Labor Day is Paul Bunyan Day in Ft. Bragg, CA, and the annual parade features logging trucks, and Babe the Blue Ox, as well as high school bands, the Shriners and Rotarians. Our local peace coalition won a prize in 2002 for the largest group- about 100 of us marching for peace in the runup to the Iraq invasion (a month before the first big peace rally.) This year we were only 50, as many of our supporters were walking with the Kerry Democrats instead.
The watchers lining the streets this year were subdued, but applauded as we walked by, chanting: “Bush lied, our soldiers died”, and “What do we want? PEACE! When do we want it? NOW” and “No blood for oil”. Our song, Woody Guthrie’s “This land is your land, this land is my land”- was a hit, reminding us that we can still reclaim our country from the Washington corporados.
After the parade, I couldn’t help noticing the large proportion of SUVs in this small town, despite its high unemployment rate and level of poverty. Indeed, we ARE trading blood for oil, even as we chant and clap for peace. Iraq is drowning in blood, while we maintain an American presence there to control the oil. The American people are totally addicted to oil, and thus both presidential candidates for president are committed to “staying the course” in Iraq.
When will we realize that the Iraqis are our brothers, let them control their own country and resources, and get out, so that the killing can stop? Our addiction to oil makes us codependent with, complicit with, the robber barons who run the US.
Carol Wolman is a psychiatrist. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org