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Red Light, Green Light

The Democrats and Iran

by SUNSARA TAYLOR

"Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran…The measure provides nearly $100 billion to pay for fighting in two wars, and includes more money than the president requested for operations in Afghanistan and what Democrats called training and equipment shortages."

– AP, March 13, 2007

"For all the criticism on the left, Democratic strategists say they are counting on most of the antiwar lawmakers to realize that this current spending bill is the best they can get."

– New York Times, March 14

You could close your eyes and pretend it isn’t happening.

Pretend that the new Democratic Congress — after four years of torture, mass murder and war crimes against the people of Iraq — didn’t just promise the War-Criminal-In-Chief that they would do nothing to stop a new and even more dangerous war against Iran.

Pretend that these same Democrats — who have sold you out so many times and at the cost of so many lives — didn’t just promise to give the president more money than he even asked for to fight his current wars!

Pretend that somehow history — and the people of the Middle East — will forgive you for meeting this news with passivity, silence or at best "protest as usual."

Or you could open your eyes and confront the nightmares engulfing millions of people in the Middle East and endangering people around the world that only people living in this country can bring to a halt.

You can get on a bus, hop on a train, purchase an airline ticket, or pile into a van and get your butt to Washington DC on March 17t to march across the bridge and encircle the Pentagon, on March 17th before the eyes of the world!

Forty years ago, a generation who refused to accept an unjust and murderous war on Vietnam descended on the Pentagon. They looked out at the villages being razed, the children burning alive by napalm, and the blood that would be on their hands if they didn’t bring this to a halt and they declared it was time to go "from protest to resistance."

Now, at a time when the Bush regime, with the silence and complicity of the Democrats, are escalating their assault on Iraq and aggressively preparing a new war against Iran, it is wrong not to be at the Pentagon.

It is wrong to hide behind the lie and excuse that "protest doesn’t make a difference." It is wrong to despair because "they’re not listening to us." And it is wrong to dismiss the real danger of a new war against Iran simply because Bush is having so much trouble in Iraq.

The problem has never been that "protest doesn’t work." The problem is that there haven’t been nearly enough protests and they haven’t been nearly demanding enough.

The campuses across the country have not yet been shut down in massive student strikes demanding an immediate end to the war. The Oscars weren’t filled with movie stars and directors giving heart to millions around the world by demanding impeachment right now. The anti-war vets — while way ahead of most of the movement and of where the Vietnam vets were at this far into the war then — haven’t yet staged their equivalent of the Winter Soldiers testimonials about the war crimes they witnessed or Dewey Canyon protest where the Vietnam Vets threw back their medals. We haven’t yet seen this war’s Daniel Ellsberg — someone willing to risk 150 years in prison or more to disclose and disrupt the administration’s ability to lie their way into more war. Hundreds of thousands haven’t yet, in the words of Cindy Sheehan, "turn[ed] off your TV and carri[ied] a sign or a banner and descend[ed] on the White House as oppressed peasants descending on the castle of the lord of the realm with pitchforks and torches?"

These are things I know we are more than capable of! The problem is not that millions don’t hate the Bush program, the problem is that that anger has not been transformed into active, ongoing, determined resistance –not to merely express our unhappiness — but to bring all this to a halt. That has to begin to change on March 17.

In a time of legalized torture, of expanding war, of war crimes and of crimes against humanity — all of us are accountable!

Lets just be honest: none of us can claim in good conscience we’ve done all that we can and none of us should sleep soundly at night until we do.

Protest and resistance and refusal to go along are needed MOST when those in power "aren’t listening."

Too many people are in denail about the growing likelihood of a us attack on Iran as detailed by Seymour Hersh and others. As Larry Everest, has recently written, "The U.S.’s quagmire in Iraq has weakened the U.S. influence, fueled the spread of Islamist trends, and bolstered Iran’s regional influence. All this has made the situation in the Middle East even more unacceptable to the U.S. imperialists, and the Bush regime has resolved on a course to become even more aggressive in reversing all this — with the escalation of the war in Iraq and now the serious threats against Iran. And meanwhile the Democrats have proved incapable and unwilling to stop Bush’s troop ‘surge’ to Iraq and have mounted no significant opposition at all — and in some cases significant support — to the real threats to launch a U.S. attack against Iran."

Right now, it is more clear now than ever that there "will be no savior from the Democratic Party."

It is more clear than ever that the war on Iraq is not going to stop until we act in ways that make it stop. It is more clear than ever that a war in Iran will not be prevented unless we act in ways that prevent it. And it is more clear than ever that Bush won’t stop unless we drive him out.

It is time to march on the Pentagon. It is time for us to go from protest to society-wide resistance.

SUNSARA TAYLOR writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory Board of The World Can’t Wait ­ Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be reached at: sunsarasworld@yahoo.com