This 2007 Or 1965?
on the Anti-War Movement after J27
years ago, almost to the date I was on my way to the same place. After the 2004
election George W. Bush has been declared the winner though there was some question
whether he really won the election in Ohio. Those questions were quickly dismissed
by the official voices of the media. And I found myself on the streets of Washington
on January 21, 2005 as Bush was sworn in for a second term.
questions about the 2004 election were dismissed something like notions about
the Vietnam war had been dismissed by the media back in 1965 when the Vietnam
War was just getting started. Monks were burning themselves in the streets and
the family the American government had put into power to keep the communists
out of Vietnam proved so incompetent the American Government staged a coup to
overthrow them. The American government said all that needed to happen was for
the South Vietnamese to defend themselves so the Americans could hand them back
there own country. The U.S. would provide military training. Of course, the Americans
did most of the fighting and the South Vietnamese never defended themselves.
familiar? Does history repeat itself or is there another reason that two years
later I find myself here again?
W. Bush is proposing a surge meaning 21,000 more Americans will be
sent to Iraq to help the Iraqis learn to d efends themselves from themselves.
Im in a taxi now looking for the anarchists with a D.C. native at the wheel.
Hes an African American man.
do you think of Bushs plan to send 21,000 more troops? I ask.
He shakes his head.
you think maybe its all a bunch of Bush Shiite?
laughs. He says Bush is a liar and Bill OReilly is an asshole.
someone questions the president, they say, ARE YOU QUESTIONING THE PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES? They use scare tactics.
passing a group of 30 or so Anarchists
Theyre going to need
more people than that to smash the state, he says. I agree and decide to
head back to the main rally where Ill fight my own ambivalence and navigate
50,000 cliché anti war signs to make some original photos.
I got on a bus with 40 something anti-war activists. The last time I came to D.C.
I watched Cindy Sheehan get arrested in the fall of 2005 with several hundred
others. Getting to D.C. I packed into a car with two local anti-war activists
and the daughter of one. The activists had tried but couldnt fill a bus.
So, Id offered to share expenses for the trip because we were all headed
watched as they lobbied our local congressmen. One congressman said hed
look into the situation with the war; the congressman soon visited Iraq and declared
his support for the war effort. Another congressmans aid, said, in jest
but in seriousness, its either their dictator or ours.
then there have been suicide bombings regularly, and, now Im sitting on
a nice bus a year and a half later behind a couple college freshmen, theyve
never been to a protest this large and I manage to sleep five hours.
day before the 2004 Republican National Convention there were half a million in
New York City marching against the war. And there was hope the war would soon
end. Now that seems like hundreds of years ago. Like another lifetime ago when
I had had no clue that on this day January 27th, 2007 the U.S. military would
be mired in Iraq with no way out except to just leave and call it a lost cause.
I could have never imaged that the U.S. government would have spent three trillion
dollars when the neo-cons said they were supposed to meet us with flowers. I didnt
think 3,000 American soldiers would be dead, and who knows how many thousands
more injured, I would have never have imagined over 300,000 Iraqi civilians would
have been killed in 2006 alone.
half a million Iraqis have died since this war or whatever they want to call it
(but it is a war) began in 2003. This war has now gone on for longer that WWII.
This was supposed to be a q uick war to liberate Iraq but now after we do leave,
if we do, it will more likely lead to killing fields as the Shiites
and the Sunnis ethnically cleanse one another. But, who knows what could happen
but its very doubtful the U.S. is now safer. Besides, where are the weapons
of mass destruction?
bet you Bush is still looking under his desk for the WMDs right? His head
is surging buried in a sandbox under there.
on the street of D.C on this winter day in January 2007
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