Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tom Hayden: "We appeal to all peace and justice movements to stand together . . ."

We never highlighted links on the left that were added recently. I know I've spoken of Iddybud so I'll assume most of you are familiar with the great writing Jude's done. But two members e-mailed today about Tom Hayden's blog.

We added (I) because Hayden is an important voice. (Again, I have met him and that's been disclosed before.) I was waiting for something to go up to comment on.

When we added his blog to the links, there was a powerful entry but I wasn't sure what was wanted in the comments posted section. (Yes, I'm aware that as a community, we're opposed to posting comments. The complaints and objections to that is why we pulled the comments from this site.) I also wasn't sure if it was intended to be posted in full (which is how I read it).

We're going to post it in full because I feel it's too damn important. If we hear an objection to that (common_ills@yahoo.com) from the author, we'll change it to an excerpt. Again, I read it as post in full. And we had two members e-mail asking why it wasn't posted here already.
So here it is:

We appeal to all peace and justice movements to stand together as a conscience of the world against the Bush Administration’s bloody occupation of Iraq and drive towards an American Empire. We may be in for a long war.

But together we can undermine the pillars of war and occupation, make it impossible for the American government to continue its course, and begin to plant the foundations of peace. We who stand for democracy in the United States should widen and deepen our protests especially at local community levels to :

• oppose further Congressional funding for war and occupation;
• develop public support for military withdrawal;
• support local referendums on withdrawal and peace candidates in 2006 and 2008;
• build non-partisan peace alliances across all party lines, from left to right;
• support dissenting combat veterans, reservists and their families;
• call for boycotts and termination of profiteering from war and occupation by American corporations in Iraq;
• transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable resources, conservation and energy efficiency. A global behemoth can only be fought through global resistance, locally based. We express gratitude to the global peace movement for activating world opinion against collaboration with the US occupation, and call for further efforts, including:
• support for asylum in Canada and other nations for US soldiers who refuse for reasons of conscience to fight in occupied Iraq;
• demonstrations and political mobilizations in Europe and Latin America against President Bush’s frustrated search for "willing" allies;
• continued efforts to force the withdrawal of British, Italian and other foreign troops from the occupation;
• opposition to European participation in military training of Iraqi troops for an illegitimate US-dominated regime.

The time has come to recognize that the US occupation is the principal cause of the violent insurgency and growing civil war. We disagree with those who, while admitting that that the war was a mistake based on fabricated evidence, nevertheless claim it would be a bigger mistake to end the occupation and withdraw. We ask the question raised decades ago during another unwinnable war: who can justify sending more Americans to be the last to die for a mistake? Over forty million Americans already say we should withdraw from this war. These are not uncaring isolationists, but Americans who know better than to kill and die for a mistake, to throw good money after bad, and to ruin what is left of our moral reputation in the world. They know that the trillions in budget deficits for this mistake are stolen from our children’s future.

These tens of millions of Americans are completely unrepresented in the political process and media discussion. It is time that their frustration, and that of the majority who consider the war a mistake, be met with more than cowardly silence in the halls of power. To those who say the war must continue three, five or ten more years, we demand to know what will be left of the Iraq they claim to be saving? What loss in American and Iraqi lives, what cost in dollars wasted, what level of anti-American hatred in the world, are they willing to bear? To those who consider the war a mistake but still fear the consequences of military withdrawal, we ask these questions: when will enough be enough? If not now, when? We further believe the struggle to stop the occupation of Iraq is a first and essential step to unite forces against the US government’s current political designs for global dominance.

We oppose any ambitions to create an Empire dominated by the United States or global networks of capitalism. Nor do we believe that the issue of terrorism can be addressed by permanent war, increased secrecy and suspensions of democratic liberties, but principally through an all-out effort to bring hope to two billion people now festering in humiliation and poverty. We are the richest country in the world yet contribute only 0.15 percent of our economic resources to UN programs that feed the hungry, provide clean drinking warer, and promote literacy. We stand with those who believe in the reality of a multi-polar and multi-cultural world, and especially with those who believe "another world is possible" through social movements fighting for enforceable standards of human rights, fair trade, social justice and environmental protection, and for new institutions that foster a just distribution of global wealth and power and respect for the dignity of the human spirit.

The challenge for us all is to imagine, strive for, and begin to live a better life beyond Empire altogether.
TOM HAYDEN (drafter)
ANTHONY ARNOVE, editor, Iraq Under Siege
REV. ED BACON, rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena
GIOCONDA BELLI, poet and author
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Global Exchange
LARRY BENSKY, Pacifica Radio
REV. RICHARD BUNCE, Progressive Christians Uniting
LESLIE CAGAN, United for Peace and Justice
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
JEFF COHEN, media critic
REV. JAMES CONN, United Methodist Urban Ministry
HARVEY COX, professor, Harvard Divinity School
PETER DREIER, professor, director, Urban and Environmental Studies, Occidental College DANIEL ELLSBERG
CHELLIS GLENDENNING, psychologist, author
ROBERT GOTTLIEB, professor, UEPI, Occidental College
RICHARD FALK, professor, global studies, UC Santa Barbara
RICH FELDMAN, Boggs Center, Detroit
CHET GUINN, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Iowa
REV. PETER LAARMAN, director, Progressive Christians Uniting
SAUL LANDAU, author, professor, CSU Pomona
ROBERT J. LIFTON, Harvard Seminar on Mass Violence
ARTHUR McCABE, attorney
MICHAEL McAVOY, dean, New College
ANURADHA MITTAL, founder, Oakland Institute
JOAN SEKLER, filmmaker
MAURICE ZEITLIN author, professor, UCLA
HOWARD ZINN, historian