Thursday, March 01, 2007

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There is something simply wrong with the idea that military action is the necessary impetus for world peace today. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "War is a poor chisel for carving out a peaceful future." Unfortunately, Americans are all too often brought up to glorify our wars and our military, rather than the peaceful ideals espoused by King and other nonviolent revolutionaries. It is thus that we have ended up in the quagmire of Iraq with few viable solutions in sight.
Some estimates claim that up to 600,000 Iraqi civilians may have been killed so far during this war. Iraq has become a tragedy of epic proportions. The war is illegal, immoral, unjust, heart-wrenching, and has failed "to protect American freedoms" or "spread the light of American democracy." But what can be done? Some call for immediate or speedy withdrawals, others to kick the war up to a higher notch. Congress is muddling through non-binding resolutions opposing the war, slowly but surely. Meanwhile, Americans and Iraqis die daily.
There's a radical solution to the problem of Iraq. It lies in the simple observation that "to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it." These words were spoken by Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to resist deployment to Iraq, facing up to four years in jail. Every soldier, commissioned or enlisted, who opposes the war in Iraq must eventually decide between his conscience and his orders. When your country is ordering you to complete an illegal and immoral act, are you not obliged to refuse? It would be far better for the members of our military to refuse to deploy, face imprisonment or other punishment, than to obey their contracts with the United States military, which allow for the killing of innocent Iraqis.

The above is from Jessica Hegdahl's "Iraq's attack, we must persist to resist" (UCD Advocate). Which reminds me, The Nation is on a mission to find student activists. To ridicule them as they have in the past? I have no idea. They've run with the myths of apathy when not promoting supposed student groups (centrists ones) that had bankrolls larger than some muncipalities. You can click here and ask them to highlight Jessica's article (I know some won't bother and that's fine -- you can't scold the youth of America and be ignorant at the same time without raising doubts in people). If their student page begins highlighting real activism (as opposed to pals of Mad Maddie eager to turn out the vote) we may provide a link to on our permalinks (to the left). But that's realy sad (or hilarious, for the more positive) that they've ignored student activists for years and pushed the turn out the vote crowd as "activists."

In the New York Times, Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "Iran to Join Iraq Talks in Highest Contact With U.S. in 2 Years" is of interest for a number of reasons -- chief among them, Iran was an invited guest weeks ago though the Times prefers to see it as Iran "joining." Another headline could be that "U.S. Butts In On Regional Conference" because that is, in fact, what is happening. At the time the conference was announced, there was a lot of hand wringing in the US over the fact that both Syria and Iran were invited and that the conference would go on (one of the few times the puppet didn't seem to heed pulled strings). Now, the paper wants to act as though Iran's the late comer when the "regional conference" always included Iran (though the US, for the record, is not a bordering country).

Oppel gets credit for this passage:

Two weeks have passed since American forces began large-scale operations as part of the Baghdad security plan. Iraqi officials have called the plan a success, but American commanders are much more measured. Some American officers have said they believe many death squad and militia leaders fled the capital to avoid stepped up American patrols and will return once the Baghdad security plan is completed.

And be sure to read it closely because a number of outlets are pushing "SUCCESS!" As for the nonsense that the US attending the regional conference is a show of diplomacy, the administration attempted to derail the conference and, reality, when they couldn't they then decided they needed to be at the table.

Today, the US military announces: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killedFeb. 28 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." And they announce:
"A U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa helicopter performed a hard landing south of Kirkuk this morning. The two injured pilots onboard were evacuated to a military treatment facility in Kirkuk." "Hard landing"? Remember that the next time you're in a fender bender. "No, I didn't hit your car, I had a 'hard landing'." (The military is saying they suspect mechanical failure.)

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