Educating for Resistance in the "War Pools"
What Next for the Peace Movement?
By Nick Mottern, Director, ConsumersforPeace.org
Where are We with Politics and Boycott
(This article makes broad suggestions, a type of article that I am always hesitant to write. But I think we in the peace movement are at a decisive moment in our efforts to try to save lives, and I hope you will find the following useful. I would appreciate your thoughts on the ideas presented. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
We have seen in the last several weeks every indication that the Congress will not stop the Iraq War any time soon, nor will it do anything to reduce the likelihood of an attack against Iran. The Afghanistan War continues to be seen as “the good war” and, like the Iraq War, it sucks in more and more lives. Remarkable as it may seem to people who experienced Viet Nam, we are involved in Viet Nam style colonial wars without end.
These are wars that have been generated largely by men who, in one way and another, were able to avoid fighting in Viet Nam. But they have capitalized on the deep feeling that flows through many Americans, including people too young to know what Viet Nam was, that somehow we “lost” in Viet Nam because American politicians were too weak to stay the course.
This anger and resentment has been combined by politicians with the fear of terrorist attacks generated by 9/11 to produce a powerful fuel that propels the new wars, over and above the normal propellants of poverty, racism, machismo, war profits and the drive to capture resources.
Thus fortified, the Washington leadership, isolated by wealth and power and able to field a military force of lower-income people and mercenaries without risking sons and daughters, has all the time in the world to play geopolitical chess with everyone’s lives but their own.
Tragically, the same thing appears to be true for the vast majority of Americans. U.S. public opinion about the war seems to be geared to the daily perception of whether the U.S. is “winning” rather than concerns about the legality and morality of detaining, torturing and killing to maintain control of resources.
Voluntary censorship by the U.S. press of images of wounded and dead Iraqis and Americans, that would expose the human costs of occupation on a daily basis, allows the public to focus on “winning” rather than the price of “winning”.