in November.

UPDATE: While the world says no to war, Bush evidently wants more. Voice of a Veteran reports today that the move is on to really put legs under the new draft reactivation drive.

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