Home

Home Page

Accounts

Syndication

Media Centers

Home
Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

LOCAL Commentary :: Peace & War

Text of speech at William & Mary Bring the Troops Home Rally

"...we are for a movement that really brings together the interest of the Iraqi people and of the American people, and in particular the soldiers. And that really can be summed up in a slogan, one in which we have to say, BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW. And that that slogan brings together, in the best and clearest sentiment, the unanimity of interest that Iraqi people and that people in the United States have."
I’m a little at a loss, lot of thoughts as to the things one could say, should say, must say loudly. Too many things to say, but I want to try and focus on a few.

First, the question of insanity; because I don’t think, and as happy as I am to be here with many of the guests and allies we’ve developed over the past year…Well, we live in a country which truly will go down in the annals of history as Orwellian in every sense. A country which from its very inception, was born on a hope and a lie; that all human beings were created equal, but some of them, could be held in slavery, that we stood for freedom, but that applied to some, and not to all.

But the insanity has gathered apace. We are involved in the second year of a war; well, depending on how you measure it; OR the fifteenth year of a war against the people of Iraq. And the war as we know, and now the people of the world know, was built on a lie. It was a lie through and through, and yet the people who cooked up the lie, who cooked up the books, the warmongers who made that happen, are still in power today, have not had their assets seized, have not been put in prison and dungeons, have not been sent to Guantanomo Bay, but instead enjoy the pleasures of ruling this society.

You get the answer: “Where were the weapons of mass destruction?? Answer, from Donald Rumsfeld: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of weapons of mass destruction.? Now I’ve been told by a scientist that there is some truth to this…if we were doing a scientific experiment! But we are talking here about a country which it was claimed had tens of thousands of stockpiled weapons.

And so the insanity that comes with this system doesn’t come at a light price. It is impossible to be on a platform with brothers and sisters who have resisted, with people in Palestine, with people in Iraq, or with those whose near and dear are dying in Iraq because of this lie and sit there and say that this insanity makes any sense whatsoever.

It takes people, takes their lives and crumbles them up; and it takes the most unheard of courage to say this is a lie, this is insanity, and I will stand against this locomotive, I will stand against what I believe is wrong, what I believe is eating up humanity rather than pointing a way forward to it.

And you come to the question of the main appeal to the war that they have today, the appeal to 9/11, the appeal to the bombing of the Twin Towers and in Washington. And you should know that the people who run this country didn’t weep on 9/11, but said how do we “capitalize on the opportunities? offered by 9/11. So said Condaleeza Rice. I repeat, how do “we capitalize on the opportunities.? That is the testament of what this government thinks of 9/11.

And this is why, despite their appeals to patriotism, despite their appeals to maintaining support for this war, it is a war that is opposed now around the world and that the polls say is opposed here in the United States.

And our task is to attempt to give that opposition what we call an organized voice. We are prepared to work with others, and to ensure to give the voice of the majority of Americans who now say no to the war an organized expression.

And there has been a lot of talk about the character of the anti-war movement, what should it be, what should it not be, and about the Iraqi resistance. And if I may speak on behalf of some in the anti-war movement, we have taken a lot of grief, for having intimated, for having suggested, that the Iraqi people have the right to free their country, that Iraqi people have the right to resist.

To those who say to us: “Are you therefore for the killing of American soldiers,? we say absolutely not. We are not for any American soldier being there in the first place. And if any American soldier, and the more than two thousand have or the many more thousands injured, come to harm, you can look to the White House as to why they are in harm’s way. And that that has to be view.

Secondly, we are for a movement that really brings together the interest of the Iraqi people and of the American people, and in particular the soldiers. And that really can be summed up in a slogan, one in which we have to say, BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW. And that that slogan brings together, in the best and clearest sentiment, the unanimity of interest that Iraqi people and that people in the United States have.

But it is also a movement that brings together every question in American society. The war, as the war in the 1960s, will have an effect on everything else, from education, to race relations; the amount of money being poured into this war alone will raise a host of other questions, and we are in for a period, a long period of battle, in attempting to build such a movement.

And I want to close by saying one thing about that tradition in the United States, which is the tradition of resistance. I recently attended a public reading of the recently published book, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. And I think, more than anything else, and people should go and get the book, it really sums up all of our hopes and aspirations. Listening to the speeches of the people who came before us, who done the same, or who have tried to do the same thing, against at time huge odds…One listens to Eugene Debs who said, “Whoever and when have a people ever declared war; only the master class declares war and declares peace.?

And so what does this tell you. It tells you an old truism: that wherever there is oppression, wherever there is injustice, where there is exploitation, there will be resistance.

The problem is that the path is never easy, that it is full of bumps in the road, that they control and monopolize the money, the resources, the intelligence services, and they put up a fight. And that it takes time, and that’s why movements take time to build, and to recover.

But it is also the case that it’s the only life worth living, and that anybody who has been through any tumultuous times like that, from the fight against slavery in the 19th century, to the fight against segregation in the 20th, would tell you they would do it all over again and that it is the high point of their lives.

Because, as the old saying goes, “It is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.?

Thank you.
 
 


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software

[Valid RSS]