Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006


by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
Dummerston, Vt.

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Despite President Bush's outright lie that when it comes to war with Iraq, "America speaks with one voice," the anti-war movement has been steadily growing.

Consider these reports, which I find heartening:

  • Bush's own United Methodist church has launched a scathing attack against his plans to attack Iraq, saying they are "without any justification according to the teachings of Christ."
  • When Bush's press secretary Ari Fleischer, Middlebury '82, returned to the Vermont campus earlier this month to receive an alumni achievement award, over 1,000 war protesters filled the streets.
  • When Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chickenhawk (a "chickenhawk" is a rabidly pro-war official who ducked out of his own military obligations), 2004 presidential hopeful, and one of the 29 Democrats who voted in favor of war with Iraq, visited New Hampshire recently, he too met with dissent.

In Nashua, Lieberman was told by Morton Goulder, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter, "Preemptive strikes against people you don't like is crazy." Goulder also called Bush a "terrorist in the White House."

Lieberman's weak reply was that he hoped the resolution would lead the United Nations to action. He added, "Nobody wants to go to war."

  • The organization Not In Our Name (www.nion.us) has collected more than 28,000 signatures for a "Statement of Conscience" that ran in U.S.A Today on Oct. 18-20.

    Part of that statement reads: "We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do -- we must first of all oppose the injustice that is done in our own name. Thus we call on all Americans to RESIST the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world."

    NION is seeking funds in order to run the statement in other newspapers.

  • Ten thousand people marched in Seattle against the war resolution. Thousands more marched in New York City. Over 400 marched in my small town of Brattleboro. People marched in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Houston, Austin, Buffalo, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Boston, Anchorage and Kansas City. Anti-war rallies in England drew 400,000; in Italy, they drew over 1.5 million.
  • As of Oct. 22, MoveOn (moveon.org), the Internet political action network, has raised over $1.4 million to support the campaigns of Senators who voted against the Iraq resolution. (23 Senators and 133 Representatives found the strength to vote against the resolution. All three of Vermont's delegates, I'm proud to say, voted against it.)

    "In the wake of last Thursday's vote on Iraq, the Bush Administration and the Republican far right are going on the offensive," MoveOn said in an email last week. "The President would like nothing more than to demonstrate that when Democrats speak out against the President's endless war, they lose."

    During the next 24 hours, MoveOn raised $400,000. By the next day, that number had climbed to $900,000. By Oct. 17, it was $1.25 million from over 30,000 individual donors.

    "Senator Paul Wellstone's predicament is typical," MoveOn said. "Wellstone is in the political fight of his life - slightly behind in the polls to a far-right candidate flush with cash and hand-picked by Karl Rove to remove him from office. Wellstone knew that if he voted against the resolution, his opponent would seize on the issue, unleashing a barrage of attack ads and accusations. But despite the enormous pressure to capitulate, Wellstone spoke his conscience and voted against the war: 'A pre-emptive go-it-alone strategy towards Iraq is wrong. I oppose it.'"

    MoveOn has raised $560,000 for Wellstone's campaign.

    "Beating President Bush in the election is a sure way to send him the message that he's leading the country astray," MoveOn said. "We cannot let war win elections."

    • This Saturday, Oct. 26, there will be a non-violent march on the White House. Buses are coming to D.C. from as far away as Minnesota and 27 other states. A concurrent march will be held in San Francisco.

    In D.C., the rally will be held at 11 a.m. at the Constitution Gardens adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, at 21st St. & Constitution Ave. N.W. It will be followed by a march to the White House.

    In San Francisco, there will be a rally at 11 a.m. at the Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market St. at Embarcadero. It will be followed by a march to Civic Center Plaza. (For more information on both marches, click on internationalanswer.org.)

    We know that when challenged, bullies back down. In the past week or two we've seen President Bush and his colleagues start the process. Already, the U.S. has announced it will not seek a UN resolution to allow military forces to accompany UN weapons inspectors in Iraq.

    And the administration has announced that no matter how much it deserves to attack Iraq for the possibility that it is pursuing nuclear weapons, it will certainly do no such thing to North Korea, which has announced that it actually does have a nuclear weapons program. In other words, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will attack the weak, but they run from the strong.

    The U.S. mid-term elections are in less than two weeks. They are the next battlefield. The question, "Can the Democrats retain the Senate and become stronger in the House?" even overrides the question many of us have been asking for years, "When will the Democrats develop spines?"

    "As strategists look back at this election over the years to come, either they'll say, 'President Bush manufactured a war and won at the polls' or they'll say, 'President Bush manufactured a war and lost at the polls,'" MoveOn said.

    America is starting to wake up, and it is certainly not speaking with one voice. Maybe there is reason to hope.

    Joyce Marcel is a free-lance journalist who writes about culture, politics, economics and travel.

    Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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