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Build The Anti-War Movement

Stop The Madness of the corporate politicians!
Building An Effective Anti-War Movement

By STEVE ARGUE
Congressman Sam Farr (D) is the bomber of Belgrade and supporter of the death squad government of Colombia, who most recently voted for the military appropriations that will be used to terrorize the people of the entire world, including Iraq. Dianne Feinstein, Dubya Bush, Mike Honda, and Anna Eshoo should also be exposed for their even more direct support for war with Iraq. It is my opinion that all of these politicians should pay a political price for their pro-war stand.

There are some who want to pressure Farr to take a more active approach in stopping the war with Iraq. Yet a look at Farr's statements regarding this war shows that he is not really opposed to war with Iraq, but instead has tactical differences regarding the U.S. going it alone and other lame concerns that represent an actual interest in a more effective US imperialist war policy the world over. His vote for the massive military appropriations represents this common interest Farr has with Bush, big oil, and the arms industry. Farr's differences with Bush stem from his knowledge that this war may cause massive unrest, foreign and domestic, that may make it more difficult for the US to carry out its evil imperialist wars and exploitation on the people of the world. With such motivations there is no reason to think Farr will mobilize and educate people against this war.

What does Farr have to say to the people on this issue anyway? Sam Farr has not spoken out against the constant bombing of Iraq that has occurred since the first US attack on Iraq in the early 1990s. He has not spoken out against the US imposed economic sanctions that have starved about 2 million Iraqi children. Nor has Farr opposed the deadly use of radio-active waste in the production of US weapons of mass destruction that were used both in Yugoslavia and on Iraq poisoning the inhabitants of those countries as well as 100,000 "Gulf War Syndrome" US soldiers.

Those who want an authentic anti-war movement should expect to have to organize it and to lead it yourselves. Expecting Democrats to do it is like expecting a mule to quack like a duck.

In my studies of history I've seen three effective ways to end a war. 1. Is when the soldiers refuse to fight. This is the way that the long and persistent anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s finally educated the soldiers and ended the war in Vietnam. 2. If the working class strikes and refuses to participate in building or shipping the armaments. A very effective strike that shut down Seattle Washington during the early days of the Russian revolution physically stopped the sending of war supplies and helped force the US to pull its troops out of the young Soviet Union. 3. A third way will be through a revolution of the people. If we succeed in doing any of the first two types of action we may not be too far from carrying out the third. All three forms of direct action will take the building of strong organizations independent of the Democrats and Republicans.

I support any and all actions that will help build the kind of consciousness among the people that could one day make the three kinds of effective direct action by the people possible. Illusions in warmongers like Sam Farr's potential to organize an anti-war movement are an obstacle to effective action. Instead of talking to Sam Farr's staff we are better off holding rallies and distributing literature to the people. Reaching GIs and young people of draft or recruitment age is critical. The Farrs and Bushes of the world will never be reached by our moral arguments. Like Nixon, however, they will notice if soldiers refuse to fight.

With all this said, I hope that Sam Farr does organize a town hall meeting so that those of us in the Peace and Freedom Party can be there to urge people to break with illusions in the twin parties of war that rule America and to register to vote with the Peace and Freedom Party. The Peace and Freedom Party is a party that has opposed every US war since it was founded in 1967 and actively calls for the vigorous building of an effective anti-war movement. I encourage people who think that this kind of thinking makes sense to:

1. Register with the Peace and Freedom Party, we are now only 4,000 registrants away from getting back on the state ballot.

2. You can also come to our next meeting at the Louden Nelson Center on Saturday December 7th at 1:30 PM.

3. In addition we encourage people to attend the Peace Friday demonstrations held every Friday at Ocean and Water Streets at 5:00 PM as well as building attending the national actions that have been set for January in San Francisco and Washington DC.

4. Post your own ideas and actions. All power to the people!
 
 


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Comments

Who are you supporting here?

2 million Iraqi children have died? Where do you get this number? Please back it up.

Also, the US did not impose sanctions, the UN did. Why? Because Saddam Hussein is guilty of invading his neighbors and committing genocide AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE. He has killed between 100,000 and 200,000 Kurds. He has killed at least 100,000 Shiites (perhaps three times that number).

Have you not heard the stories of torture of Shiites in Iraq? About little children being tortured in front of their parents who only crime is to be Shiite? About girls and women who are raped in front of their fathers and husbands in order to get them to talk?

Tell me, if the Peace and Freedom Party were in existence in 1941, what would their response have been to Pearl Harbor and Nazi Germany?

I cannot understand why the Left wants to leave a monster like Saddam Hussein in power. His own people want him gone. He has invaded two of his neighbors, and has designs on the Middle East. He is akin to Hitler. Is it moral or even peaceful to leave such a man in power?
 

Authors Response To Zanthippe

XANTHIPPE:
2 million Iraqi children have died? Where do you get this number? Please back it up.

STEVE ARGUE:
It is a sad commentary on the level self-imposed censorship in the American corporate media that the entire world knows that the United States through the UN is starving the people of Iraq yet many Americans have no knowledge of it. World public opinion is strong in opposing these sanctions, yet the government of the United States resists any type of reform.

According to the UN in June of 1997over 1.2 million of Iraq's 22 million people, most under age five, had died because of the damage inflicted on Iraq's ability to provide health care, maintain clean drinking water, and produce food. According to UNICEF (1998) 250 more die each day.

But we don’t have to just depend on those sources to find the tragedy that the US is inflicting on Iraq. The US government itself admits its own crime. Consider the following exchange that occurred in a "60 Minutes" segment called "Punishing Saddam" (airdate May 12, 1996):

CBS Reporter Lesley Stahl (speaking of post-war sanctions against Iraq): "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - and you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeleine Albright (at that time, US Ambassador to the UN): "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

In addition the US has bombed water treatment plants and refuses the Iraqi people access to needed parts and other materials. As a result large numbers of children have died from easily prevented water borne pathogens. To make matters worse the US does not allow needed medicines into the country either.

XANTHIPPE:
Also, the US did not impose sanctions, the UN did.

STEVE ARGUE:
Simply put the US controls the votes of most of the UN’s member nations through bribery and threats. “Diplomacy” is the euphemism we hear employed for these tactics. The US/UN imposed starvation blockade is just another example of how the biggest bully on the planet, US imperialism, often gets what it wants from the weaker nations.

XANTHIPPE:
Why? Because Saddam Hussein is guilty of invading his neighbors and committing genocide AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE. He has killed between 100,000 and 200,000 Kurds. He has killed at least 100,000 Shiites (perhaps three times that number).

Have you not heard the stories of torture of Shiites in Iraq? About little children being tortured in front of their parents who only crime is to be Shiite? About girls and women who are raped in front of their fathers and husbands in order to get them to talk?

STEVE ARGUE:
Today the United States government gives strong support to the genocidal government of Turkey while that government murders Kurds. In the 1980s the US supported the military of Iraq when it was also murdering Kurds and at war with Iran. The US is in fact the biggest supporter of genocide and war in the world. While it would take much too long to list them all a few examples of US supported genocide bear mentioning. The US backed the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. With US backing and almost complete silence from the United States media the Indonesian military murdered over a million people. In Guatemala the US overthrew a democratically elected government that had begun to carry out a land reform. That US imposed dictatorship then systematically murdered entire villages made up of the Native majority and also murdered all who stood up against the US imposed government. In Vietnam the US rained terror and 20 years of war on a people who refused to relinquish the right to their sovereignty. For their audacity the US murdered 3 million of the people of Vietnam.

As we all know invading other countries and participating in genocide are not features unique to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

In fact, while the people of Iraq have their own scores to settle with Saddam Hussein, he is no longer the biggest enemy of the people of Iraq. The US government is. 12 years of a starvation blockade, the constant bombing of civilians, and the deadly effects of the US spreading radioactive wastes on Iraq have shown the Iraqi people that they themselves are the targets of a US policy of genocide.

Once the US gains control of Iraq (assuming it does) do you think the US will impose a democratic government that benefits the people of Iraq or will it impose a dictatorship that represents the interests of US based oil monopolies. A look at every government the US has imposed on third-world countries since 1898 shows the clear answer. The US government will try to impose another Saddam Hussein, just like they did the first, but one more in line with current US corporate interests.

XANTHIPPE:
Tell me, if the Peace and Freedom Party were in existence in 1941, what would their response have been to Pearl Harbor and Nazi Germany?

I cannot understand why the Left wants to leave a monster like Saddam Hussein in power. His own people want him gone. He has invaded two of his neighbors, and has designs on the Middle East. He is akin to Hitler. Is it moral or even peaceful to leave such a man in power?

STEVE ARGUE:
Saddam Hussein is nothing but a tin-pot ruler of a weak and starving nation. The United States, the wealthiest and most powerful purveyor of brute force in history, would make Heir Goebbels proud with its ability trick a percentage of the American people into thinking that Saddam Hussein is a menace to the world, or “another Hitler.” Britain gassed insurgent Kurdish villages in Iraq in the 1920s. The U.S. saturated the jungles of Vietnam with Agent Orange and CS gas. The U.S. was secretly aiding and militarily advising Iraq at the time that the Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons on Kurds and Iranians (1980-1998). As a member of that covert operation recalled the Pentagon “wasn’t so horrified by Iraq’s use of gas, it was just another way of killing people” (New York Times, 18 August).

Hitler is another subject completely that would take a whole new essay, but let me finish by saying that Hitler and Bush have a lot in common. The people of Iraq have their own scores to settle with Saddam Hussein. Iraq itself is in need of a socialist revolution where the country is taken under democratic workers control, just as the United States needs such a revolution. Yet the biggest and most immediate enemy of the Iraqi working class is US imperialism, and many of the Iraqi people know it. We, in the Peace and Freedom Party, join the Iraqi people in fighting for their right to sovereignty. We also fight against America’s sons and daughters being put in harms way by the US government.

US OUT OF IRAQ! END THE STARVATION BLOCKADE!
 

Correction From Author

The following statement:

The U.S. was secretly aiding and militarily advising Iraq at the time that the Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons on Kurds and Iranians (1980-1998).

Should read: (1980-1988)
 

Provide references please

Saddam Hussein has reportedly offered Libya 3.5 billion dollars (yes billion) for safe harbor for the Iraqi ruler and family in the event that the UN (yes, the UN, you remember - that agency the Left insisted must be consulted with prior to action by the US?) invades.

Why is the US and not Saddam Hussein (who was, incidently, busy spending $$$ on palaces instead of his own people during the 90s) responsible for the sanctions? Iraq CHOSE not to allow inspectors free access (which was a condition that Saddam agreed to at the end of the Gulf War, you may recall). Iraq could have ended the sanctions ANY TIME IT WANTED TO.

Also, two wrongs don't make a right - didn't you learn that in kindergarten? Yes, the United States has made some really horrible mistakes and done some terrible things, but to compare Bush to Hitler is ridiculous.

I suggest you read other sources than those on the ultra-Left. There is no grand conspiracy and America is not the enemy of freedom-lovers. If you think there's a better country in which to live, please name it and explain why. If you think there's another country that does more to defend freedom, please name it and explain how. If you think there's another country that allows criticism and dissent more freely, please name it.

I draw your attention to the MEMRI website on Middle East affairs, since you seem to be so completely clueless.
www.memri.org/

Here's an interesting story about the "Sovereign" of Iraq:
www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate

You know, there is nothing stopping you in America from getting together with others who believe as you do to form your own Socialist Utopia. Unfortunately, I can't think of a single socialist country that allows people to form their own Capitalist Utopias. Do you wonder why?

As far as the Iraqi people go, I suppose you were impressed by the recent election where Saddam Hussein won by an incredible 100% of the popular vote.
 

Re-post of Article

This post is no longer readable due to the strange format change making each line two miles long. I guess I'll have to re-post it so that it will be readable.
 

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