Stop Smoking the Democrack
By Cindy Sheehan and David Swanson
April 01, 2015 "ICH"
- The U.S. government is toying with a war
with nuclear Russia while already waging
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, having done
severe damage to Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and
Somalia. Military spending is climbing ever
higher. Presidential war powers are ever
more extreme. The proliferation of nuclear
technology is combining with the ease and
secrecy of drone wars to raise the risk of a
Dr. Strangelove finish to the human species.
And, let's face it, you had more time to
give a damn when the president was a
The top means by which war kills is the
diversion of unfathomable piles of money
away from life-saving initiatives. That
spending continues without pause. President
Obama and most of Congress want it increased
even more next year. The Congressional
Progressive Caucus just put out a budget
that made no mention of military spending
but -- if you searched through the numbers
-- was proposing to cut it by 1% ($13
billion of $1.3 trillion in spending across
several departments). We're talking about
the single item that takes up over half of
discretionary spending. One or two percent
of it could make U.S. college education
free, or end starvation on earth. A bigger
slice could take on climate protection.
Everyone across the inch-wide chasm of the
political divide in Washington prefers to
see the militarism continue. Of 100
senators, 100 favor sanctions on Iran.
Bipartisanship is alive and well when it
comes to war promotion.
The top risk from war is nuclear holocaust.
That danger continues to grow with active
U.S. assistance. The second worst thing a
U.S. president can do about war is grab more
war powers and pass them on to all future
presidents. In that regard, President Obama
has outdone President Bush. Lying to
Congress is now totally routine: Congress
and the United Nations can simply be
ignored. Secrecy has mushroomed. President
Obama picks out men, women, and children to
murder from a list on Tuesdays. The public,
the Congress, and the courts have no say and
often no knowledge. President Obama has
dramatically increased U.S. weapons sales
abroad -- the U.S. being far and away the
top supplier of weapons to regions that the
U.S. public thinks of as inherently
While Obama's body count doesn't yet begin
to approach Bush's in terms of people
directly and violently killed, that's not a
standard that will get us to survival, much
less peace and prosperity.
Why do so many people think of the political
party that lied the United States into two
world wars, the Korean war, the war on
Vietnam, the Kosovo war, the Libya war, and
the war on ISIS -- the party that dropped
the nukes on Japan -- as a party for peace?
Why do longtime war advocates like Charles
Schumer and Hillary Clinton get a pass? What
benefit from making Hillary president could
outweigh shutting down the peace movement
for 4 or 8 years?
Hillary was instrumental in persuading her
husband to bomb the former Yugoslavia
against the will of Congress. She pushed for
the 2003 attack on Iraq and the 2011 attack
on Libya. She tried to get a U.S. war on
Syria going in 2013. She pushed for the
Obama-era escalation in Afghanistan -- a war
that is now more Obama's than Bush's by
Hillary has urged Iran to be aware that she
could "obliterate" it. She has giggled with
pleasure at having killed Muamar Gadaffi.
She's hawkish on Ukraine.
What can be done?
Tell people you know what warmaking has
become, because someday the president will
be a Republican and they'll grow outraged.
Give up on the idea of bestowing royal
tokenism on every deserving demographic
before the planet's trashed. We don't have
that kind of time to work with.
Oregon has just made voter registration
automatic, and California is proposing the
same. Devote yourself to making sure that
your state does likewise, and refuse to any
longer think of registering people to vote
as useful activism or to waste your time
Rather than giving a blank check to war
mongering for the next nearly two years and
then possibly beginning to object, save us
all the suffering and pretend the president
right now is Dick Cheney. Protest
Sheehan is the mother of Spc Casey
Sheehan who was murdered in Iraq on 04/04/04
by the US Empire and has become a
non-flinching and uncompromising peace
activist and host of her own podcast:
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox and Editor in
Chief of the
Soapbox People's Network.
Swanson is an author, activist,
journalist, and radio host. He is director
WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign
RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include
War Is A Lie. He blogs at
WarIsACrime.org. He hosts
Talk Nation Radio. He is a
2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
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