Monday, April 28, 2008

The most crippling and insidious belief, among peace activists

>>From: Tom A. said Feb 13, 2008
>>Subject: Conversational activism during political campaigns
>>I have a question for all of us:
>> What have we done -- or are thinking of doing -- or would love to
>> see done -- to bring dialogue and/or deliberation and/or the
>> spirit of shared exploration and creativity to the political
>> process during election campaigns? [ and so forth... Democrat unity]

The most crippling and insidious belief, among peace activists is that we ourselves must be more peaceful, and create a more peaceful culture by example of our speech and action. Making ourselves and our neighbors more peaceful and obedient is never going to stop the 5% of Americans at the opposite end of the scale, who make up the war industry, who foment and execute wars as a way of life. They will simply continue to ignore you, even if you become a perfect angel. They don't *need* us for anything.

It helps if you conceptualize war, and warmaking, as a crime, perpetrated by criminals, who need to be stopped by somebody. Conceive of this as the wild west, where there is no law to restrain them and no agency capable of enforcing the law. But starting wars is certainly a crime against humanity.

Another crippling and insidious belief, almost universal in the peace movement, is that stopping wars has something to do with reducing injustice, remedying the causes of injustice, etc. Folks. The people who START wars are the most powerful, the richest and privileged people in our society. Not the victims.

The people of the 3rd world almost invariably, adjust to subjugation, and work harder, and do not fight. The U.S. war machine includes the military industrial complex, i.e. the permanent swarm of special interest lobbyists around the armed services committees, pentagon and military suppliers. The war machine includes the beneficiary industryes like finance, oil and global trade. It includes the mass cult phenomenon of the war churches and their hugely funded pastors and brainwashing facilities.

If you want to stop wars, then, you cannot avoid observing WHO exactly is causing the wars. you cannot avoid your responsibility to confront and argue with those people. Here is a high level diagram. on my website.

Our activism to stop wars involves identifying the people and organizations who start wars. Wars are caused by some rotten sons of b*tches who work all day long to start them, for their own enrichment or in some cases, just to satisfy other urges, their egos or ideologies. Here is a 4-minute speech in which I list for you, the people who start wars:

When antiwar activists stop meeting privately, and participate in the public dialog, we will *begin* to be effective. Most of us have never been leaders, never given speeches or debated in public. By now, after 5 years of war, we are much better educated, and many of us are ready to speak to our city council, school board, party caucuses and districts meetings, PTAs, professional organizations, and business assoiations--whatever you do, you must take the battle up to the microphone, in those groups--ALONE.

Stop waiting for somebody to come help you. It ain't gonna happen.

Stop training and educating peace activists.

Now, here is some ammo, to help focus the conversation. WE must begin a conversation with the public, with a statement of the problem, and provide a theory as to the causes of that problem, and recommended actions which gain control over those causes and stop them.

The physical definition of war is the indiscriminate killing, bombs dropping and bullets flying, and we say: this is a problem. There can be no license, no rationalization for killing hundreds of thousands of people, as the United States has done so many times since WW2- never for self defense. Always for some excuses.

Even people who are not a pacifists agree that random violence is wrong, and killing innocent people is wrong. Beyond that, most people seem to think war is fine and don't give it much thought, but if you get them talking they think the artillery, bombs and bullets and flames should hit "the enemy" and not the women and children and non- combatants, refugees etc. Well, 90% of the dead have been noncombatants. Peace activists know this but the general public does not.

The physical series of events that controls war are, the permanent funding that maintains the military, and the one-time event of the president and congress, starting wars (All U.S. wars since at least 1941 have been unilateral aggressions by the U.S. in other words, optional wars)

The physical cause of those senators' behavior, like Cantwell, voting for war, is their character and mentality.

These senators, in turn are allowed to seize the powers of office by winning elections.

Voters' behavior, in turn, is caused by their beliefs and desires, and their spending decisions of voters which give power to particular corporations, who then pay for media propaganda.

Now, getting to the point of this--- Wars cannot be stopped by trying to protest the onset of a particular war. Iraq, and the next wars as well, are a matter of fate and destiny as long as the Congress is filled with people who tolerate and accept and start wars. The present congress is NOT ONE BIT DIFFERENT from the Congress of 2002, or 1992 or 1982 in that regard.

The beliefs and the desires of the mass population are caused by the institutions of mass culture-- the media, the schools, and the pulpit, and some lesser ones like libraries, political associations, fraternal organizations, unions, etc.. These are *much* lesser, by factor of 1000.

This brings me back to the original asssertion: Peace activists will not be successful in ending wars, until their time and money and attention and work, is redirected away from things which are merely useful and good. Instead, their time and resources must be poured into actions which are NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT components in stopping the systemic processs that causes wars.

The root causes of war are the propensity of voters to tolerate and rationalize war, to take and enjoy profits from exploiting other peoples in the world, and of course to elect the warmakers.

These beliefs and desires were emplaced by the power of money over the mass media and the pulpit, which in turn, promote harmful lies and ideologies in the public schools.

Since we are so few, and we have no money or power over the local pastor, media corporations, or schools, our most effective action is our mouth. Speak out, name names, condemn the immorality and greed and cruelty of those people in our city who profit from war and who promote war in so many ways. The absolute top culprits in the Puget Sound region are the paycheck patrioits themselves-- the bases commiunities. The military itself, whose fulltime occupation and career are killing for money. In second place I would name Boeing executives and managers, in all their product lines-- even those which are nominally civilian such as the 737 program. They all drink from the cup of pentagon dollars, in fact their survival in the airplane market has always been subsidized by profits on weapons programs. In 3rd place of course are the oil and energy industry, and the banking, finance and investment industry. I also condemn University of Washington for its military contracts. And finally, the war churches-- the megachurches who have hosted Dick Cheney, supported the invasion of Iraq from day one, and are the source of the teen and twenties population of violent rightwing youth, as well as the college republicans.

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