A group of activists calling themselves Fort Hood Disobeys recently tried to block the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to Iraq from Fort Hood. The activists were labeled anti war protestors by another media outlet, which is okay by me. It's about time we got some action on the anti war protesting front. It's about time real people started to once again voice their concern in a more pertinent way than simply begging politicians, who obviously couldn't care less, to end these expensive and deadly occupations. One can only hope that this example of civil disobedience is followed up by more incidents and greater disobedience from those who were so boisterous when George Bush was in office but have remained so silent since Barack Obama became president.
Of course this action was not covered for the most part by the corporate mainstream media, at least not that I saw. I read about it on an Internet news source, which seems to be the only place where one can find real and significant news these days. You won't see this story on FOX or CNN or any of the corporate networks because, with very few exceptions, they no longer seem interested in covering the news. They are more interested in making the news. They are more interested in diverting attention away from what is important and toward fluff items of little significance. God forbid the populous should learn that there are still people out there who care enough about ending wars of aggression to actually do something about it.
I commend these individuals for their bravery in standing up to the US military. This action, in my mind, harkens back to an incident in 1989 where a young Chinese man stood in front of tanks in an effort to avoid bloodshed in Tiananmen Square. There, one man showed us that at least the spirit of liberty lives on. He showed us that the actions of a few, or even an individual, can ignite a fire in the hearts of millions, especially if the cause is just. Of course, his actions were broadcast and propagandized worldwide because it seemed appropriate at the time to do so. Things are a bit different in this situation. Big government and big corporations are profiting from this war and they wouldn't want the populous to believe their wars were anything but just.
Did I mention that most of those protesting were ex military? These are the people who are most against these wars. Those who think that war protestors are only peaceniks who don't understand the reasoning behind wars are deluding themselves. War protestors and pro peace activists understand all too well what war is about. It's not about keeping America safe. It's not about protecting the innocent. It's not about bringing democracy to the poor, uneducated masses of some third world nation. It's not even about revenge for some convoluted terrorist attack that took place nine years ago. It's about money. It's about power. It's about building an empire. It's about controlling people and natural resources. It's about sacrificing the little people for the benefit of the elite.
There are those detractors who question the wisdom of so few protesting in such a seemingly futile fashion. There are those who will claim that nothing was accomplished, that the deployment they tried to stop went on anyway. Yet it is the few that can have the greatest affect. It is the few speaking out that help the many understand an alternative viewpoint. This is especially true when the few have experienced something that the many haven't. Something was accomplished, even if the effects don't show up immediately. Those in charge now know that some people care. Those in charge now know there are those who are not simply going to roll over and obey. Those in charge now know there are some ex military personnel who are not going to merely keep silent and get on with their lives while others are sent to kill and oppress in a far off land for a faceless, uncaring elite. This is but a small pebble landing in a lake that leads to big ripples. The only thing that evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing.
There are other detractors who will question the tactics of these civilly disobedient activists. They may believe that protesting through proper channels is the better way to bring about meaningful change. They may advocate voting in anti war candidates or writing to congressmen. While I don't necessarily disagree with those methods, in fact I encourage them, it seems to me that they haven't been very effective so far. Still, even a little effort is better than none.
Barack Obama, for instance, was catapulted into office at least in part because he made promises to stop the unethical occupation going on in Iraq. We haven't seen that happen. We still have troops stationed there and I've heard talk about keeping them there forever, just like we've done with Germany, Japan and South Korea. He was elected because he intimated he would change the way government goes about its business, that he would bring more transparency and even reverse some of the mistaken policies of the Bush administration. So far, he has kept none of his promises that I can think of. He is nothing but a typical politician, eloquent with his words, quick to promise the electorate what they want, but unable or unwilling to follow through with those promises.
This type of flip flopping, of promising one thing and doing another is an age old political maneuver. It seems to me that it's not necessarily the politicians themselves that are the problem, it's the system. As long as they think they can get away with it, they will continue making promises they can't or won't keep. As long as they aren't held accountable for their deviate actions, they will continue to act like the political animals they are.
As for writing your congressman, need I remind you of the bailouts of 2008? Those bailouts were passed despite ten of thousands of letters and emails against them from congressional constituents. Both Barack Obama and John McCain rushed back to the senate from their campaign trails to vote for those bailouts despite popular opposition to the bills. Who were they representing? Certainly not the common folk. This type of behavior continues as evidenced with the continuing bailouts and the unpopular health care bill that coerces individuals with threatening punishments if they don't buy the state mandated health care insurance. The demand to repeal such unconstitutional laws and roll back the federal government is being ignored. So long as we continue to obey and pay our taxes they will continue to ignore popular sentiment, intrude upon your personal life and business, and empower themselves to the point where your voice is silenced and only the powerful elite oligarchs and their interests matter.
We have been left with few other alternatives. Only civil disobedience seems to work to bring about positive change. Certainly the other methods remain viable, but only as a measure of how unpopular certain policies have become. There must be those willing to get out there and protest. There must be those willing to partake in civil disobedience and who refuse to go along with the program. That is how Gandhi helped win independence for India. That is how the civil rights movement in America in the 60s succeeded. That is a big reason why the Vietnam occupation was ended. I applaud those who took part in this important action and I hope to see in the near future even more support for their efforts.
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