No more war, and no more online petitions

Assassinating a beloved leader is not the way to make friends in the Middle East, and online petitions won’t sway anyone to stop the march toward war.

The pretender in the Oval Office is working like mad to get us involved in a shooting war in the Middle East because death and mayhem is the perfect distraction from his other crimes.

And if you think that petition on your Facebook page is going to make any difference at all, think again. If you sign an online petition, it gives the organization putting it out there access to your contact information, and your inbox will be clogged with demands for money. That’s about all that will happen.

I’ll say from the outset that I’m anti-war. I have been all my life.

I came of age after the generals lied about Tonkin to get us to escalate the conflict in Vietnam because we had to stop the Commies over there before they arrived on our shores.

I have lived through numerous petty conflicts (Grenada and Panama in the 1980s) and major blowups (Iraq/Kuwait, Afghanistan, second Iraq) and lots of saber rattling. In the end, the war mongers wound up richer and the rest of us got nothing.

Wars are fought for the profit of the wealthy, and if you don’t think that’s true, look at the spikes in the stock values of the military industrial complex and the price of gas. If you’re invested in that stuff, you’ve already made a profit.

I’m not certain how we stop this seemingly inexorable march to conflict, but I do know it won’t be averted by any online petition.

I don’t know of a single time online petitions worked to stop a war — or even the confirmation of a breathtakingly unqualified judge.

We have to be there in person — hit the streets, visit the offices of legislators. I don’t think phone calls will work, and I’m not sure anything will work to sway Republicans, who appear to place party above the safety of the planet and every human being on it.

I don’t know how you fight that, but I am certain it won’t be because Mitch McConnell and Mark Meadows looked at a million signatures. In fact, I think even 10 million signatures won’t sway them. I think they would laugh and say, “Fuck them!” and go to war in the Middle East.

And now Iraq is expelling US troops, which will allow Putin’s people to move in. Assassinating General Qasem Soleimani played right into Putin’s hand. We got rid of a general who wasn’t friendly to Putin and who was a national hero to his people, and our influence in the region will be replaced by Russia’s.

We’re going to hear a lot of lies in the coming days. We’re going to see a whole lot of flag-waving and chanting of “USA, USA!” We’re going to be told every Iranian is a spy or a terrorist, when the truth is the spy/terrorist is squatting in the Oval Office and his accomplice is the leader in the Senate.

Our only way forward is to be in the streets and in the Capitol.

Please, do not, I repeat DO NOT fall for the online petition ploy. Sitting on your ass typing in your name and address so Move On can get your contact information and clog up your inbox with requests for money is not the solution.

The time has come for real action — getting out into the streets the way they’re doing in France and Hong Kong. It is the only way we can defeat the oligarchs, who have managed to take over almost everything.

When our demonstrations get in the way of their profit, they will listen. Until then, they have us trapped.

I am NOT calling for violence, I am calling for millions of us to be in the streets, stopping traffic, stopping commerce, and in their offices so they can’t conduct business as usual. They can arrest thousands of us, but if we keep coming, they’ll have to listen.

As Rev. William Barber says, “You can be woke, but that isn’t enough. You must rise up.”

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