On Not Moving On

March 19th is the beginning of Year 6 of The Iraq War.

The horribly familiar butcher bill to date:

Over a million killed, 4.2 million Iraqis displaced, American wounded: 152,669 veterans filed disability claims after fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.


As for the Iraqis, where even the death toll has only been very roughly estimated, it appears that no one has attempted to count the wounded.


At over a half trillion dollars spent, the Iraq war is arguably the costliest in US history.


The Center for Public Integrity has documented 935 lies by the Bush Administration that “led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”


Last Saturday Bush vetoed legislation banning Torture.


On March 11th the House is planning to hold a vote to override President Bush’s veto of a bill that would prohibit the CIA from torturing detainees and prisoners. If this vote fails, President Bush and his allies in Congress will be sending a message to the world that we as a nation condone the use of torture.

This is where we are.

Regardless of how The Mainstream Media, The Bush Administration, The Congress, and three people running for president try to spin it … This country went to war based on lies and The Bush Administration and their supporters … torture.

We can not move from this spot. We can not be distracted by the lesser crimes, atrocious as they might be.

Bush’s SCHIP veto was an outrage. The hundreds of major environmental roll-backs promoted by the Bush administration are examples of crony-capitalism run riot. Whether it’s KBR supplying contaminated water to our troops or Halliburton’s Mega-Billion Dollar rip-offs, we can’t move our focus away from America’s illegitimate war and torture reality.

If we do … Then John McCain’s idiotic “Strategy for Victory in Iraq”,


might make sense to those among us who choose to have no memory of How The War Began.

We can’t move past this. It is too fundamental to ignore and move on.

Because America no longer exists.

Three days ago The President of The United States vetoed legislation that banned torture.

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits torture.

George Bush signed the Military Commissions Act on October 17, 2006. The Military Commissions Act cast aside the Constitution, the principle of habeas corpus, gave the president absolute power to designate enemy combatants, and to set his own definitions for torture.

Article One, section nine of the U.S. Constitution states, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended.”

We have not had the right of habeas corpus, the most efficient safeguard of the liberty of citizens for one year and five months! The President refuses to ban torture. America no longer exists.

We can talk about the bursting housing bubble, political and corporate corruption, permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% ad nauseam … but we are living in an entirely different country. A country without citizens. A country of tenants and consumers. And rulers.

The debate can only be about Illegitimate War and Torture. And this debate must be brought to the candidates running for any office.

I don’t care about Health Care, The Economy, Education, Energy & Environment, Faith, Homeland Security, or Immigration. I care about the fact that America has ceased to be. And the first steps to bring our country back … is to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and cease torture.

How? Our elected representatives are not willing, the candidates are not disposed, the media is woefully negligent. What Can We Do?


Nonviolent resistance liberated India. During the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. captured the attention of the nation with his philosophy and commitment to the method of nonviolent resistance.


“… the point of nonviolent resistance is not to humiliate the opponent, but instead to gain his friendship and understanding. Further, the use of boycotts and methods of non-cooperation, were the “means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent.”

Can Americans be shamed into stopping wars and torture?

I have no idea.

March 19th is a good day to begin to resist. In the streets … in the offices of Senators and members of The House … and to our co-workers, friends, and family who still support war and torture.

It is said a Rolls Royce will never break down, it just fails to proceed.

We should do the same.

On Not Moving On

March 11, 2008


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