September 20, 2007

The Iraq Moratorium

September 21 is the first day of The Iraq Moratorium.

On the third Friday of every month, Americans (and others outside the States) will engage in local, decentralized, personal actions against the assault, destruction and occupation of Iraq. I encourage you to participate in any way you can: wear a peace button, hang an anti-war sign in your window, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

There is a huge anti-war movement in the US -- and it has been raging for more than four years -- but it has been deliberately hidden from the general public. Here is a recent example of the media's ongoing distortion. (Or go to Left I and search for "It's an old story".)

Here in Ontario, we have become involved in the War Resisters Support Campaign, which is helping men and women (and their families) who have deserted or gone AWOL from the US military and are seeking refuge in Canada.

***

morals, ideals, awareness, progress / let yourself be heard!
Minutemen, Shit From An Old Notebook (1984)

47 comments:

Colin said...

As an Army officer fed up with the common-sense lacking GOP fucking the military and its soldiers in the ass, I say I support this. I ask you with sincerity though, that you do not take your frustration out on the soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines.

All too many I see people insult troops who are more or less forced/ordered to go than volunteer. These people like myself serve because we don't want to see our friends, loved ones, and innocents get hurt, not for oil or politics. It's a sad game we play but someone has to do it. I'm all for fighting govt. ignorance and lack of empathy for the average American, but like I said don't take your rage out on soldiers who don't deserve it. Thank you.

L-girl said...

don't take your rage out on soldiers who don't deserve it

Colin, that seems like an odd statement after Allan has just said he's working to support war resisters.

The peace movement does not "take rage out" on soldiers. We are the people supporting the troops, because we want to see them alive and unhurt.

All too many I see people insult troops

You have seen this with your own eyes? I have a very hard time believing that. I've been around the movement for a long time, and I've never seen it.

People in the peace movement insulting troops is a myth.

As an Army officer fed up with the common-sense lacking GOP fucking the military and its soldiers in the ass, I say I support this.

Thank you for this. I mean that most sincerely.

Amy said...

I recall the Vietnam Moratorium very well, back when putting your headlights on was a way of signaling your opposition to the war. Now with everyone using their lights during the day anyway, that does not work. Is there anything equivalent that we can do to signal our mass opposition? I don't even know where to buy an anti-war bumper sticker for today. Unfortunately, the media has not given any publicity to this event, and until I saw the blog, I had not heard of it.

As for Colin's statement about people insulting the troops, I have also never seen or heard that from anyone. Most of us who were around during Vietnam remember that some of the anger about that war was vented on the troops, and most of us sincerely regret that, as we now realize that they were also in most cases innocent victims of the government's dishonest and immoral policies and that they suffered the physical and psychological scars of that war more than those of us who stayed home and protested. That experience certainly has made me and my peers much more sensitive this time to the plight of the young people serving in our military, even though we no longer have a draft. I would hope that no one is taking out our frustration on those young soldiers (although taking it out on the miliary leadership is certainly justifiable).

L-girl said...

Amy, see my blog post (from yesterday) for ideas. I also wrote about my memories of the driving with our lights on during the Vietnam war!

You can do something as simple as wearing a peace button to work. But if you can't get something together for today, aim for next month. The Moratorium will take place the third Friday of every month.

Colin said...

Apparently you haven't frequented any areas of the Boston/Cambridge college community, where idiotic idealism overwhelms common sense in some. Regular Americans appreciate what we do, but not surprisingly there's your batch of inexperienced youth who think it's ok to harass anyone in uniform because "they didn't HAVE to join but they did." And I know this b/c I graduated from Boston University and had people protest ROTC events and not to mention vandalize a memorial we have. I remember one girl calling me a "slave of the Bush system" and another guy that said "I should be ashamed to let Iraq happen," to which I asked her what they did that served a purpose or helped America.

You're 100% correct how it's not nearly as frequent as the Vietnam days, but still some people associated National Guardsman Joe Smith with Pres. Bush and is jabbed at. My request was not for you specifically, but for the whole peace movement. Your group is cool, but I've seen worse on both pro and anti-war sides.

At least I haven't seen people like those retards in Iowa who have signs praising IEDs and protesting military funerals all because America is tolerant of homosexuality. I am not ashamed to say that I'd support the demise of people like them.

redsock said...

I asked her what they did that served a purpose or helped America.

The war crimes being committed in Iraq do neither of these things.

Colin said...

I never said Iraq did serve a purpose.

L-girl said...

It looks like Colin and I define harassment differently. I think

one girl calling me a "slave of the Bush system" and another guy that said "I should be ashamed to let Iraq happen,"

is legitimate protest.

Anyone who takes part in this war IS a slave of the Bush system and every officer in the US military SHOULD be ashamed to let Iraq happen.

If confronting soldiers with words such as you've written above is "idotic idealism," I say, bring it on.

Since US elected officials won't end this illegal, senseless, horrific war, it's up to us to oppose it any way we can.

L-girl said...

America is tolerant of homosexuality

What America do you live in? I know dozens of same-sex couples moving to Canada who would love to get the address.

redsock said...

I think Colin is implying that the Fred Phelps of the world believe America is tolerant of homosexuality.

Those of us with a functioning brain know otherwise.

L-girl said...

I think Colin is implying that the Fred Phelps of the world believe America is tolerant of homosexuality.

OK, gotcha. My comment stands, but it's now redirected.

I've always thought the Fred Phelpses of the world do more to promote tolerance than anything else, as most people are offended by their tactics.

Perhaps Colin sees protestors who shout at military personnel the same way - as intolerant yahoos that do not serve their own cause. On some level, I can appreciate that, even though I disagree.

Colin, thank you for your statements against the war. I promise I won't harass you at Joy of Sox. :)

redsock said...

I never said Iraq did serve a purpose.

You wrote that after being told you "should be ashamed to let Iraq happen," you asked the protester "what they did that served a purpose or helped America".

That is a clear implication that you did something purposeful that helped America and all this protester has done is criticize you from afar for it.

It's a sad game we play but someone has to do it.

A "sad game we play"? A game?

The Boston Red Sox will play "a game" in Florida tonight. The ongoing rape, torture and murder of Iraqis (and the mental and physical destruction of the troops) is not "a game".

L-girl said...

It's a sad game we play but someone has to do it.

A "sad game we play"? A game?


Thank you, Allan.

Also, many of us disagree that someone has to do it. I think the world would be much better off if no one did this.

Amy said...

Criticism of the war is not an attack on the soldiers, and debate over the issues is not an attack on the soldiers either. This is not about hurt feelings---it is about the immoral destruction of innocent people and their country based on lies told to the American people and greed and revenge on the part of Bush and his henchmen. The military may be deluding themselves to think otherwise, and the propaganda that the government issues may still convince some people. Some of us knew back in 2002 that this was all based on lies; the rest caught on later. I do not think, Colin, that we are serving any purpose there other than Bush's sick purposes. I respect that you and others in the military want to serve the country; I am sickened that those noble intentions have been distorted by Bush to serve immoral and destructive purposes.

I could rant on, but I think Laura and Allan have said it best. I just had to add my two cents.

Amy said...

I checked out your blog, Laura. Good suggestions. I also looked at the iraqmoratorium.org page and was surprised that there were no events planned in Massachusetts, at least as listed on the website. That seems very odd, given the liberal tendencies of the state and towns like Northampton, Amherst, Cambridge, etc. So I googled Iraq Moratorium and found virtually no mainstream coverage of it. No wonder I had heard nothing.

Since I am stuck home today getting ready for Yom Kippur, there is nothing I can do outside the home at the moment, but I will talk to people during services (when I should be atoning for dissing JD Drew all season among other things) to make them aware of what is going on. By the next moratorium day in October, we can hope that the media is more aware of this and more willing to report on it.

Colin said...

I just don't like being attacked for something I have very little control over. I don't care if you're pro or anti-war, but if you come at me and claim you're better than me because I'm doing or not doing something and I don't see what you do that makes you better, I'll call you out. Rich snobbish college students who think they know what's best for the world hardly fit my profile of people who contribute. Sorry if that sounds callous. A Vietnam vet or someone that can provide good, logical argument like you guys do I'll respect and most likely support.

I think you're misinterpreting what I'm driving at. I certainly don't think Iraq is a game as you define it. Yeah I don't wanna do it and a lot of soldiers don't want to but look at who we're dealing with. Do you have any idea how that feels to be dragged into something that might bring about your death and you want no part of but you have to because of the idiot you didn't vote for??? That "America is tolerant of homosexuality and that's bad" is what the religious nuts say, not me. I live in Boston and support same-sex marriage. There are logical people on both sides that do good and serious things to state their cause, but the extremes of both sides ruin it. When I ask what these people do to help, I don't think Iraq helps America. In fact I think the opposite. I ask them this question because there are some who rant and rave but don't do anything else? Do they give money? Do they organize petitions, drives, or come up with logical argument points against the government? I give you kudos for actually doing something, but some of my friends say they support the war but wouldn't serve. On the same token I have friends as war protesters but all I hear is ranting and nothing done about it.

By serving I'm certainly at risk of going to that clusterfuck known as Iraq, where yes killing, torture, bombing, and everything near God damn Armageddon occurs. Does anyone think I don't know this? Where I work I've now become near depressed because of what my GOP has done and how this has tarnished my image as an officer and an American. My family and gf constantly worry that I might deploy. I know damn well what I put myself in and no one else can tell me otherwise.

I hate this war just as much as the next guy. I just don't like being reminded of how my government fucked up and that I'm part of the blame, all because I wanted to protect people I cared for and not play politics. Thanks Bush for ruining my pride. I wonder if my grandfather who served in Korea felt the same way I do.

mugro said...

Redsoxk, several years ago you made a wise decision: to separate your political viewpoint from this blogsite that celebrated the fandom of the Red Sox.

I know that I commented on this at the time, and praised you for it. Feel free to have your views on American politics, but keep them separate from the Red Sox posts, huh?

People come here to join you in rooting for the Red Sox. We don't come here to be lectured about the war.

Yes, this is your blog and you can do with it as you wish, but you certainly do erode the quality of this site by diverting from baseball to talk politics.

The Red Sox are neither Republican nor Democrat. The are neither pro-war nor pro-peace. They play baseball. Period. And frankly, that is why I appreciate them more than ever -- whether you realize it or not, baseball is a safe haven from being blitzed in every corner of our lives by talk of war and politics.

So, here is my request: keep the politics out of baseball, ok??

Thank you.

L-girl said...

Amy, I'm sure there are events in MA, they're probably just not listed on that site, which is relatively new.

Aiming for October is great.

Colin said...

All right I'm done ranting now...sorry if I offended anyone.

This week in news along with the Sox (still faithful) has taken its toll.

Too bad work doesn't allow the consumption of Sam Adams...what a drag.

L-girl said...

I just don't like being attacked for something I have very little control over.

Many soldiers are choosing to speak out publicly against the war. That is something you can do.

Your assumptions about anti-war people thinking they are better than you are just that - assumptions.

Lots of people think they are better than others, including many military people who see themselves as more patriotic than those who oppose the war (another false assumption).

I'm sure there are class snobs who are anti-war, and I'm sure there are anti-intellectual-snobs who support the war.

However, as Amy very eloquently pointed out, these hurt feelings are all irrelevant to the larger issue.

L-girl said...

Feel free to have your views on American politics

Mighty white of ya.

redsock said...

Thanks for writing, Mugro.

We don't come here to be lectured about the war.

I disagree with your definition of "lecture". This is a specific post -- tied in with a specific event/day.

whether you realize it or not, baseball is a safe haven from being blitzed in every corner of our lives by talk of war and politics

You are wrong. Baseball stadiums, including Fenway Park, routinely have fans stand for God Bless America. That is explicitly connected with the war.

Also, one political post in a year of nearly 1,000 posts doesn't seem like much of a hardship, all things considered.

redsock said...

Too bad work doesn't allow the consumption of Sam Adams...what a drag.

Watching the MFY debacle last weekend at work made me wish for much stronger drugs than alcohol.

redsock said...

Further to Mugro: I happen to agree with you that the site is better for being 99.7% baseball only.

you certainly do erode the quality of this site by diverting from baseball to talk politics

Judging from the email I received when I announced that decision, many readers felt the opposite.

Amy said...

All right I'm done ranting now...sorry if I offended anyone.

Colin, I don't think anyone here was offended---I certainly wasn't. I always love a good debate---whether it be on baseball or politics or anything else. I think you have articulated your views well, and I respect your right to those views and to express them. I am also glad to hear that we have people in the military who are opposed to the war. If enough of you speak up and if enough of the rest of us do, maybe we can end it sooner rather than later.

As for baseball and politics...well, everything is ultimately political. Power comes from money in this country, and professional sports for the owners and players is mostly about money, and so on. But I know I do find baseball a form of escapism, and although I like to delude myself into thinking that Red Sox nation is more enlightened and progressive than NYY fans, I know that is delusional. After all, they are blue and we are red. :)

Colin said...

Watching the MFY debacle last weekend at work made me wish for much stronger drugs than alcohol.

Touche redsock...touche.

redsock said...

After all, they are blue and we are red. :)

In Canada, the conservatives are blue and the liberals are red. However, we support the orange NDP.

(Ryan) said...

I am always amused when people who have enjoyed hundreds of pages of writing, for free, from someone who is working without pay, solely for the benefit of others, feel as though they are entitled to tell someone like Allan what he should write about.

Amy said...

The whole color coding thing is sort of bizarre. I remember when different networks used different colors to identify parties on their maps on election night. I don't remember when it was that they all started using red for Republican and blue for Democrat. (It always seemed odd since red was usually associated with the left and with communism.) When did Canada adopt party colors?

L-girl said...

In Canada, the conservatives are blue and the liberals are red.

And in Canada, many blue Conservatives are more liberal than the Democrats.

L-girl said...

I am always amused when people who have enjoyed hundreds of pages of writing, for free, from someone who is working without pay, solely for the benefit of others, feel as though they are entitled to tell someone like Allan what he should write about.

Ryan, good stuff. :)

L-girl said...

Amy, I don't know when Canada started doing the colours. I think it's been a long time.

In a Parliamentary system, the party matters much more than the individual candidate, so colour identifiers make more sense.

There are actually five federal parties here. In addition to the New Democrat Party (NDP) that Allan mentioned, there is the Bloc Quebecois, and the Greens. The Green Party (which tends to be pretty conservative) does not yet have a lot of influence federally, but it holds seats in some provincial parliaments.

Amy said...

Thanks for the information. Like most Americans, I am embarrassingly ignorant of Canadian politics. I would have thought the Green Party was an environmental party!

I can see why colors make sense in a parliamentary system, especially when there are five active parties. But I find it sort of silly here in the US to talk about blue states and red states, as if any locale was 100% or even 80% one party or another. Even here in MA, where on the state level Democrats control, on the Presidential level the elections always show a very large minority of Republican votes. (And sometimes even a majority or plurality, as in 1980 when Reagan carried the state.)

Jere said...

Mugro: Allan does this site on his own time and no one is forced to read it. In fact, you can even skip over parts you don't agree with if you want. Free of charge.

This blog is the epitome of quality, I think. And tell him that quality is "eroded" when he posts a perfectly rational, thoughtful piece about the injustice of something that you choose to ignore, but some of us absolutely can't.

You act like he put up a picture of a dancing clown for a week and said, "I've got nothing to say for the next month, enjoy the clown."

And you know what, even if he did do that, this site would still be better than your average "look at this funny wig I Photoshopped onto A-Rod, he's such a homo"-eqsue Red Sox blog.

And I promise you, I'd have no problem with your comment if it was just to say that you prefer the site a certain way. But you blatantly tried to tell him what to do with his own creation. Is that the American way our troops are fighting for?

L-girl said...

Thanks for the information. Like most Americans, I am embarrassingly ignorant of Canadian politics.

I was too, before I started looking into Canada as a possible home.

I would have thought the Green Party was an environmental party!

And you would have been correct - it is! But their policies are often pretty far to the right by Canadian standards. For leftist policies plus environmental concerns, see the NDP. :)

I can see why colors make sense in a parliamentary system, especially when there are five active parties. But I find it sort of silly here in the US to talk about blue states and red states, as if any locale was 100% or even 80% one party or another.

I could not agree more. It's another media distortion that gives the appearance of a popular mandate when there is none.

I assume after the 2000 "election" you saw the maps with the real blue/red splits for each state.

That's the central problem with the first-past-the-post system, compounded by the ridiculous anachronism of the electoral college. Win (or steal) 50.6% of the vote, and you get the state. It's not at all democratic.

You may have noticed on my blog that Ontario is about to have a referendum, and may soon go to a proportional representation system, which some provinces already have. I think we'll see pro-rep in Canada in my lifetime.

****

Jere, great comment.

Amy said...

The American system, with the electoral college and the winner take all primary system, was designed to do just what it does: maintain stability at the cost of progress, ensure "domestic tranquility" while preventing substantial change. It is essentially a very conservative system, which the "founding fathers" must have intended as a compromise between the monarchy they had left behind and true democracy.

It will be quite interesting to see how proportional representation works in Ontario. Again, I am woefully uninformed about politics in Canada, and I will read more of your blog when I get a chance (a New Year resolution), but my sense is that Canada is not as diverse, racially and otherwise. I think the fear, even in Springfield, where we have had both neighborhood based city councils and citywide based city councils, is that proportional representation will result in hostility and inability to compromise. Again, a trade off between possible progress and maintenance of the status quo.

Boy, we are far afield from baseball. Not a problem for me, but it must be driving some people crazy!

redsock said...

I recall comments from some of the founders to the effect that democracy was too important to be left to the masses.

Boy, we are far afield from baseball. Not a problem for me, but it must be driving some people crazy!

I suspect people will either read or ignore these comments, based on the original post.

3down8wins said...

colin, I've hated the invasion of Iraq since its inception, but I am thankful for all the sacrifices you and all of our troops have made. I pledge to you my appreciation to you for all you have done. Come home safely to the arms of your loved ones and Godspeed.

Amy said...

It makes sense---the founders after all were the landed gentry. They didn't want the working classes to be able to take control over their property or their lives. As we know, even Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Their progressiveness didn't go much beyond where their pocketbooks felt safe. But, to give them some credit, they were certainly way ahead of their times and left a system that has at least been able to bend with the times, if not to break from them.

L-girl said...

Amy, I appreciate your comments about the US system. Excellent!

It will be quite interesting to see how proportional representation works in Ontario. Again, I am woefully uninformed about politics in Canada, and I will read more of your blog when I get a chance (a New Year resolution), but my sense is that Canada is not as diverse, racially and otherwise.

Oh my, Amy. I hope I will not offend you when I tell you that you are even less informed about Canada than you think.

Canada is incredibly diverse, and has an overt, stated commitment to multiculturalism and diversity. It's spelled out in the Charter, the Canadian equivalent of the Bill of Rights (which was written in modern times and so is much more inclusive).

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse areas on the planet. My neighbours here are more diverse than they were in NYC. They are from Italy, Poland, India, Jamaica, Pakistan, China, Iran, Mexico, Afghanistan, Korea, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Russia - and I could go on.

Most urban metro areas in Canada are also extremely diverse - and most Canadians live in urban or suburban areas. Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg are all very diverse.

It's worth remembering that Canada was founded with diversity built in: French, English, Scottish and Native peoples built the nation together. There were great inequities in the past (and when it comes to First Nations people, some are still being corrected), but in modern times Canada has made a huge commitment to multiculturalism.

L-girl said...

and I will read more of your blog when I get a chance (a New Year resolution)

I'm honoured. Thank you.

redsock said...

I've hated the invasion of Iraq since its inception, but I am thankful for all the sacrifices you and all of our troops have made. I pledge to you my appreciation to you for all you have done.

This makes no sense to me whatsoever.

If you opposed the invasion from the beginning, then presumably you understood the real reasons for its inception -- and would also have understood what US troops (and others) would be ordered to do.

I cannot see that the US military has done anything to earn anyone's appreciation. There was no threat to oppose, no evil to protect the US from. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been nothing more than a four-year-long terrorist attack.

Sacrificies? Yes, there have been many sacrificies of life and limb. That is the gross obscenity of this occupation.

Absolutely nothing good or worthwhile has come out of it. It has been a complete and utter waste of hundreds of thousands of lives, the loss of sanity and physical well-being of millions more, and billions and billions of US taxpayers' dollars.

(If 3-8 wants to reply, I'll post it, but a debate on the appropriateness of the invasion is not up for discussion. There are many other blogs and message boards on which to do that, if you desire.)

Amy said...

Well, like I said, Laura---woefully uninformed. Something else for me to atone for along with dissing Drew and a long list of other things. It truly is embarrassing how America-centric I am (though I know I am hardly alone).

Peace to you all, and to the world. See you after sundown tomorrow.

L-girl said...

I see the US troops as victims of their govt's lies and deceit.

From what I have heard first-hand from war resisters, many embrace their role as oppressors.

Those who object and get out are following a higher conscience. I have the utmost admiration and respect for them. They have truly sacrificed.

Many others are war criminals and should be tried under the Nuremberg Principles, along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

L-girl said...

3down8wins = nice name :)

Jere said...

"They are from Italy, Poland, India, Jamaica, Pakistan, China, Iran, Mexico, Afghanistan, Korea, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Russia - and I could go on."

We're diverse here, too. We've got straight, white, Irish-American males AND straight, white, Irish-American females in our neighborhood :-/

Actually, I shouldn't say that. Our new downstairs neighbor is supposedly from Iceland. But we haven't met him yet. And supposedly our town is big with lesbians lately. So we got that goin' for us.

L-girl said...

We've got straight, white, Irish-American males AND straight, white, Irish-American females in our neighborhood

LOL

Gotta watch out for those lesbians. I hear they're taking over.