The other day I was talking with a woman who was disheartened that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming background noise, that people were getting used to the idea of war. "I want to shout from the rooftops for peace," she said wistfully, as if the idea was so absurd she almost felt guilty for wanting it.
The soft tone of her voice made me realize that was at least part of the problem. When the Bushco warmongers wanted to get the Iraq war going without too much oversight and accountability, they enlisted the help of hate radio to hold "eat a hot dog for the warmongering jesus" cheerleading campaigns to build up support for the war. Those red, white, and blue balloon and flag infested cook-outs held in parade grounds stinking of bullshit, were very similar to the kinds of rallies other dictators and murderous heads of states held in their own countries to build up support for their hate-filled agendas.
The major difference is that many Americans were bought far more cheaply. They sold their country for a few bad hotdogs and corporate cokes. And for that insulting price, they then became propaganda soldiers in Bush's Armageddon army, spreading the word that war was good, that their god was bigger and better than everyone else's god and he wanted them to kill all the unbelievers in foreign lands. And anyone who opposed such madness was shouted down, had their books and records burned, had their reputations smeared and swift-boated by paid liars, were put on no-fly lists, were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to camps where no one heard from them again.
The few protest marches against the war were subdued affairs of respectability with the ever-present soccer moms holding professionally painted neutral statements of war not being helpful. Everyone was so damned polite. No one wanted to be too so out there they drew the attention of "the authorities." After all, everyone was so respectable now with mortgages they lived in fear would rise an interest point, maxed out credit cards, and big old gas guzzlers that they bought with incentives and tax breaks. They simply could not afford to speak up too loudly. So they marched quietly with neat clothes, perfect little signs, and then went home and told themselves they had done all they could.
Now, thousands of deaths later, those same people are talking wistfully about an end to war and killing because you know, it is just so damn barbaric and uncivilized. And to these people and to myself as well because as a Pacifist, I deplore confrontation and violence of all kind, I say the time has come to speak up and please, let's not be polite about it either.
This war and those to come were not started or kept going by people who were nice. It was started by mean, selfish, greedy liars without a shred of humanity or dignity. Do not worry about offending crap like them. It is your obligation to speak up loud and clear so they can hear you. It is your obligation to do what they do: call your congressional representatives and make some noise. Call those radio hate mongers and get your voice out there. Write a letter to the editor.
You don't even have to leave the computer. Everyone has email these days, even the letters to the editors section. Talk to people. Go out on the streets even if you have to go out there by yourself. It takes one brave and committed human being to bring out the humanity in everyone else. And it also takes a very loud voice. Let yours be heard.
Peace (loudly please)
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