Where does the Peace Movement go from here?
This is an essay I've been working on while I mindlessly enter data at work. It's still pretty rough and I'm still working on my lines of thought, but here it is.
Today in San Francisco hundreds block the streets and the entrances to buildings the believed were profitting from war. They chained themselves to trees, held sit-ins in intersections, did whatever they could to disrupt the commerce of the city. Here in Chicago, NPR just reported that protesters have just shut down the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive. To what end do they do these things?
The war is not going to stop. The government has shown it cares little for opinions other than it's own. So are their protests in vain?
They don't have to be. They're not going to stop the war but perhaps they can still alter the results. Why are they against this war? Why oppose the deposing of a brutal dictator? It's not because they support Hussein, it's because, I hope, like me, they don't believe the leaders of this war have good intentions for the Iraqi or even the American people as a whole. They believe little will change in Iraq. A puppet despot, (probably an oil company consultant just like in Afghanistan) will be put in charge, and once all the enery exploitation contracts are signed, we will forget about the poor oppressed people in Iraq just as we've forgotten the poor women forced to wear Burqas in Afghanistan. Does anyone realize that we are still at war with Afghanistan? Death toll of the innocent 3,000 and climbing?
No, we can no longer prevent war but that is no reason to despair and give up. Say your prayers for the innocent dead (and not just in Iraq, but the innocent dead of the world), say your prayers, get back up and do something. We can make something good come out of this. Saddam Hussein will be gone. That should be cause for celebration. We can still prevent the Bush Cabal from realizing their imperial dreams. We can force them to follow through on all the false promsises they've made, all the fakes pretenses they've latched onto to justify this war. Wouldn't that be the ultimate irony? He thinks he's got us all fooled, he plays at the liberator while dreaming of empire. Wouldn't it be great to make him and his dumb grin the Simon Bolivar of Iraq? The corporate bought and paid for would be emperor who turns out to be the Scion of the poor and oppressed. Statues built of him in place of Hussein while he curses his foiled schemes? Play him for the fool, all while he think's he's playing us.
Are these false dreams of mine? Possibly, probably. Where were all the protesters during the go-go days of the 90s? Where was the compassion for the people of Iraq then? For how many of these protesters is protesting just a lifestyle till the graduate college or mom and dad cut them off or that big law firm offers them a paralegal position? How quickly will these new 60s turn into the 70s?
But it doesn't have to happen. Perhaps we've been galvanized. The rubber band can only be pulled so far in one direction before it snaps back the other way.
It's feeling pretty tense right now.