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.”

It isn’t about hate?

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP People wave Confederate flags outside the hotel that President Barack Obama is staying the night, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Oklahoma City.  Obama is traveling in Oklahoma to visit El Reno Federal Correctional Institution. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP
People wave Confederate flags outside the hotel where President Barack Obama is staying Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Obama is in Oklahoma to visit El Reno Federal Correctional Institution. 

When President Obama arrived in Oklahoma City last night, he was greeted by a crowd of people waving the Confederate battle flag and shouting their displeasure.

While it’s true the majority of people there had come to support the President, this group of about 80 people made the whole city look bad.

I support their right to be there, and to heckle the country’s first African-American president with a symbol offensive to most African-Americans. It’s all protected by the First Amendment. However, when you scream hateful things at someone while waving a flag you know to be offensive to him, you lose your credibility when you say the flag is not a symbol of hate.

I know I said awful things about Bush, Cheney & company, and I stand by those things because it was about policy. I was willing to give Bush a chance after the Supreme Court anointed him, but he blew it all on two ill-advised wars, one of them an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11.

President Obama has just finished crafting a deal with Iran that will bring them back into the world economy and allow for inspections of their nuclear program. He did it without “boots on the ground” or bombs in the air.

He did it quietly and without fanfare — and without public saber-rattling.

And he was attacked as soon as the deal was announced.

War is big business, and if we stabilize things in the Middle East, there might be no more war there. That would make the Military Industrial Complex unhappy.

And if, as our president wants, we revamp our “justice” system, big jail corporations lose money.

The right wing rules by fear — fear that Muslims are coming for us in our sleep. When I was a child, it was the Communists who were coming for us in our sleep. That’s why we fought in Vietnam, so we wouldn’t have to fight them here. That’s why we fought in Iraq, so we wouldn’t have to fight them here.

Do you see a pattern? Of course. But Fox News viewers won’t see it because they’re swallowing everything the fear-mongers have to say.

This president, although I disagree with him on some issues, has accomplished a great deal in spite of every effort by the Republicans to derail him.

Hate him all you want, but history likely will judge him as one of our best, and Bush will go down as our worst.

 

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