Deceit and Truth Are Feeding Resistance to US Militarism

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Mike Ferner,
the president of Veterans
for Peace
, was speaking outside the White House calling for
a u201Cculture of resistanceu201D against U.S. wars. His organization
was leading a protest outside the White House at the same moment
that President Obama was inside announcing the continuation of
the Afghanistan War.

Pulitzer
Prize-winning war correspondent and author Chris
Hedges
, who has seen more war than most vets, joined in the
call for action. He adapted President Obama’s campaign of
hope and change, urging everyone not to wait for Obama, but to
take action: u201CHope will only come now when we physically defy
the violence of the state. All who resist, all who are here today
keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair, and apathy
become an enemy of hope. They become in their passivity agencies
of injustice.u201D Hedges urged actions, large and small, against
the corporate government’s militarism.

As Obama
spoke inside the warm White House, outside in the snow 131 veterans
and their supporters defied authorities. Some chained themselves
to the White House fence, others refused to leave when ordered
by police. They were arrested. Many promised continued acts of
resistance. Some, from other movements, like Margaret Flowers,
M.D., of the single-payer health care movement, urged solidarity
as resistance is needed on many issues mishandled by corporate
government. The seeds of resistance had been planted.

The watering
of that seed was coming from Obama’s false words and the
truth escaping from his government’s secrecy. He proclaimed
progress in the Afghanistan War. But the front page of the New
York Times
, the day before his speech, reported u201Ctwo new
classified intelligence reports offer a more negative assessment
and say there is a limited chance of success.u201D These reports (not
released by WikiLeaks, but through the traditional leaking in
D.C.) were from the National Intelligence Estimates, which bring
together the findings of 16 intelligence agencies and showed a
conflict with the DoD’s more rosy picture.

President
Obama then went on to talk about how the U.S. could begin withdrawing
troops as the Afghan police were trained and took their place.
But just four days before the president spoke, the Guardian
described
how u201Cmore than 20,000 officers from the Afghan National
Police (ANP), the country’s main law enforcement agency, have
left over the past year.u201D

President
Obama promised to persist until the United States achieved victory,
but as Daniel Ellsberg, a veteran and former military analyst
for the Pentagon pointed out, Gen. Petraeus has told the president
there will be no victory. Ellsberg quotes Petraeus from Bob Woodward’s
Obama’s
Wars
: u201CYou have to recognize also that I don’t think you
win this war. I think you keep fighting. … You have to stay after
it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives
and probably our kids’ lives.u201D Again, the quote from behind the
closed doors of the Oval Office came from the traditional leaking
in the capital, not from WikiLeaks.

If Obama’s
inaccurate statements to the American people about a war costing
$5.7 billion
per month
are not enough, you can look to the documentation
of failure and potential war crimes in the WikiLeaks reports,
the Iraq
and Afghanistan
War Logs
, and the diplomatic
cables
. They show, among other things, that U.S. troops kill
civilians
without cause or concern and then cover
it up
(more examples of hiding civilian killings here,
here,
and here),
including killing reporters;
the CIA is fighting an undeclared and unauthorized war
in Pakistan
with Blackwater
mercenaries; the president
of Afghanistan
is not trustworthy; Afghanistan is rife with
corruption
and drug dealing
; the Pakistan
military and intelligence agencies aid al-Qaeda and the Taliban;
and the U.S.
looks the other way
when governments it controls torture.
The cables also show that beyond the war fronts that Hillary
Clinton has turned State Department Foreign Service officers into
a nest of spies
who violate
laws to spy on diplomats
, all with marching orders
drawn up by the CIA
. All of this has the world looking
at the United States with new eyes
.

WikiLeaks,
the Abu Ghraib prison photos, the reports from Guantanamo Bay,
Red Cross reports of secret prisons, intelligence reports, and
so many other sources of information show Americans what their
government is doing.

Now that
we know what the government is doing in our name, Americans must
take action to stop it. Knowing the truth and not acting is complicity
in the government’s actions. More and more Americans are acting.
It is not only the arrest of 131 vets and their supporters that
shows a rising tide of resistance. We see it in the publishing
of documents by WikiLeaks and major media outlets as well as in
the independent media around the globe. In the more than 1,000
mirror sites of WikiLeaks set up as the original site was under
attack, we see resistance. When more than 100,000 people downloaded
the WikiLeaks u201Cinsurance policyu201D and were prepared to release
documents if Assange was harmed, it was an act of resistance.
It is seen in intelligence officials leaking documents to the
New York Times the day before the president spoke on Afghanistan,
showing the country that the war is failing despite what the president
says. It is seen in Americans organizing for their right to know
and to reaffirm freedom of the press under the banner WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org.
It is also seen in those standing up for Bradley Manning in the
Bradley Manning Support
Network
. Join us.

Do not feel
powerless in the face of the American superpower and the manipulated
U.S. democracy that prevents real change. It has always been small
things that people do that leads to massive change. Everyone reading
this can take action to challenge U.S. foreign policy, to help
develop the culture of resistance that is essential to change.
While the government has a lot of weapons at its disposal, its
insecurity is evident in its reaction to the truth. The government
shows more than embarrassment, it shows fear — fear of its own
words being exposed and people knowing what it does. Every day
that a truth is revealed, the government loses power and influence.
It is a problem of its own making. Do not blame the messengers.

And while
the U.S. military is the most powerful in the world and the U.S.
taxpayer spends as much as the rest of the world combined on weapons
and war, everyone knows this truth: it has not won a significant
war in more than 50 years. Now, this so-called superpower rests
on a fragile economy that is in deep collapse and showing no signs
of real recovery with a ship of state too dysfunctional to respond
to multiple crises facing the nation and the world. The superpower
is strong, but weak at the same time. These seem to be the signs
of an
empire that could collapse
at anytime.

As you act,
and see others act, more will be emboldened. As Julian Assange
said, u201CCourage is contagious.u201D Be part of spreading courage. Join
or organize actions of resistance wherever there is injustice
in your workplace, your school or your town. Speak out against
war and militarism. Join Operation
LeakSpin
and review a WikiLeaks cable and write about it wherever
you can. Join the Bradley
Manning Support Network
and WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org.
Help build the tidal wave of resistance that will demand real
change, the change the nation urgently needs.

December
24, 2010

Kevin
Zeese [send him mail] is
director of Voters for
Peace
.

Kevin Zeese Archives

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