FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Without Struggle There is No Progress

by ASHLEY SMITH

Notes from a speech at an anti-war rally in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Forty years ago this year, Martin Luther broke his silence and spoke out against the war in Vietnam. He denounced its atrocities and condemned the US government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Just last week, our liar in chief, George Bush himself invoked Vietnam in an attempt to justify the occupation of Iraq. In an absurd revision of history, he claimed, “Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like ‘boat people,’ ‘re-education camps,’ and ‘killing fields.'”

Bush’s lies know no end. The US intervention was the cause of the problems of Vietnam. It would never have provided a solution. Nowhere is that more clear than in Iraq today. Bush has created his own boat people, the 4 million Iraqi refugees. He has created his own re-education camps from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to the secret detention centers all around the world. He has created his own killing fields in Iraq, where over 1 million have lost their lives since the invasion. King, not Bush, was right; the US government is the greatest purveyor of violence in our world today.

The US pursues its so-called War on Terror today for oil, profit and empire in the Middle East. The entire US establishment endorses these aims. Save for a handful, the Democrats voted for the war; they refuse to cut funding; they refuse to demand an immediate withdrawal of all US forces and corporations; they refuse even to impeach the war criminals in the Whitehouse.

Our rulers have used the so-called war on terror as a cover to assert US dominion over the Middle East from Iraq to Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine and Iran. By controlling Middle-eastern oil, the US aims to dominate the world. They treat each war and occupation as part of their overall strategy. We in the anti-war movement must therefore oppose not just one of them, but all of them together. It is all one imperial war.

But we, the majority here in the US have not benefited from the horrors the US has wrought in the Middle East. As King said in his speech, the “bombs dropped abroad explode at home.” At the very same time the US government has pursued a war abroad, it has pursued one at home. It has shredded our civil liberties, scapegoated Arabs and Muslims, and wasted billions that could have aided the black people of New Orleans after Katrina. While the US has blown up bridges in Iraq, it has not even repaired them in Minneapolis.

A great awakening is taking place among the masses of Americans. Now a majority opposes the war in Iraq and want progressive social change at home. The question we face is how to transform that sentiment into a fighting force. We have to re-build an anti-war organization in our cities, on our campuses, in our workplaces, and inside the military itself. We have to turn sentiment into organization and social power to shut down the war machine.

But we cannot stop just with ending this war but must challenge the capitalist system that breeds war. As King said “for years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.”

We need an anti-war movement and a new American left that can fight for a new society based on international solidarity, human need, and the elevation of the downtrodden here and abroad as the masters of our own destinies. Another world is possible; another world is necessary, let’s begin to fight for it!

ASHLEY SMITH lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ashley05401@yahoo.com

 

 

May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s Slurs Against China
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
Dave Welsh
Hunger Strikers at Mission Police Station: “Stop the execution of our people”
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail