by Lynn Landes
March 12, 2003
“Bombing For Peace Is Like Fucking For Virginity.”
That’s the best sign I’ve seen so far. It was at the Philadelphia February 15th march which was part of the global protest against a U.S. attack on Iraq.
This Saturday I hope there will be many more gems like that one in front of the White House. On March 15th at 12:00 noon there will be a “March on the White House” from the Washington Monument.
It’s our last chance… our last chance to stop the madness… our last chance to tell the world that we don’t support an unjust, illegal, immoral war; a war whose weaponry will further contaminate Arab soil, air, and water - poisoning both our own soldiers and innocent Iraqis with heavy metals and radiation.
It will be our last chance to tell this illegitimate president that he does not stand for us when he attacks a helpless nation.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for a righteous war. As in World War II, sometimes butt has got to be kicked. But this is not one of those times.
I used to think demonstrations were pretty pointless, at least the peaceful ones. After Seattle I had become convinced that only violent protest would catch the attention of our moribund media. No more. The massive demonstrations taking place around the world are testimony to the awesome power of people…of people taking a stand. It has given world leaders the guts they need to stand up to this bully. It’s also given a few “professional” journalists courage to start doing their job…asking tough questions and exposing the endless stream of lies that pour out of the Bush administration.
But it’s been a long time coming. Why? Why has it taken so long to wake us up? Why are so many Americans blind to what much of the rest of the world sees clearly?
The most fundamental reason may be the most innocent. It’s A Grand Old Flag. That’s just a cute little patriotic song, isn’t it? Or is it one of many little exercises we force our children to perform that sends the clear unmistakable message that we are better than other people?
Our flag has been colored by noble and infamous deeds alike. Just like other countries, we’ve done right and we’ve done wrong. But our current crop of neo-conservative political leaders want us to believe that we’re destiny’s children, the anointed ones… the winners.
Americans are not winners. By many standards we are living in a third world country. Nearly one-fourth of all Americans did not have health insurance in the last two years. Most Americans can only dream about the social services routinely enjoyed by Europeans and other industrialized countries. And we’re 23rd in life expectancy. Now that’s something most American don’t know.
Why are we so ignorant? Could it be our news media has deliberately kept us in the dark? A news media that is mostly owned by Republicans whose incessant flag waving disguises their rabid contempt for any government action that gets in the way of making money for the chosen few, a news media that has given precious little airtime to peace organizers in advance of a demonstration, a news media that routinely underestimates the size of any protest march. I could go on and on, but time is “a wastin”.
So let the ignorance end. Here’s your notice. March 15th, Saturday, 12 noon, the Washington Monument…be there!
For more information - http://www.votenowar.org/
Lynn Landes is a freelance journalist. She writes a column which is published on her website www.EcoTalk.org. Lynn has been a radio show host, a regular commentator for a BBC radio program, and news reporter for DUTV in Philadelphia, PA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org