Stay The Course Part II and General Strike

This is what I wrote last October:

Here is what we know so far:

  • There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • Saddam Hussein was not in league with Al-Qaeda.
  • Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks on this country on September 11th.
  • An estimated 655,000 Iraqis have died since the 2003 U.S. invasion according to a study published today (10/11/06) in the Lancet medical journal – a figure accounting for roughly 2.5% of the population.*
  • 2,751 Americans have died and between 20,000 – 48,100 have been wounded.
  • Nearly one in five soldiers leaving the military after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan has been at least partly disabled as a result of service, according to documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Monetary Cost: $331 billion dollars so far and currently running over one hundred thousand dollars per minute.

And …

  • MSNBC Breaking News: A.P.: U.S. Army making plans to keep current Iraq troop level through 2010.

The mid-term elections will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006.

We have an opportunity to get rid of some of the politicians who support this continuing nightmare, and elect people who will hold this administration accountable and force a new strategy in Iraq. Winning this election will bring real change in Iraq, because we all know that continuing to follow a failed policy doesn’t work.

Just read the table below. Hundreds of thousands dead, tens of thousands wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, on a preemptive war based on reasons that didn’t exist.

Please vote for a change of course on November 7th.

Support our troops – Get them out of there – Bring them home.


Well … What’s happened over the last year?

The Democrats won slim majorities in the house and senate.

  • 1,077 more Americans have died. Tens of thousands more have been wounded.
  • The Iraqi death toll has gone from an estimated 655,000 to 1.2 million.
  • The cost of the war has risen from over one hundred thousand dollars per minute to almost two hundred thousand dollars per minute.

As Walter Shario wrote in Salon recently:

Sep 26, 2007 | It is time to face the blunt truth: This Congress, despite its nominal Democratic majorities, is not going to hasten the end of the Iraq war. This is not defeatism on the home front nor is it a rant against the accommodationist tactics of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Rather, this inescapable conclusion is based on the coin of the realm on Capitol Hill — the stark arithmetic of head counts.

And this depressing item:

9/27/07 HANOVER, N.H. — The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.

Well now what are we going to do?

We’ve called and written to our reps and senators. Tens of thousands of us have protested. The majority of Americans want to bring our troops home but the war drags on. Our elected representatives are not paying attention.

Ron Paul (I agree with his anti-war stance. Not the rest of his politics.) wrote last April, “Today just about everyone acknowledges the war has gone badly, and 70% of the American people want it to end. Our national defense is weakened, the financial costs continue to drain us, our allies have deserted us, and our enemies are multiplying – not to mention the tragic toll of death and injury suffered by American forces.

What can we do?

A customer emailed me a link to an article in this month’s Harper’s calling for a general strike this November on election day.

After reading it I thought, “Why Not? It’s simple and it is something we can all do.”

Make our presence known by our absence.

Here’s what Mike Malloy had to say regarding a general strike on his 10/16/07 show. Give a listen:

Or you can download this clip (4.16 MB) by right clicking here and save it to a folder on your computer.

Of course, a general strike does no good unless the powers that be are aware of your participation in it. So let them know. Call or email your reps and senators the day before and let them know that you are striking on election day to send a message that they need to end this war.

Despite the odds against it, I’m willing to try. No work, save for the essentials, and no consumption. Let’s go vote and then go home. Let the people that support this nightmare do the heavy lifting for that day.

Oh yeah … In order for this to work … Please Tell Every Person You Know.

Let’s Just … Stop.

Once again – Support our troops – Get them out of there – Bring them home.

Investigate – Impeach – Indict – Imprison.

Specific suggestion: General strike
by Garret Keizer

Published October 2007 –

Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.
—Isaiah 26:19

Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy-a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power-has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul. You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner-party ejaculations of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light-that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviation of a proverb, something between Murphy’s Law and tomorrow’s fatal inducement to drink and be merry today.

If someone were to suggest, for example, that we begin a general strike on Election Day, November 6, 2007, for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily and with what well-practiced assurance would you find yourself producing the words “It won’t do any good”? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he’s going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizenry that believes it is already dead.

October 17, 2007


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