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

 

 

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail