I wish I had a better diet. I’d like to eat food only from my own garden. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the computer on which I am now typing this post were a product made without toxins or pollutants?
You can’t always get what you want. In my case, I’m pretty much willing to make the compromises that involve buying my food across the street at the large chain grocery store, accepting the management’s assurance that the coffee (which, of course, I shouldn’t have at all!) is “organically grown.” And just as compromising from the ecological point of view, I am using an iMac to communicate.
I’m a little more upset that the anti-war movement is so muted. Here the United States is engaging in belligerent acts towards Iran, with a new sanction every week, and using threats of force which are outlawed by the United Nations Charter. The U.S. attacked the Iranian computer network with a virus, something designed to destroy their infrastructure. I have little doubt that the U.S. is supporting the Israeli secret police in its assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.
In the civil war in Syria, we are not only condemning one side and supporting the other — as is only reasonable — but the President has approved covert action in yet another aggressive foreign adventure. I don’t know how much good the signing of an Internet petition does, but here’s one about Syria and another about Iran.
On October 6th and 7th Peace and Justice Works is sponsoring a two-day anti-war event in Portland. There are four “themes” to the event, but no mention in any of these themes of either Iran or Syria (admittedly, the list of wars in which the United States is engaged at the moment is long and growing longer). The Cascadia Chapter will probably join the list of endorsers (political organizations cannot “cosponsor” PJW events, for legal reasons; they may only “endorse”) and see about putting up a table at the teach-in at Portland Community College.
But of course, as I was saying, this seems a disproportionately polite response to two (more) aggressive wars coming down the road. Nine years ago, as the U.S. was gearing up to invade Iraq, there were millions of demonstrators — literally, millions — all over the world protesting the invasion, and our political leaders said we had to go in in order to prevent the Evil Dictator from obtaining “weapons of mass destruction.” The same sad song is being sung now, even though we now know that the invasion of 2003 was an aggressive war, based on lies. And I am going to march through the Park Blocks holding a banner, along with 125 other aging hippies, and sit at a table at a college campus the following day, urging people to support Green candidates.
I can offer some consolation. There was quite a similar sense, during the Vietnam War, that well-behaved, peaceful, fact-based dissent was quite pointless in the face of massive firebombing, chemical poisoning, and continual shooting of thousands of innocent civilians. We were urged to “bring the war home”: so, for example, the Weathermen instituted a series of bombings, one in the Capitol building in WashingtonD.C.
These bombers killed some innocent people themselves. And they surely retarded rather than advanced the cause of peaceful resolution of the issues.
It’s a bit like what they say about democracy: it’s the worst possible way to go about it, except for all of the alternatives.