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Why We Resist

Posted on Dec 10, 2007
Peace Protest
AP photo / Bela Szandelszky

Thousands of Hungarian demonstrators form a glowing peace sign in Budapest’s Heroes’ Square to mark the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. Too few Americans, Hedges argues, have taken action against war.

By Chris Hedges

The refusal to pay my taxes if we go to war with Iran, and the portion of my taxes spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if we do not cut off funding for these two conflicts, is not a means. It is an end. I do not know if my refusal, and the refusal of others, will be effective in halting these wars. All I know is that it is worth doing. The alternative, a complacency bred from cynicism and despair, is worse. Refusing to actively resist injustice and flagrant violations of international law, refusing to attempt to turn back the tide of American tyranny, is surrender. It is the death of hope.

Acts of resistance are moral acts. They begin because people of conscience can no longer tolerate abuse and despotism. They are carried out not because they are effective but because they are right. Those who begin these acts are few in number and dismissed by the cynics who hide their fear behind their worldliness. Resistance is about affirming life in a world awash in death. It is the supreme act of faith, the highest form of spirituality. We remember and honor the names of those who, solitary when they began, defied their age. Henry David Thoreau. Jane Adams. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Mahatma GandhiMilovan Djilas. Andrei Sakharov. Martin Luther King. Václav Havel. Nelson Mandela. It is time to join them. They sacrificed their security and comfort, often spent time in jail and in some cases were killed. They understood that to live in the fullest sense of the word, to exist as free and independent human beings, meant to defy authority. When the dissident Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was taken from his cell in a Nazi prison to the gallows, his last words were “this is for me the end, but also the beginning.”

Bonhoeffer, who returned to Germany from Union Theological Seminary in New York to fight the Nazis, knew that most of the citizens in his nation were complicit through their silence in a vast enterprise of death. He affirmed what we all must affirm. It did not mean he avoided death. It did not mean that he, as a distinct individual, survived. But he understood that his resistance, and even his death, was an act of love. He fought for the sanctity of life. He gave, even to those who did not join him, another narrative. His defiance condemned his executioners.

“Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence,” Thoreau wrote in “Civil Disobedience” after going to jail for refusing to pay his taxes during the Mexican-American War. “A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood.”

Those who recognize the injustice of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a war with Iran, who concede that these wars are not only a violation of international law but under the post-Nuremberg laws are defined as criminal wars of aggression, yet do nothing, have forfeited their rights as citizens. By allowing the status quo to go unchallenged they become agents of injustice. To do nothing is to do something. They practice a faux morality. They vent against war on the Internet or among themselves but do not resist. They take refuge in the conception of themselves as moderates. They stand on what they insist is the middle ground without realizing that the middle ground has shifted under us, that the old paradigm of left and right, liberal and conservative, is meaningless in a world where, to quote Immanuel Kant, those in power have embraced “a radical evil.”

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“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate,” King wrote from another era as he sat inside a Birmingham jail. “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

This lukewarm acceptance, this failure to act, is the worst form of moral cowardice. It cripples and destroys us. When Dante enters the “city of woes” in the “Inferno” he hears the cries of “those whose lives earned neither honor nor bad fame,” those rejected by heaven and hell, those who dedicated their lives solely to the pursuit of happiness.  These are all the “good” people, the ones who never made a fuss, who filled their lives with vain and empty pursuits, harmless no doubt, to amuse themselves, who never took a stand for anything, never risked anything, who went along.  They never looked too hard at their lives, never felt the need, never wanted to look. 

We face a crisis. Our democratic institutions are being dismantled. We are headed for a state of perpetual war. We are paralyzed by fear. We will be stripped, if we do not resist, of our few remaining rights. To resist, while there is still time, is not only the highest form of spirituality but the highest form of patriotism. It is, if you care about what is worth protecting in this country, a moral imperative. There are hundreds of thousands who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This number would be dwarfed by a war with Iran, which could ignite a regional inferno in the Middle East. Not a lot is being asked of us. Compare our potential sacrifices with what is being inflicted on and demanded of those trapped in the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and soon, perhaps, Iran. Courage, as Aristotle wrote, is the highest of human virtues because without it we are unlikely to practice any other virtue. Once we find courage we find freedom.


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By fmfyguy, February 26, 2008 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

You expected to be crucified for this insane, hateful ramble of antisemitism? That would be poetic.
Where the heck to you get your information from? Control the banks? Like, what?, Chase, Citicorp, Bank of America? Are you nuts!
Let’s start with a statistical assessment of your idea that Jews control it all. There are nearly 2 billion Christians in the world. At least 1.5 billion Muslims. There are, by estimate, less than 40 million Jews. Subtract the poor, old, stupid and generally good time Jews and what’s left?
Now you contend that this small fraction of the world’s population, outnumbered by at least 50 to 1 compared to Christians, controls it all? Either Jews are the most brilliant, sophisticated and sinister people on the glob or the Christians are down right stupid! Either way, you’re either an idiot or you’re admitting to the Jews infinite superiority.
Golda Mier once stated, in answer to a question about the myth of Jewish intelligence, “How smart could we be? We settled on the one location in the middle east that had no oil.”

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 31, 2007 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

There are many who feel as you do and the old anti-semite label doesn’t work as good as it use to, given the overwhelming evidence.

We just have to generate more blogs about these Zionist issues, can more posts and bring them to the front burner on as many websites we can.

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By Joe Spenner, December 31, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The list overlooked the names of two resisters to Nazi tyranny. Cardinal Mindzenty of Hungary during the communist invasion of that country, an an outstanding hero in defense against tyranny.

Another was a young Catholic priest, who offered to take the place of they head of a family, who was among ten who were to be starved to death by Nazis as penalty for attempting to escape.

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By dystopian, December 13, 2007 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Is it antisemitic to point out that the majority of banks are owned by Jews?  No, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.  But when you consider that every penny spent by our federal govt comes from loans from these banks - I see a problem and so should you.  Tax dollars simply repay these loans with interest (most going to interest).  Or that they lend money that doesn’t exist and then charge interest should raise concern.

Is it also antisemitic to claim that most of the large media conglomerates are owned or managed by Jews?  Again no, they’ve done well in the media industry, good for them.  But, when our news decides that the truth happens to be whatever comes out of the president’s mouth or that Palestians are “terrorists” while Israelis are “defense forces”; its kind of hard to not see a problem.  There was a time when news was about facts not opinion.

Its pretty hard for me not to see a connection between our perpetual war against Euruasia (I mean Islamofacism) and our forever falling dollar with Jewish control of these instituions.

Are they alone to blame? No. There is also a cabal of rich white men doing the same thing but these elite jews are in the driver’s seat. 

I will be crucified for these statements,I’m sure, but keep one thing in mind:  I could rant up a storm about fanatical muslims and most Americans wouldn’t bat an eye.

I wonder which religion Greenspan and Bernake are?

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By ender, December 13, 2007 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

1/// “Israel” never ever recognized the existence of the indigenous owners of Palestine: the Palestinian people.Golda Meir once said “What Palestinians?”
2// Israel never implemented a single UN resolution since its anomalous and questionable creation including UN 181 which created it-by devouring large chunks of the would be Palestine state in 1947, nor UN 194 of the same year which dictates the return of Palestinian refugees now multiplied into seven million who are still living in refugee camps outside Palestine for the past 60 years.
3/// Jewish terrorist gangs such as Haganah, Palmach, Shtern and Argun used extreme violence to ethnically cleanse millions of Palestinians and destroyed over five hundred Palestinians villages to prevent their return as per UN 194-which 60 years later Israel still refuses to implement. Israel was built on and continues to survive on respectively gang and state terrorism. Even Israeli revisionist historians have uncovered and documented Israeli ethnic cleansing to establish the racist state in 1947.
4// No land or resources are left whatsoever for a Palestinian state: Israel occupied 78&#xof; Arab historic Palestine in 1947/8 and 22% in 1967 (West Bank, Gaza and most importantly Jerusalem which was built by the Canaanite Arabs long before there ever were Jews on earth) AND again Israel annexed-slowly but surely by implanting settlements in full day light- over 58% of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem-leaving less than 10% of original Arab historic Palestine for a Palestinian state??? Today AP reported that Israel grabbed 1100 hectares of Palestinian land near Jerusalem-just before the American sponsored “peace conference” next month.
Radicalism only begets radicalism and if the destruction of a whole nation of Palestinians and building a state on their ruins and tormenting them for over sixty years is not radicalism and terrorism-what is? Even the present Israeli defense minister Yahoud Barrack once said: “If I were a Palestinian I would be a terrorist.”
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others were created in response to the extremely lengthy 60-year old brutal Israeli military occupation of all of Arab historic Palestine; Hezbollah was created in response to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 when Israel was evicted by from Lebanon by Hezbollah.

In responce to the Cocaine Cowboys ‘Peace Summit’ last month, Israel opened several new settlements in “annexed” Jerusalem, not part of Israel as created by charter, and not a militarily stategic piece of ground, but rather another example of the fallacy that Israel will ever recognize a Palestinian state that include Jerusalem, or give up captured lands that hold valuable water resources.

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By Kwagmyre, December 13, 2007 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#119571 by Rowman:
“How do you ignore the Oslo Accords where Barak offered the “Palestinians” everything they had been demanding including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, return of 95% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip. Even offered a $30 Billion in compensation for the Arabs who left in 1948.”

But what a joke this was!  Even with that “generous” offer made by Barak, the Israelis STILL were going to have control over the roads with the West Bank so that free passage from one section or area to another WASN’T allowed.  In other words, checkpoints(and the hassling that goes with it) STILL would have continued.  Like a friend of mine said, “this was like selling someone an apartment or hotel but saying they didn’t have any rights to occupy the lobby.”

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By rowman, December 13, 2007 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

RE: #119926 by Non Credo on 12/13 at 5:04 am

It was America’s strategic interest in securing the oil stupid. The oil you so dearly consume. The oil that we could not function without. Don’t blame Israel for American policies. Blame your own electorate.


RE: #119847 by cyrena on 12/12 at 7:05 pm

These are written facts sourced from Arab accounts. A simple google search proves you’re wrong.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Prince+bandar+arafat

Israel has never been effective at managing public opinion. In fact, I clearly recall public sympathies shifting towards Israel after the Oslo Accords but that was short lived.

Arafat played the tried and true terrorism card that had worked for him so many times before. He targeted Israeli civilians – children on school buses, pregnant women in shopping malls, families at Passover seder. They did this knowing they could prompt Israel to overreact, elect a more hawkish prime minister and provoke the military to take action that would lead to the unfortunate death of arab civilians. It was Arafat who initiated War with Israel.

Arafat pushed his “numbers” of casualties on the world stage. Included in this were hundreds of suicide bombers, bomb makers, bomb throwers and terrorism commanders. These were not civilians. In fact, more Israeli civilians were killed than Palestinians. But the public did not look at this.

Israel has tried for peace and they have historically been met with bombs. That is a Fact. You say Israel has never fulfilled the end of the bargain, this is not true. Look at Gaza etc. Did they take negotiations off the table after being attacked? Yes. Did they pull back from negotiations because of homicide bombers? Yes. How do you possibly negotiate with murderers under these circumstances?

Its funny that you try to bash Prince Bandar- sad really. That is a very sleazy attempt to discredit a man who tried so hard to negotiate peace in the region with many presidents to include Bill Clinton. Bandar was the catalyst behind this and the negotiations you blame Israel for not upholding were the result of his efforts!

What is really ironic is how you overlook the Palestinian Authority part of the deal that they never honored. What about that? Or was homicide bombing part of the deal?

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By jackpine savage, December 13, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Mickey Shell makes excellent points about the police state.  We have become a militarized nation.  In my mind, it comes around to the War on Drugs.  A war, like so many others, fought by the US government with one hand while the other promoted the conflict.  It was in regards to drugs that many civil liberties took their biggest hit.  For example, the teenager living in his parents’ home is arrested for distribution.  The police can seize parental assets regardless of conviction.  For the sake of the WoD, suburban police bought APCs and founded black fatigued SWAT teams.  Everyone agreed that drugs were bad, so too few raised a voice against the tactics of fighting them.  Oddly enough, addiction percentages have not changed, only the prison populations and the makeup of our police forces…who have traded in sidearms and shotguns for AR-15’s.

Roger may very well have found the nut.  How do we turn the hope of the heart into the hope of the head? (hope of the heart is easily broken, hope of the head leads to action and is probably the surest way to secure hope of the heart) We do it, as Roger said, by acting.  Actions don’t have to be big, and small actions can (and do) snowball into big actions.

Rosa Parks was just one woman who made one small act (premeditated or not) that translated into something that changed society forever.

Our modern world is massive and tiny, all at the same time.  From politics to the environment, i think that we are nearly crushed by our seeming inability to actually make a difference.  If you feel as though you cannot make a difference, then why bother even trying?  I have no doubt that the powers that be would prefer that we continue to feel that way.  So long as we do, the snowball never starts to roll.

I’ve noticed that i get angry, frustrated, and disheartened by reading and thinking about the “news”.  But i’ve also noticed that if i stop and do something, i feel better.  Last night i resurrected a homemade hydroponic unit and planted it with lettuce seedlings.  If all goes well, they will mean 20 some fewer purchases at the grocery store.  It was such a simple act, centered around tiny things with just a couple of leaves each.  But the effect was far greater. 

We are the change that is needed, leadership will - hopefully - arise when there is something to lead.  Until then, make the little differences.  Individually, we cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves.  If i remember correctly, that was Ghandi’s prescription for changing the world.

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By cyrena, December 13, 2007 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

#119797 by kath cantarella on 12/12 at 3:19 pm
(Unregistered commenter)
•  Reply to Cyrena, (nice to meet you by the way)
My initial comment was referring to Bushco’s inability to wage war on Iran
Ok Kath, I understand on this one. I remember that my original comment included you and another person, and admittedly I can’t remember the name now, and I’m too lazy to check now. The other person did suggest that now that things were ‘calmer’ in Iraq, we should just stay to get the job done. That troubled me. I’ve heard that for 4 years now, and we all know better.

But you’re right. Dick Bush, (actually cheney) will have a more difficult job trying to justify an attack on Iran,  or get congressional approval, because he’s been leading up to this for at least 2 years, and it’s been a déjà vu of Iraq from day one, with ALL of them doing their fair share of saber-rattling.

Now, not to seem like a pessimist, but rather a realist, there are many indications that they’ll do it anyway. I wouldn’t have said that 6 years ago, maybe not even 4 years ago, but after the stuff we’ve seen this gang do, I just stopped ruling anything out. Really…ANYTHING. Olmert is still calling for a hand on Iran, and Dick Bush hasn’t stopped sprouting his rhetoric about Iran being dangerous, and a source of ‘instability in the region”. Gates just said it too. They just can’t get that WE are the source of instability in the region. Occupations by foreign militaries have a tendency to do that.

Anyway, good to meet you as well. I may have to look you up one day, if I’m forced to flee. I’m only partially kidding. Things are really getting scary around here.

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By cyrena, December 12, 2007 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

#119817 by Mickey Shell

Mickey Shell,

Thank you for writing this excellent essay, which brings us back to the hard cold reality of things. Because you’re right of course…the orchestration for the police state has been on-going, even if unnoticed by many. (for over 7 years).

Still, what I think we’re seeing here and now, is the human nature hope, (again, 7 years late and a trillion dollars short) that some sort of collective effort…as more and more folks awaken, might save us. And, like you, I’ve been banging the warning drums for a long time. Also like you, the farce of ‘airport security’ has been one of my greatest and loudest complaints, if only because I spent so much of life/career in airports and the aviation industry. No doubt I’m on a no-fly list as well. But then again, I’ve long ago decided that the ‘list’ has no significance. It’s ALL completely and totally arbitrary at this point, and it’s actually been that way for years. (at least for me). There must just be something about the way I “look”, because for years now, I’ve been able to ‘count on’ being harassed at airport security check points. In earlier years, none of them ever seemed to recognize the irony in the fact that I was always carrying –literally- the ‘KEYS TO THE AIRPORTS” anytime they did the routine strip and search routine, right there on my chain with all the rest of my ‘very official’ identification. And, after years and years of this farce now, we’ve YET to catch a ‘terrorist’.

Yeah, the feds have shot dead a few innocent passengers, and they’ve thrown off the woman for farting in flight, and then being dumb enough to light a match to cover the smell. And of course we saw the huge fiasco created by those Muslim scholars when one of them made the mistake of praying in the airport lounge. Not as horrible as the man they shot dead on the jetway in Miami, but still…It’s just more than a reasonable mind can absorb. I once did a little ‘observation’ of my own at an airport; started out by just killing time I suppose. It was amazing to see how anything “Arab” was targeted…turbans, tunics, whatever. They’d go through all of these antics of searching underneath these things. (something might be hidden there, right?) And yet, dozens of fat white guys in oversized T-shirts and too big baseball caps would sail right through, no questions asked. Then there was the MIT student who went to meet her boyfriend at BOS, wearing that T-shirt project with the circuit board on it, and nearly got shot herself. (she never even ATTEMPTED to go through security, since she was only there to meet an arriving passenger). That’ll teach her for going up to the INFORMATION booth, and asking a question about an arrival gate, eh? Anyway, by the time they came up with the “Behavior Detection Officers” I was more than willing to give it up. (traveling by air via commercial airline that is). Still, it really DOES piss me off.

So, you’re right. This is what it’s come to, and although I don’t want to instill anymore paranoia than there already is, I don’t know if you should feel all that ‘insignificant’. I mean, for a while, I was blissful in the thought that surely I was below the radar, if only for not having anything worth bothering me about. I’m far less confident of that now. I don’t think they need a reason. At least not any that would occur to a reasonable person.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder. It is sobering but definitely something we should all be aware of.

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By cyrena, December 12, 2007 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

#119751 by rowman

•  “…It is Israel who has bent over backwards for peace but you choose to ignore this…..”

Rowman,

This is how you lose every argument, and early on. You make these totally outrageous rhetorical statements that even someone with only the most superficial knowledge of the conflict has to laugh out loud at.

Israel bending over BACWARDS for PEACE? I mean, COME ON Rowman!!! You say this stuff, and then you expect people, (anybody with an iota of knowledge) to actually pay any attention to anything else you say?

And then you proceed to create this fictitious account of the Oslo Accords, just sort of doctoring it up to your interpretation. All that does Rowman, is bring attention to your own total rhetoric based on the typical Zionist hysterical (and deceitful) mindset. Example for you, anyone who’s never heard of or read the account of the Oslo Accords, might be tempted (after reading your post) to actually look into it, because on the surface, IF ANY of this were true, ($30billion to the ethnically cleansed Arabs huh?) one might wonder why Arafat allegedly “turned it down.” And from there, even a stranger to the conflict, (and a completely neutral mind) would figure out quickly enough, that it is YOU who are twisting things about, and that there is far more to the story than what you are telling.

PARTICULARLY ‘revealing’ is your admission of Prince Bandar as an ‘intermediary’, telling Arafat to ‘take the deal’. You never acknowledge the dozens upon dozens upon dozens of other ‘agreements’ or ‘promises’ that Israel has failed to fulfill or otherwise honor. And you take the rest of the world for fools if you think that after dozens of times of these broken agreements from Israel, we don’t already know that ANYTHING Israel pretends to agree on, or ‘offer’ in the name of peace, they have NO INTENTION of following through on. They know that when they deceptively enter into these “agreements” to begin with. And, there is a long trail of paperwork to DOCUMENT this stuff!!

Matter-of-fact, Non Credo posted a partial list of them several months ago, (maybe over a year now) and I don’t know if I kept it. But any history book, or any number of websites, will provide a list of all of the agreements that Israel has NEVER honored. (the UN websites are helpful as well)

But, you never, ever acknowledge ANY of that, and in the end, every time, you fall back on stupid and unreasonable Zionist rhetoric claiming that the Arabs just want to DESTROY all Jews. This is stupid rowman, and it makes you appear very unstable, so after a while, nobody pays any attention to you.

So, maybe you should just chill out with this old, tired, lame, repetitious rhetoric about it being the “Arab Policy” to destroy the Jews. Most folks are pretty sick of it by now, because it’s totally impossible to reconcile such a ‘policy’ with the reality on the ground, and the trail of paperwork that extends back decades.

In the end, it just pisses people off, because the logical assumption is that you think everybody else is stupid, and can’t separate facts from rhetoric.

PS, Isn’t Prince Bandar a longtime Bush Dynasty gadfly? I’m pretty sure he is.

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By Yani, December 12, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stupid Non Credo.

Can’t help himself. This article has nothing to do with the Jews but his racism takes him over.

Why don’t you go live with the terrorist Jew killers you sick pig

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By Mickey Shell, December 12, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I worry for you.  The bill passed recently by the House could be used to criminalize you under Bush’s dictatorial powers.  That bill also makes clear what the detention centers are being built for: not illegal immigrants, but legally dissenting US residents. 

If I were not so insignificant, I’d worry about myself.  I’ve been howling against Bush since his first campaign, when it was so clear he was speaking in code to the “have-mores” as he calls his base, and absolutely carrying on after 9/11, so obviously contrived.  I have also made an in-your-face mockery of the exercise in PR that is called airport security.  Assume I’m on a no-fly list by now.

Anyway, does any thinking person really believe that Cheney has spent years systematically putting in place a “legal” dictatorship—only to meekly hand all that over to someone else?  Particularly, a democrat?  Or, even Clinton, faux democrat?

I believe that instead we will have another trigger event (either actual or proclaimed), followed by martial law, canceled or mock elections, suspended civil and human rights, mass detentions, and the dictatorship’s claws out in the open, as planned all along.

Call me crazy, but so far I have been right in every instance of BushCo.  Let’s hope I’m wrong this time, but let’s plan otherwise.  As I see it, police state coming up, and soon.

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By kath cantarella, December 12, 2007 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Cyrena, (nice to meet you by the way)
My initial comment was referring to Bushco’s inability to wage war on Iran, I wasn’t referring to the situation in Iraq. I have no clue what will help Iraq now, i only know that the original invasion was a manifestly criminal action, not to mention profoundly stupid, ill-informed, treasonous and self-destructive.

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By PatrickHenry, December 12, 2007 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

re: #119751 by rowman

As ususal from one of the few pro-Israel posters, a serious spin is put on the “facts”.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/oslo/negotiations/

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By Petro, December 12, 2007 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A salutory essay, very heartening.

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By rowman, December 12, 2007 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

RE: #119669 by Non Credo on 12/12 at 5:39 am

Once again, you attempt to blame Israel for all the world problems… You are an anti Semite conspiracy theorist pure and simple.


Your facts are completely backwards and you’re drinking the same kool-aid as 1dres5. It is the Arab policy that seeks total destruction of the Jews. It is Israel who has bent over backwards for peace but you choose to ignore this.


How do you ignore the Oslo Accords where Barak offered the “Palestinians” everything they had been demanding including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, return of 95% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip. Even offered a $30 Billion in compensation for the Arabs who left in 1948.


This does not reconcile with your lies. Why did Arafat reject this offer?


Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia was serving as intermediary urged Arafat to “take the deal” Could you ever expect a better one?” He issued a stern warning to him that if “we loose this opportunity it is going to be a crime”. Bandar told him during the negotiations that “you have two choices. Either you take the deal or go to war”. Arafat chose WAR and directed the PA to prepare for intifada.


Arafat rejected it because of their policy seeking total destruction of the Jews!


Prince Bandar later characterized Arafat’s decision as “a crime against the Palestinians and the entire region” and held him personally responsible for the ensuing deaths.


They have no interest in Peace as you claim. That is a lie. It has been offered on various occasions and each time it has been rejected. The Arab neighbors will accept nothing but the destruction of the Jewish state. They do not deny this policy so how can you?


You sit in your white middle class American suburb pretending that you know something about this situation. You know squat. So stop your lies, get your facts right and stop acting as a mouthpiece for Hamas disinformation.


And per your comments on the other story:
Pearl was not murdered because he was too close to a terrorist group. They initially thought he was CIA. Issued a statement that after “interrogations” (torture), they did not believe he was.

Per their video and statements, he was murdered because he was Jewish. Watch it and keep in mind that those are the people you love and support. Takes a very sick group of people to cut off someone’s head so it tells me a lot about you.

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By cyrena, December 12, 2007 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

#119606 by kath cantarella on 12/11 at 11:08 pm

reply to #119380 by Cyrena:

•  Take care. You sound like you are buckling under the pressure of life by claiming that having hope is some kind of betrayal. How do you get anything done if you don’t have hope?

Kath, thanks for the reply. However, it’s important to remember that I was NOT insisting that you were naïve, or that you weren’t sincere, (because I suggested that you might very well be) and I especially didn’t claim that having hope was any sort of a BETRAYAL of ANYTHING. So, let’s be clear on that.

MEANTIME, you included a piece of information in this post, that explains EVERYTHING, (or nearly everything). You indicated that you are posting from Australia!! THAT puts an ENTIRELY different light on the entire subject!! Because, I would suggest that recent events in YOUR country, give you all sorts of reasons for hope, even without the beer and the laugh. (though I’m not opposed to either).

You have a brand new set of political leaders who are NOT under the thumb of the US neoconners. Your government has now even agreed (the new PM) to sign on to the latest UN Declaration to recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples. (this is an accomplishment, since like the US, Canada, and New Zealand, Australia had also originally refused to take part in that). This is GOOD. Your VP is a progressive woman, (we’ve never proceeded that far along the evolutional chain here) and I’d say that things are looking pretty good there. (It’s even on my list of places to escape to, if you all will have me).

AND, your new Executives have ALSO announced that they will WITHDRAW any of the Australian troops in Iraq? Or, did I hear that wrong?

So, we’re definitely looking at the world (albeit with some hope) from different places on the globe, and more than just physically speaking. It does NOT mean that I am ‘without hope’, and having read and posted to this blog for quite some time, I don’t believe that to be the case for the majority of the posters here either.

I AM however, a realist, and I AM living amongst what is, for MOST Americans, a pretty desperate time in our history. (certainly it is for my own history). So, when you wonder how we “get anything done” without hope, I would respond that those of us who are aware enough to know that some sort of RESISTANCE (after 7 years) is in order, make those suggestions with…HOPE IN MIND. And, if we didn’t HAVE it, then we wouldn’t be searching for ways to DO it!! Specifically, NON-VIOLENT methods of resistance. And, we’re anxious to try those out, if only because they have WORKED BEFORE. (the Civil Rights Movement) And for the past 7 years, NOTHING ELSE HAS!

As for Pelosi, even I voted for her. I’m sure that MOST of us never expected her treasonous actions. (at least I didn’t). But, we see what she’s done and not done, and it has simply added to the on-going disaster.

My basic ‘caution’ to you however, (which I now realize is NOT so much an issue for you) was your assumption that things were so much ‘better’ in Iraq now. Violence down, etc, etc. I simply was pointing out that this is NOT the case, and that over 1 million Iraqis have already lost their lives, and at least 4 million more have needed to flee. Those remaining continue to exist under the most dire of conditions, and nothing short of a full withdrawal of ALL foreign troops will ever begin to address or halt this disaster. They must also be assured full control of their own natural resources, (the OIL) and they must be returned of their full sovereignty.

And now, since I don’t drink beer, I’ll have a glass of wine, and watch the “Americans Care About Bullshit” video again, for a healthy laugh.

(That’s just so you know that we might be buckling some, and there’s no way around it) but we aren’t at the bottom of the hole yet, mentally or physically.)

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By cyrena, December 12, 2007 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

#119430 by rowman
•  I am concerned of the legality of this. We know withholding federal tax will jam you up with the IRS but I thought that even promoting the withholding of federal tax was a crime as well? Does anyone know the legality here?

Rowam, yes, the IRS can jam you up, though that clearly depends on how much of your tax you ‘withhold’, and when. You can ‘withhold’ ALL of it until tax-time next year or 2009, (on your withholding form at work) and then when April 2009 rolls around, deal with it then, or let the IRS hassle you. As for the legality of ‘promoting’ the withholding of federal taxes, there is none. You’d first have to define, ‘promoting’ in these terms, and you can’t. You can’t really define ‘withholding’ either, because it depends on how much one owes on April 15th, based on their reported earnings, and how much they may or may not have already paid toward that.

In short, you or anybody else can go to work tomorrow, change your W-4 to 99 dependents, or NO withholding, and there isn’t a thing ‘illegal’ about that. The feds long ago set up the payroll taxes for ‘your convenience’ so that you wouldn’t be stuck paying the amount all at one time, (when you just might not be likely to have it.) In reality of course, it’s for THEIR ‘convenience’ to make sure that they get it, and THEY can use the money instead of you using it or collecting interest on it. And no, there is nothing illegal about me explaining this to anyone. Matter of fact, if you didn’t already know this; accept it as free legal advice.
Meantime, like I said, if you do this, and if tax time rolls around, and you don’t pay up THEN, then yes…the IRS will jam you up. Of course if EVERYBODY does this, it could take a while for them to get around to you. So, I highly recommend it as a tactic in the arsenal of non-violent civil disobedience. And yes, there are always consequences. Just depends on how many folks are willing to stand up and do it anyway, with full knowledge of those consequences, (or at least the possibility).

This is NOT helpful for those who are already dependent on the feds to dole out the funds that they’ve already paid into the system. (SS recipients). Actually, the general population withholding could put heat on those who are receiving those payments, because the feds count on CURRENT taxpayers to pay the SS benefits to those who have paid into the system in the past. But, it’s still an option.

Now John says: @ #119389

•  I have a job, so I see no reason to fund welfare.  My parents paid for my education at a Catholic school, so I see no need for the government to fund the education system.  I could go on and on and on.

It would be interesting to know what John’s “job” is, and how dependant HIS ‘salary’ might be on the ‘welfare’ of others, or their ability to pay for whatever services he provides, as a part of his ‘job’. Jobs have a tendency to evaporate these days. I also wonder if he knows that taxes fund more than ‘welfare’.

My parents also paid for 12 years worth of a Catholic education, and never once griped about the fact that a portion of their tax dollars provided for public education. They were smart enough to know that ALL of the society, (regardless of income or social status) needed to be educated. I agree.
My only gripe about that was that they DID pay the same taxes, and I thought we should have been able to ride the bus with the public school kids. But, since our Catholic schools didn’t have a bus, we had to WALK, or pay to ride the public transit system. Now I didn’t think that was fair.

Otherwise, it was their CHOICE to pay that extra money, and I GUESS we were fortunate that they could and were willing. I’m still not sure (about being fortunate). BACK THEN, public school would have been perfectly acceptable, (to me) and lots of the nuns were mean anyway. Course I guess the same can be said of lay teachers as well.

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By Outraged, December 12, 2007 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

It’s all about standing up.  Something Natalie Maines does better than most.  Hang tough.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy_XvmA-Z34

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By Robert, December 12, 2007 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article.  The posts though are more telling.  Some good understanding and ideas.  Scary is the large number of defenders of status quo and belivers of propoganda and myth (we are helping the Iraqis—guess from the sanctions and bombing that killed nearly a million of them), u.s. is beacon of hope and the others are Koran reading murderers (how about them mall and church shootings from the bible readers).  How people get so much nonsense in their head is amazing.  the last and most virulent trope is the “cult of hope” as coined by Mencken—if you critisize you have to ooffer a solution otherwise your critiqe is invalid. This is an insidous and stupid way to think. Critics are not obliged to provide solutions…Critiques of bad food and ugly wives do not compel me to fix a new meal or make your wife pretty.  So let the critics do their thing and lets come up with solutions.  Don’t pay taxes, mock your congressman, ingnore polls and vote your preference, walk to work.  Do something of your own volition not what the government and msn tell you.

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By kath cantarella, December 12, 2007 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

reply to #119380 by Cyrena:

Take care. You sound like you are buckling under the pressure of life by claiming that having hope is some kind of betrayal. How do you get anything done if you don’t have hope? When i read the comments here i worry that a lot of you guys aren’t being good to yourselves. Most of you sound like you need a beer, a laugh, and a day at the beach. Resistence doesn’t require a funereal world-view. The thing in life that requires a funereal world-view is suicidal depression (and, uh, no thankyou).
So is Pelosi really going soft on torture or not? What’s the deal? I thought she was a major step forward when she got in last year.
Things are changing here in Australia. The new govt is still conservative, but it’s not just the ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ mentality anymore. Good govt as i understand it means more than unsustainable booms and low unemployment and tax cuts for corporations. Good govt is about maintaining equity between the powerful and the less powerful, because that is the only thing that maintains peace. We in the West have a bad habit of exporting our revolutions to the Middle-east, Africa, and Asia. When things are equitable within a sustainable economical model, there’s no need for a revolution here or for us to cause a war or famine anywhere else. But the fact is, the rich are too rich, and the poor are too poor to keep the rich honest. That’s where the govt should come in. Instead we have the economic boom/bust cycle, ‘mafia’-run global corporations with absolute power over-charging for goods and services and paying the lowest possible wages and effectively sucking up all the money from the majority of society into a tight fat little percentage at the top-end of the money scale.  Working-class people pay tax for equity, against exploitation. And that’s what achieves a peaceful society as i understand it. I believe anything else is just obfuscation and I prefer to simplify things as much as possible. I suppose that could be construed as naive. Whatever.
Keep your chin up first, Cyrena, and then keep the bastards honest.

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By troublesum, December 11, 2007 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

NON-CREDIBILITY message 119573
If you really believe that, you are quite delusional.
Hitler had delusions like that.

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Malcolm, pointing out the defects in predatory capitalism and imperialism is like shooting fish in a barrel.  Coming forth with meaningful solutions as opposed to Marxist determinism, well now there’s the task before us that isn’t quite so simple.

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By troublesum, December 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

NON CREDO:
It’s the OIL stupid.  Try to get a grip on reality.

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By Don Stivers, December 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Hey DD and all…

Did you know that there is a passage in the Bible where the Lord commands “Slay all women who have know men (sexually) and keep the virgins for yourselves”?

The Bible can be pretty harsh too.

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By Malcolm Martin, December 11, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our bourgeois democracy, which has been narrowing in recent years will in time be shut down completely under the pressures of an expanding war in the Middle East and the deep economic crisis which is just around the corner. Elections will never again decide matters of substance in the United States of America.

As our capitalist economy enters its final stages, a nearly seamless political transition to fascism is taking place. The trappings of bourgeois democracy are a brake on profits and so they are being shredded. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights are being rendered meaningless by plans for perpetual war, by presidential signing statements and the theory of the unitary executive, extraordinary rendition, government surveillance programs and the like. Programs based on democratic principles like the public schools, Social Security, Medicare, affirmative action and welfare are being starved to death. Separate and parallel InterNet and military forces are being constructed along with internment camps and the legal construct for a martial law declaration. Blackwater will ultimately fight US military regulars in the streets of this country. (Too many sons and daughters of the working class in the US military to be trusted by the bourgeoisie.) The mass media and electoral machinery and both major political parties are now fully under the control of those with real power–capital. Bloodless coups in 2000 and 2004 installed George W. Bush in the White House and no future ballot will remove the candidates of the ruling class from power.

Pointing out the defects born of our dying economic system and the government that serves it has become as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. The ruling class brushes its liberal democratic/progressive critics off like gnats as long as they stay away from the third rail. But let one of these voices dare mention unity based on working class-consciousness and a mobilization to strike at profits (think Boston Tea Party, Flint Sit-down, Montgomery Bus Boycott) and great danger would shortly thereafter visit.

Let’s dream for a minute, like Dr. King did before he became too dangerously revolutionary to be allowed to live beyond 1968. In this dream, on an appointed day, at an appointed hour, Americans across the country turn their cars off in the street, pocket the keys, and walk home to wait. Wait for the oil industry to be nationalized and the ExxonMobil directorate to be arrested, or better yet, wait for Bush and Cheney to vacate government housing. Hey, December 16th is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party!

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By jackpine savage, December 11, 2007 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Cyrena.  I know the feeling that you expressed all too well.

And i agree with Hal about leadership; unfortunately, there is little to suggest that a new form of leadership is developed enough to make a difference.

I live in an area that is pretty conservative, but i am consistently surprised by the personal statements made by these conservatives.  Granted, this area has been called the cultural and evolutionary cul-de-sac of America, so we’re anything but average.  Still, the mythological individualism of America can still be found here…along with F-250’s and camo ball caps at the food co-op.

Many of the local “conservatives” are actually libertarians and serious environmentalists.  But they are scared by the Democratic Party, or more likely by the propaganda of the Republican Party.  They do, however, consistently elect a Democrat to the House.

We are faced with issues that transcend party ideology, but that ideology is so infectious that individual people have a hard time actually talking long enough to realize that they share ideals and goals.

I do not know how they can be brought together, though i spend too much time wracking my brain trying to figure it out.  And while i agree with Hal, i can’t help but feel that for the moment we need a leader who can get the ear of folks to the left and the right on a few fundamental issues…at least long enough to break the cycle of insults and attacks.

Unfortunately, i see neither such a leader nor such an egalitarian movement on the horizon…

To JadedSage, you are quite correct about simply packing the bags and leaving Iraq to fester: it is not an option.  Fixing the situation will require enlightened diplomacy, and a precondition of that will be the world and Iraqis having some trust in our intentions.  I’m not sure that is possible without We the People doing something to reclaim our country.

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By rowman, December 11, 2007 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

While I agree with some of the concepts here and hate to see my hard earned money wasted by government initiates, I am concerned of the legality of this. We know withholding federal tax will jam you up with the IRS but I thought that even promoting the withholding of federal tax was a crime as well? Does anyone know the legality here?

Why just the war and not the democrats failure to address the AMT that is about to impact the majority of taxpayers and every wasteful pork barrel project in their budget?

RE: #119410 by 1dree5 on 12/11 at 5:12 am
I am pretty sure the disinformation you reference is that which is found in your own posts. There is absolutely nothing available to substantiate your fictitious claims. I was inclined to think that your bigotry was born from extreme anti Semitism but it seems you are more aligned with the White Supremists. Why don’t you take your kkk card toting member rear to your white supremist site.

It’s funny that you accuse dd of trolling as though you have been here for some time. Yet, you only recently registered…. Perhaps it is you who is the troll. Humor us all with your hypocrisy and disclose all of your troll aliases.

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By John, December 11, 2007 at 3:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, what you are saying is that all Americans should stop paying taxes if they disagree with the way their tax dollars are spent.  Sounds like a winner.  I have a job, so I see no reason to fund welfare.  My parents paid for my education at a Catholic school, so I see no need for the government to fund the education system.  I could go on and on and on.  Liberals that use my tax dollars to hug trees and abort babies?  Nope, don’t like that at all either.  I like this stop paying for what you disagree with thing.

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By dd, December 11, 2007 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has got to be the dumbest message board on the Earth….So Iran-ranting about it’s genocidal ambitions , extending their ballistic missile technology and developing nuclear bombs is not a “threat”? Fascinating.

THe “Zionist” media?  I wonder how many of you visionaires and progressives are really ignorant anti-semites who think that the Jihadists are right? 

It seems as if the imbeciles on this board think that the world would be a peaceful paradise if only the U.S wasn’t so evil (Cause you know beheading people and raping and beating women in the name of your God is a “good thing” (read the Koran morons)

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By Hal, December 11, 2007 at 1:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War tax resistance.

General strike.

What else do we need to do?

Wait for leaders? Wait for leaders to get assasinated and derail the resistance? I think the new mode is for much more spread-out leadership. When one leader is gone, another is ready.

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By cyrena, December 11, 2007 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

#119193 by jackpine savage

Jackpine savage, yours is an equally thoughtful essay, and I agree with you a 100%, especially about the responsibility that goes with the fostering of hope. Unfortunately, (as you acknowledge) we are clearly experiencing a dearth of the sort of leadership (honest, responsible, forthright, etc) that MLK represented. I can’t (at least off the top of my head) think of any that have shown themselves in the past 3 decades. Indeed, there may be some out there, as evidenced at least by the occasional great essayist. If so, the M&M;crowd has squashed or otherwise trampled them down. They are either hidden from view, or prevented from getting to view. I don’t know which way to look any longer, for any possible sighting.

Meantime:

#119190 by kath cantarella and #119239 by JadedSage

I’m not sure where your hope is coming from, because I see no signs of diminished violence in Iraq, and if there appears to be, it can only be relative to the constantly evaporating population of Iraqis. Sadly, the past several days show us that nothing has changed there, considering the increase of bombings and other violence surrounding Gates’ most recent visit. A visit, I would add, for the very same purposes to which the Dick-Bush Thugs have been committed for a decade. Again, the oil. That’s the only reason Gates or any of the rest of them are EVER in Iraq. The oil. It’s been elusive, and by the looks of the recent increase in bombings, the Iraqis will remain defiant about the theft of the very last thing they may have left. Their oil.

So, maybe you’re hope is genuine, and you’re just naïve, or maybe you’re trying to trick the rest of us into believing that anything is different from what it ever was. Whatever the case, the reality is what it is, and there will be no ‘peace’ in that nation or region, for as long as the US continues their presence. And, the US has no intention of EVER leaving. How long have we been in Korea? And what are we even stealing from them? What is there in Korea to even protect as a US interest?

No, the headlines below defy your hope, and point to the far uglier reality.

Yes, a general strike might work. I’m sure it would. Getting to that seems to be the problem, because as jackpine savage has said:

•  Too many of us are afraid to take a real stand, at least partly because we are afraid of losing what we have.

And, he’s right. Too many people are afraid of losing what they’ve already lost, even though they still don’t know it. And, as long as people continue to hold on to that illusion, (which isn’t real) and believe, as troublesum has suggested, that it’ll just get better if we elect more democrats, or if Oprah can razzel and dazzle enough of the M&M;crowd that McHammered so aptly describes, then the end is already here. It’s here because those still living with this illusion, don’t know what’s at stake. If they don’t know what’s at stake, then they won’t stand up for it.
Big Oil to Sign Iraq Deals Soon
  By Ben Lando
  UPI

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/121007C.shtml

Gates Overrules Conway: Marines to Remain in Iraq
  By Christopher Kuttruff
  t r u t h o u t | Report

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/121007S.shtml

Bomb Kills Iraqi Police Chief
  By Ann M. Simmons
  The Los Angeles Times

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/121007F.shtml

Ann Wright:
Enduring an Occupation for Oil
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/120507K.shtml

As Iraqis Vie for Kirkuk’s Oil, Kurds Become Pawns
  By Stephen Farrell
  The New York Times

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/120907D.shtml

It was ALWAYS about the oil, and we’re not leaving as long as there is oil there. At least not as long as we the people continue to allow it.

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By PatrickHenry, December 10, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

re: #119201 by Non Credo

Now the Zionist press and the Neocons have unburied the “film that was destroyed” implicating CIA officials and thereby causing them heartburn.  AIPAC controlled U.S. Congressmen will see to it.

Tit for tat.

The way we can get even is vote those bitches and bastards out of office.

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By Ellen Adler, December 10, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Bout time!
Those interested in participating in war tax resistance should visit the national War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee at
http://www.nwtrcc.org/
and the War Resisters League at
http://www.warresisters.org/

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By 13 Martyrs, December 10, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

The Bush administration lulled us into complacency by asking us not to give up a damn thing when Bush et al embarked on this alleged war on terror. To this day, most Americans are simply waiting for the war to end, seeing it as a minor blip on their radar. We already are cynical and complacent. Now we find out that Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats didn’t object to torture when reviewing video tapes. If we don’t rise up now and put an end to this madness the next president could very well carry on what Bush started. Yes, taxpayers refusing to fund this criminal enterprise is the right answer.

http://13martyrs.blogspot.com/

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By JadedSage, December 10, 2007 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am an unashamed liberal but it is time to give up the anti-Iraq War chanting. If you are a liberal the last thing you want is for the masses of Iraqis to go through another anarchic phase. By all measures the violence in Iraq is diminishing. If the US were to pull out now Iraq would simply spiral into another wave of internicide. Though I was against the war from the beginning, remained against the war until this year, it is now time to consider more than just the domestic political consequences of a possible improvement in the lives of the Iraqis. If you support an end to genocide in Darfur, an end to tyranny in Burma then you must now come around to a strategy in Iraq that has an outside chance to bring reconciliation in Iraq.

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By GW=MCHammered, December 10, 2007 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shhh. Americans are too busy injecting M&Ms;, Mindless Materialisms. They don’t hold government or themselves accountable because that’s what Addicts and Pushers do for each other. No taxes. No claimed income. No borrowing. No purchases. “If only there were a way” is all you’ll hear the addict say.

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By Gary Noel Sargent, December 10, 2007 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Hedges neglects to point out that Thoreau’s refusal to pay the poll tax had no effect on the Mexican War (foisted on the public by President Polk’s unsupported claim of “self-defense”). Thoreau spent one night in jail before his friends paid the outstanding tax, so he did not even have a negligable fiscal impact. Were it not for his essay on the events, Thoreau’s protest would not be remembered.

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By kassandraproject, December 10, 2007 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Kassandra Project supports you. Iran is only another excuse to get more economic power for Bush and his staff.
Together against the Iran war!
We’ll link you.

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By troublesum, December 10, 2007 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

The only meaningful form of civil disobedience at this point would be a general strike.  70% now oppose the war.  The question is not ‘why doesn’t congress do something?’ but “why don’t the PEOPLE do something.”  My state has two of the most liberal senators in Washington and I know that their attitude is that government is none of our business.  Our responsibility begins and ends with voting and if we get involved in issues like stopping the war and impeachment, we are out of bounds.  And this is the liberal democrat point of view; the republicans may in fact be less patrician, more inclusive.  So I think we have to get over this idea that everything will be fine if we just elect more democrats; they are more opposed to the riff-raff having a voice than republicans are.  Pelosi’s husband is a billionaire businessman - what the hell does she care what a bunch of nobodies thinks about the war.

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By jackpine savage, December 10, 2007 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A thoughtful essay.  Unfortunately, we are either experiencing a dearth of true, heroic leadership or those leaders cannot make their voices heard above the inane chatter of paid punditry.

The only problem with the idea of refusing to pay taxes as Thoreau did is that the system is far different now.  Our tax dollars do not fund the operation of government at all.  The budget is borrowed from the federal reserve; taxes are used to pay back the loan.  And this is also why balancing the budget is something that politicians can talk about but not actually do.

Still, i wholeheartedly agree with the thesis of this essay.  Right now may be the most important period in American history.  We are being distracted by the spectacle of a presidential election, which will not produce change so much as reshuffle the deck.

It is time for the American people to take back their nation because it may be the last chance that we get.  I wish that i could hold out more hope for massive tax disobedience or a general strike. 

Too many of us are afraid to take a real stand, at least partly because we are afraid of losing what we have.  But what we have is mostly an illusion being clung to with hope that everything will be ok in the end.  It is a hope that lacks responsibility.

MLK hoped, but he took personal responsibility for making that hope reality.  Our hope centers around someone fixing the problems for us, which stems from our belief that we (collectively and individually) are not responsible for the problems that need fixing.

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By kath cantarella, December 10, 2007 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With the latest CIA report refusing to give Bush the required excuse for invading Iran, and with Gates and Rice apparently reigning in Cheney’s war-mongering, it looks like things are slowly turning around over there. I’d like to thank everyone in the US who has spent the last few years reporting and blogging and marching, including the many excellent small presses who have published otherwise stifled voices of dissent. Well done, you people rock my world. (Literally)

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By Bubba, December 10, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Thank you for yet another insightful essay.

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By Verne Arnold, December 10, 2007 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

By Chris Hedges

“Not a lot is being asked of us. Compare our potential sacrifices with what is being inflicted on and demanded of those trapped in the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and soon, perhaps, Iran. Courage, as Aristotle wrote, is the highest of human virtues because without it we are unlikely to practice any other virtue. Once we find courage we find freedom.”


Because of a volunteer army, “we” are not being asked for anything material.  With a volunteer army the everyday citizen may go about their private business undisturbed.  One just needs to step back and the propaganda machine stands out for all to see.  Iran, terrorists (everywhere) just waiting for a chance to attack us, the sub prime crisis, rising interest rates, jobs disappearing, China’s growing military, Hezbollah, Syrian duplicity, Israeli Apartheid; god, the list goes on and on.  No wonder “we” are not paying attention; the neo-cons got us by the short hairs.  From here it is apparent our government has just lost it. 
Chris Hedges article is pretty good and does speak directly to what’s going on, but, is anybody home?

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 10, 2007 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

Quote Chris Hedges: “Refusing to actively resist injustice and flagrant violations of international law, refusing to attempt to turn back the tide of American tyranny, is surrender…”

It is true that in courage, we find freedom. But waiting for this planned-for and desired war to actually happen before resisting will be a little TOO LATE this time. They have already worked that out as part of their strategy to usurp peoples’ democracy for their own gain.

Institutions of democracy are being dismantled in the USA and, consequently, elsewhere. The 9/11-Iraq-Afghanistan round was just the beginning for the opportunists. They will NEVER let people be free after the next round which starts with whatever happens next, planned or pre-emptively!

This is the time NOW to make the gains for positive change from a time of having kept hope alive   - or never again have the chance! Here is another short story of warning for those who understand - and it is based in Iran… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5PoedKBq-Y&feature=related

The story is essentially this - “Resistance IS about affirming life in a world awash in death” .

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