Friday, May 2, 2008

The World Can't Wait

by Debra Sweet

With six months until the presidential election and eight months left in Bush's term, it's time to hold an important discussion and assessment of what we've been able to accomplish with the World Can't Wait's mission to drive out the Bush Regime and what the future of this movement should be.

We have not been able to achieve the level of mass resistance and public repudiation needed to drive out the Bush Regime. The huge reservoir of people who are deeply distressed over the direction in which the Bush regime is dragging the country -- and the world -- has not risen to the kind of widespread political revolt needed. Yet its existence is widely being recognized as a potential political force and factor, one that is being appealed to by the Democrats and mobilized in particular by the Obama campaign as people demanding a change from the horrible course of the Bush years.

This level of discontent would not exist without what we and others have done to mount resistance. The debacle this regime has created is clearly part of the political flux going on in the country. But the sea change of sentiment on the war, and the disgust and shame people feel about torture and war crimes and the hatred people feel for a president caught lying who then keeps on lying, would not be at all what it is without us.

The debate in World Can't Wait over the Obama campaign is an important one to have. I think that the kind of change people are looking for won't be found with Obama, and that elections are never the way decisions about matters of substance are made. Others in World Can't Wait are supporting Obama for a variety of reasons. But all of us in this debate think that the direction this society has gone is extremely dangerous, and that unless there is massive and public repudiation from the people of this country, much of this direction will be continued, and even if reshaped, maintained and normalized. We can't in our name allow torture, rendition, pre-emptive wars of aggression, attacks on civil liberties and civil rights, assaults on women and immigrants to continue. The WORLD STILL CAN'T WAIT to bring all of this to a halt.

It's not time to count us out! There are factors that may well make possible driving out the Bush Regime even in this last year: the possibility of Bush bombing Iran, the potential of “torture gate,” opening up, just to name things that are already on the landscape. Even on the last day Bush is in office, it would make a world of difference if the PEOPLE were able to effect “a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed”.

But as we move into these last months of the regime, we also have to look soberly at the fact that politics in the US are increasingly dominated by and being corralled into the Presidential election.

I am still convinced that politics as usual will not meet the enormity of the damage that has been done. We will not reverse it, or stop the Bush program from being codified and sanctioned by the next administration without the people acting independently of the kind of politics being defined and allowed by an election. As we said in January, “George Bush is unrelenting in his determination to drive the savageness of his agenda into the next administration."

The World Can’t Wait. Is that still true?

This month the world - and most acutely the people of Iraq - will have suffered five full years of an illegitimate occupation based on lies, perpetrated by the proven liars of the Bush regime. According to a British study in September over one million Iraqis have been killed in the mass destruction and dislocation of the occupation, and 4.5 million are displaced from their homes. Half of those have been forced from Iraq. This is going on NOW.

But what are the parties in this election talking about? John McCain has adopted the Bush scheme to “win,” with a surge that has temporarily lowered death tolls by walling in and emptying neighborhoods, setting the scene for a civil war that is beginning to erupt. U.S. commanders and their Iraqi puppets can’t even leave the Green Zone. The puppet Prime Minister Maliki is making deals with Bush, around the will of Iraq’s elected body, for unlimited US presence in Iraq. McCain is threatening Iran and joking about it.

What do Obama and Clinton say about the region? They will “re-deploy” troops in the region and keep the huge US Embassy and bases open in Iraq. Everything Obama says is in service of domination of the US empire over the Mideast, and has nothing to do with justice or sovereignty of the countries involved. In the Texas debate Obama said that staying in Iraq “is going to distract us from Afghanistan. That was a mistake,” echoing Joe Biden, in the New York Times, who warned that Afghanistan is “the real central front in the war on terrorism.” Obama says “We should be going after al Qaeda and making sure that Pakistan is serious about hunting down terrorists,” and that all the focus on Iraq keeps the US “diverted from focusing on Latin America,” so they can’t suppress the influence of Hugo Chavez and other leaders who criticize the US.

Obama says the US has to keep the “strongest military in the world,” and his campaign acknowledges that he would have to increase the numbers of private contractors like Blackwater in Iraq to do so, and add 100,000 troops to the U.S. military. The 1996 Solomon Amendment, which both Obama and Clinton recently voiced their continued support of, provides for the Secretary of Defense to deny federal funding to institutions of higher learning if they prohibit or prevent ROTC or military recruitment on campus. That's the kind of politics being defined by and allowed by the political process, politics that go after suppressing any actions of the people that might meaningfully stop this war.

None of the Obama or Clinton plans to withdraw troops in 60 days ends the war, but only reshapes it in the service of a broader reach for empire. Let’s just be for real. None of the substantive questions of policy are even up for discussion in the election. The differences among all the candidates are taking place within very narrow margins: every potential president is pledged to use military force against al-Qaeda, Iran, and Afghanistan, and to an unbending alliance with Israel.

Torture at Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and at the secret “black sites” of the CIA was approved and orchestrated by the Bush administration since early 2002. When the news that some tapes had been destroyed was leaked, the CIA was forced to admit the torture. Now Bush and Cheney and the replacement attorney general Mukasey are upholding torture as a necessary part of the ”war on terror.” Six detainees from Guantanamo are to be tried in military commissions under the threat of death, and we find out from the horses mouth, Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for the military commissions, that “no acquittals will be allowed,” causing him to quit in protest and testify for the defense. This is going on NOW.

But NO candidate is making the obvious moral call for impeachment based on lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and for war crimes, or insisting on the repeal of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which made harsh interrogation methods legal, gave the president arbitrary powers to designate who could be held without charges or access to lawyers, and provides amnesty from prosecution in international courts for torture or those who authorize it, going back to 2001. Both Obama and Clinton voted for re-authorizing the USA Patriot Act, with even less burden on the government to justify searches and surveillance. Neither Obama nor Clinton voted at all when the recent law against the CIA using torture came up, while McCain voted against it, because, while he says he’s against the military using torture, he doesn’t want to stop the CIA from using it.

This is NO break with the torture state put together by Bush.

A whole U.S. city was rapidly emptied of Black and poor people; first because of a natural disaster and refusal by the Bush regime to rescue those hurt by Katrina, and then through federal destruction of public housing and schools and deliberate exile of 40% of the city’s population by government decree and private development. A wave of threatening “nooses” were hung across the country, as if reverting one hundred years in the culture to commonplace lynching is still the way to keep Black people “in their place.” This is going on NOW.

McCain recently refused to distance himself from supporter John Hagee, a radio preacher who says the cause of Hurricane Katrina was the “homosexual sin” in New Orleans. In the face of open white supremacy, and white supremacists screaming about his former minister’s condemnation of the ongoing effects of slavery on Black people, Obama says, “we’re all one nation.” Clinton supports what she calls the “smart” way to police the fence being built along the Mexican border. Where is there any condemnation of the ICE raids breaking up families, the detention centers where people without papers are held like criminals for months?

In The Democrats’ Sleight of Hand Dennis Loo wrote that the Democrats “will not take on and repudiate, they will not fight against and expose, the fundamental lie of the Bush White House - that anything and everything is acceptable, including torture, massive, illegal spying, indefinite detentions, and mass murder - in the name of "defending American lives" and in the name of "national security." In fact, the Democrats will not take on anything that vaguely hints at challenging the rightness of American Empire and American dominance and plunder. No civil liberty, no civil right, no law, nor Constitutional provision, no international law or institution (e.g., the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the Geneva Conventions), no common human decency, and no scruple is safe from their aggressive and immoral assertions that it's OK to do monstrous things as long as you wrap it in the garb of ‘protecting Americans' lives and property.’”

THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT has been out in front of everyone else, setting the pace, the mood, the anger, for the national indignation against the war, for impeachment, against all the Bush policies. Howard Zinn, February 2008

Being able to examine what is still needed has to be looked at from the perspective of why we came together to begin with. One way of seeing this is to try and imagine what things would be like if World Can’t Wait had not ever existed. What would the political atmosphere be like without us? What kind of example did we set? Would things be better or worse if we had not attempted to do what we set out to?

In July 2005, we issued a Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime, at a time when many people were feeling hopeless about Bush’s reelection, and even questioning whether there were people who could act to stop him. World Can’t Wait became a vehicle and voice for the people who refuse to be ruled in this way. This system has never been just. But we are not just looking for a strategy to get a lot of people together. We came together with a concrete mission and objective to seize every opportunity to build mass opposition to the crimes of the Bush regime in order to actually drive it from power. We built it to “join in with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped.“

Have we been proven right or wrong in the analysis made in our Call?

Our Call says, “The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come.” We put all of what was happening into a comprehensive understanding of the whole direction and first raised the warning, “that which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn - or be forced - to accept”. Some people said that using the “f” word was “too extreme,” and that we were saying things in our Call that shouldn’t be said. The secret and illegal violations of the FISA law were revealed in December of 2005, and suddenly saying that “People look at Bush and think of Hitler” wasn’t such a stretch.

In the last year, two books with “fascist” in their titles sold well. Chris Hedges sounded the alarm about the fascist movement being built by the Christian Right and Naomi Wolf traced the fascist shift taking place in government. Anyone who thinks that the Christian Fascists are gone is wrong in dismissing the Huckabee campaign, the fascist social movement it continues to build, and the homage and dues McCain is paying them.

What if there was no mass opposition building resistance and challenging the people to act against all this being done in our names? What if there had been no focus on the moral challenge this whole package puts before us? And if we hadn’t backed it up with concrete political action? World Can’t Wait and others who have been working to change the very bad dynamics at work in this society, where an ethos that anything goes - torture, pre-emptive war, scuttling legal norms that protect the rights of people not to be spied upon, arrested with out cause, right to a lawyer and hearing the charges against you - were given legitimacy in the name of keeping Americans safe from the “terrorists”. Without what we and others have done to resist this, we would not be seeing this kind of massive sentiment for a change among such a broad swath of society. There would not be the mass discontent trying to find a vehicle through the elections.

Thousands of people joined in mass mobilizations, raised public awareness and started a needed discussion on what YOUR Government is doing and the responsibility of people to stop it. Not enough did. But were we wrong in anything we said about the disaster caused by the Bush regime?

If anything, it’s gone further than many who signed our Call expected. The Democrats have been accomplices in much of this, from voting in their majority for every single fund request from Bush to kill Iraqi civilians, re-authorizing the USA Patriot Act, passing the Military Commissions Act, to approving two Supreme Court justices who have already tipped the Supreme Court further in favor of corporate rights over persons, white supremacy over the goal of desegregation, and upheld the first ban on abortion.

What would be the situation now if the Democrats had really opposed and filibustered just one Supreme Court nomination? They would have had the backing and support of millions. But they didn't because they share, at the most fundamental level, the objectives and interests of their opponents in government, and not the objectives and interests of the people at the base of the party they lead. Back in 2001, we were told by the liberal Democrats not to get upset about the PATRIOT Act’s broad attacks on civil liberties, because those provisions would expire in 2006. What happened then? It was re-authorized with more powers for the government to sneak and peek and repress people, with the support of all the Senators who ran for president.

They have disgusted and disheartened millions who are still looking for a savior from the Democratic Party.

“That which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn - or be forced - to accept.” We often, in taking out the NO TORTURE banners, find people who still have no idea that the US government tortures people, or even that the war in Iraq is still going on. And you wouldn’t know any of this either if your only reference was the presidential debates or FOX News.

So, even though people said, “you shouldn’t do that”, we stepped in to the debate among the torturers over whether waterboarding is torture, and did public, professionally acted demonstrations of what the technique is. Would anyone know this if courageous people hadn’t set out to make the wearing of orange jumpsuits, the black hoods and shackles detainees are forced to wear, real? Two years ago people were stepping over us as we knelt on the ground in orange jumpsuits and hoods. Today, torture became a featured subject at the Academy Awards, seen by one billion people, when Taxi to the Dark Side won, and its director spoke out. Professional associations like the American Psychological Association divided over participation in torture, a crisis among the writers of the TV show “24” that made torture acceptable and examples that something is shifting in public sentiment.

Along with the dozens of witnesses, researchers, the judges and organizers of the Bush Crimes Commission, we pursued and proved an indictment of the Bush administration on the basis of international standards, concluding that, on five counts, they are guilty of crimes against humanity. Some counseled that you can’t talk this way if you want impeachment. But the evidence is there and continues to come forward for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Even George McGovern, in his January 2008 call for impeachment giving torture, war crimes and Katrina as grounds for impeachment, quoted a political commentator speaking on Katrina, who said that he had “never seen anything has badly handled and mismanaged.”

World Can’t Wait, through our consistent identification of the Bush program as a package of extreme danger, has contributed to changing the way millions of people see the Bush regime as criminals who should have “been gone”. Before we came together, people thought there was nothing that individual people could do on a scale that millions could see a newspaper ad or a protest so directly saying what they think themselves. World Can’t Wait represents something the world needs.

David Swanson writes that World Can’t Wait is “willing to take consistent principled positions based on listening to the concerns of a wide segment of the population, with no hint of contamination by money, power, or partisanship. Rarely do you find an organization able to consistently mobilize significant numbers of people into action. Very rarely do you find groups able to work well with other groups in coalitions. Rarest of all is a campaign that unites all three of these things and does so consistently and unrelentingly over a period of years, bringing inspiration to people struggling against defeatism and resignation. The best example of this on the national scene is the World Can't Wait.”

John Nichols awarded us “most valuable crusade” because when “no one else seemed to be getting serious about challenging the Bush-Cheney administration's taste for torture, THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT movement developed an orange campaign… a smart, uncompromising challenge to untenable practices and an untenable status quo.” And James Abourezk: “When most of the country was trying to decipher what was wrong with the direction to which America was heading, Debra Sweet and her organization had already figured out what was wrong and what to do about it. They believed in organizing like-minded people to build a resistance to the Bush onslaught of stolen elections, unnecessary wars, torture as a policy.”

Yes, people are hoping the elections will bring an end to all the outrages visited upon the world and the country by the Bush regime. Whether all that hope gets channeled into the elections and into candidates who will continue the war on terror, or if the intense politicization that is bringing people into activity can also bring people into mass resistance.

Is it still true the world can’t wait for such action? Or can it? What we do matters

There are openings now for civil repudiation that must unfold and blossom and peak this year if we want theses crimes against humanity to actually be brought to a halt.

Are we willing to go along with any of this? What will the world - people in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo, in the Lower 9th Ward - think if we allow it? A lot depends on what WE do.

Where will the hopes of the WORLD rest if we sit back and wait on Obama or Clinton to reverse the Bush program? What will things look like the day after the elections if we were to sum up we’ve been wrong and abandon bringing this whole disastrous direction to a halt?

When I hear people in World Can’t Wait say “I’m tired,” I understand the difficulty we are confronting, and the desire for things to be easier than they have been. But I look at why we are doing this, and look at how tired of this war the whole world is, not to mention how desperate the people who have taken the brunt of it are. We do have a choice, from the

When someone says, “I want to believe the soothing words of Obama and hope there is a savior,” I can’t get with that. Will there be a savior, or will there not? Even people in World Can’t Wait who disagree with me on Obama -- this is something we should discuss and debate as we go forward -- see the need for people to not be passive observers and victims, but to act themselves to make history.

I’ve been looking at what different people I respect are saying about the elections:

Dennis Loo asks again, “Are we willing to follow the immoral sleight of hand trick that the major candidates are purveying? Even if you feel that getting someone else into the White House in January 2009 is critical, are you willing to say that the daily torture and the daily new outrages of shredding any legal protections against dictatorial and fascistic actions are something that can be allowed to continue every single day for the next year?

Paul Haggis, who helped spread orange ribbons at the Oscars last month, said in 2006, “As heretical as this may sound, I am more afraid of the wrong Democrat winning the White House than I am the wrong Republican -- because then we will feel the need to support ‘our’ president, and his or her ‘difficult decisions’ on how to ‘do the right thing for Iraq’ and ‘withdraw with honor.’ We will divide, and conquer, ourselves.”

The revolutionary Bob Avakian: “If you try to make the Democrats be what they are not, and never will be, you will end up being more like what the Democrats actually are.”

Cindy Sheehan: When she quit the Democratic Party almost a year ago – the second time the Democrats voted to fund the occupation of Iraq after they pledged to end the war, sher wrote of them “You have bought yourself a few more months of an illegal and immoral bloodbath.”

What if in the hundred or so years it took to abolish slavery in this country, the Abolitionists had stopped half way, and said, some slavery is really OK in some states? Were the people who defied Hitler right, even if they were a minority, or were the people who went along with Nazi rule right? And does the outcome show that if they did not succeed in stopping the final solution, they were wrong? Was it not worth it to put their lives on the line to attempt to stop it?

Because the majority of people in Iran went with Khomeini when he captured the leadership of the Iranian Revolution in 1980, did that make the people who were fighting for a secular society and against imperialism wrong, and the Islamic fundamentalists right? Has the measure of any moral position ever been that it must gain a majority - or a big following - to stand the test of history?

In 2005, a lot of people said, nice idea removing Bush, but it’s never going to happen. “You can’t say drive out the Bush regime. You’ve got to work through the established political processes.” We said those politics as usual have proven to be a disaster, leading to political demobilization and passivity that allows all this to go on. If the people don’t stop it, why do you think those in power will?

Were we wrong in what we said was needed?

And, how do we go forward?

1. We still have a lot of work to do among the people. World Can’t Wait has dared to identify and challenge some of the “conventional wisdom” in this society that has tended to retard political resistance to Bush’s crimes:
The shared assumption of many people that the “war on terror” is justified and needed, and that the war on Iraq was a mistaken diversion from it.

Invading and occupying Iraq is a major piece of the Bush regime’s strategy to seize control of the Middle East, as an unchallenged and unchallengeable superpower. Bush’s strategy of 5 countries in 5 years hit a big obstacle in Iraq, but that hasn’t kept him from planning regime change in Iran, putting together the network of secret prisons, rendition and torture that created a war of terror. It’s been the anti war sentiment around the world and the debacle of the Iraq war that have prevented them from moving forward with their whole agenda and mission.

Within the US, people have allowed the country to get used to level of surveillance and repression of dissent that would shame Big Brother. Where even ten years ago, courts gave the edge to privacy for citizens, and openness to government, this has been dramatically reversed. The Bush regime has spied on citizens’ private email and phone calls, against US law and constitutional protections.

2. An acceptance that Islamic fundamentalists are the “enemy” to be feared, providing tacit support for openly racist campaigns such as “Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week” and the erosion of civil liberties. What happens if, as some conservative pundits hope, Obama becomes the face to unite youth and others more effectively against the Islamic countries of the Middle East?

3. A shared assumption in much of the anti-war movement that “we support our troops.” Therefore, we must accept continued funding in the war to show that support. We place more value on American lives than Iraqi lives. 70% of the population wants the war over now, and a big portion of those would never have sent the US military to Iraq, and don’t want their children to go. But, contrary to conventional wisdom that the starting place is “we all support the troops,” I say we should ban the phrase “support our troops.”

The troops are being recruited into an institution waging an unjust war, trained and ordered to carry out war crimes as a matter doctrine and course. What part of any of that do we support, and what makes them “ours?” If the military has the “right” to recruit, what about the “rights” of people in Iraq to live? Everyone in the US military has the responsibility to decide where they stand, just as Americans do when their government is waging an unjust war, and refuse to commit such crimes.
Don’t we have to go further on challenging these shared assumptions, and stake out a more radical position of conscience to clarify matters? Where will people be after the election if the “anti-war” movement has not created an alternative for people from “you’re either with us or with the terrorists,” even if said in a kinder tone and with a different spokesman than Bush?

The clarifying role of resistance

The dramatic difference between the course the Bush regime has bullied ahead on, and the interests and felt needs of the majority of the people is stark. The latest poll shows Bush has a 19% approval rating, which must be a historic record low. But being alienated, and thinking how wrong it all is, is not enough. And many people who are against the war have accepted these crimes passively.

We-millions and millions of us-need to stand up against the crimes going on NOW. The question of whether torture continues legally is being decided now. Will those, even in the Bush regime, who are against the use of torture insist that it now go on; refusing to go along with the program? Will the inner workings and cover-ups be exposed? This will happen only if our people shake up the world, demanding that torture stop and Guantanamo and secret renditions are ended.

What could things look like and how could things change if the organized forces of opposition succeed in opening the pathways for mass resistance to really take hold - setting much different terms for society than the elections are. Students who have been feeling impotent as a political force in society and anaesthetized, find their voices and a way to stand up directly against the war, even those filling up the Obama rallies, can find a meaningful and immediate way to act.

These outrages are happening NOW. The people have to act now.

1. Taking on the Military Recruiters & Their Pro-War Supporters in Berkeley & Spreading Across the Country

A new military recruiting office in downtown Berkeley CA, near the high school, became a flash point this year because of what the recruiters do. While we aren’t experiencing the war directly, we have a clear cut example of the war machine and Bush agenda right in the schools. It’s not remote for high school students, it’s every day real. And we hear constant reports of students around the country having to pass by recruiters on the way to the cafeteria, outside on the corner, or in the subway.

The Berkeley City Council, who really started the controversy by taking a brave stand that the Marine recruiters were “unwelcome intruders” in Berkeley, caved in when right wing bloggers howled, and US and California officials threatened to take funds away. Had they stood firm against the recruiters, whatever the short term consequences, they could have done a lot of good towards stopping the war. Vermont Law School is the only one to refuse cooperation with military recruiters, and lost one million in federal funds because of the Solomon Amendment. How can we get cities and universities and institutions persuading people not to be the supply of cannon fodder for an endless and criminal war?

Outside City Hall as the debate with pro-war demonstrators raged, the students from Berkeley High, and others, came into the battle and changed the political atmosphere as they confronted the pro-war protesters. Their message, as they debated all day, and into the evening, got arrested for arguing, and in one case, punched out, was basic: the war in Iraq is wrong, and you’re trying to force youth into it. Leave us alone. We don’t want to fight in that war.” They asked “Where are the weapons of mass destruction?” “What about the one million dead Iraqis and five million who had to flee their homes?”

Is the question settled of whether military recruiters will be able to run rampant in high schools and colleges across the country? No. What we say and do has everything to do with whether the next generation gets suckered in to serving in an illegitimate war of empire.

2. Unrelenting Opposition to the US Torture State.

One of the enduringly true statements in the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime is “that which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn – or be forced – to accept” If there is any aspect of the Bush program to which this applies more than the torture state they’ve created, I don’t know what it could be.

What part of the structure of secret detentions, destruction of habeas corpus, “enhanced” interrogation methods will go away when Bush leaves office? The whole apparatus has been given a new justification from the Justice Department: even if particular methods or practices are illegal on international law, that’s irrelevant because the president of the U.S. has the authority to override those laws based on the US national interest, as he/she defines it. According to Antonin Scalia, “no one likes torture” but Scalia, who is likely to be writing the majority opinions for the Supreme Court, won’t define torture as “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Constitution.

Obama promised to close Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus. But when the vote came to ban the CIA from using waterboarding, he didn’t show up to vote.

Illegitimate occupation for empire requires a cowed population. Torture is used, openly, by the Bush regime, to scare people in the MidEast who are immediately subject to it. But it’s done to affect people here, too, sending a message that political opponents can be crushed and disappeared. When it becomes “standard operating procedure” it’s already part of the law as it’s practiced. Will the legal system fix that? Many people in the legal arena think not, given the fascist remaking of the courts already completed, although every effort should be made to expose the international laws broken.

The principals in the torture scandal are worried they are liable for torture, legally and politically. That’s why John Ashcroft expressed concern back in 2002 that discussions over choreographing interrogations in the White House were dangerous. That’s why the Military Commissions Act was written with retroactive immunity for anyone carrying out or ordering enhanced interrogation techniques. It’s why the principals are not allowing their underlings, and refusing themselves, answer Congressional subpoenas. The mainstream media is beginning to talk about “war crimes” prosecutions and international law as if there might be a problem for the Bush regime.

Since more has been released about John Yoo’s memos justifying torture for the White House, more people have stepped forward to hold him accountable. The National Lawyers Guild is calling for him to be fired from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, the law school where he has tenure and teaches a course in ethics. Law students and professors, as well as people in the community, are strategizing on how to make UC Berkeley a hotbed of opposition to torture.

We should spread that spirit, spread the color of orange as resistance to torture, continue and step up the orange jumpsuits and waterboarding demonstrations. Through media coverage these protests are impacting many people, and implanting the idea that torture is being opposed. And, specifically, World Can’t Wait should join in working to have Yoo removed from his teaching post as a way of de-legitimizing the torture state.

3. Preventing an attack by the Bush regime on Iran.

We have warned for more than two years that the Bush administrations’ threats on Iran should be taken seriously. The arguments against an attack are: 1) The US is having too much difficulty militarily subduing Iraq; 2) the finding in the National Intelligence Estimate that Iran is not actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability; 3) George Bush as a lame duck president can’t get the political support to make such an attack. But, as Iran has only been strengthened by everything the US has done in Iraq, the necessity the Bush regime, and whoever follows him, faces to control the Middle East may mean that they can’t not attack Iran.

We don’t know, and may not know until the orders have already been given, when or if such an attack will actually occur. Certainly, military preparations are occurring, whether for real or for political show. Many observers, including in articles posted on, think the likelihood increases of an attack as the election gets closer. That’s 70 million people, a huge portion of them under 30 years old, sitting in the cross hairs of a military commanded by someone who believes he’s on a mission from God.

The comments by Hillary Clinton, auditioning to be accepted as a tough commander in chief, that she would “obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons if they attacked Israel, point to the issue not being settled by Bush leaving office.

Everyone with a conscience living in this country has got to be alarmed, and on alert. World Can’t Wait should reach out to everyone in the antiwar movement, and beyond, to be read to act to prevent such an attack.

Bush and Cheney are committing war crimes in Iraq,

We refuse to be silent.

Bush and Cheney are readying another war on Iran,

We refuse to be complicit.

As people of conscience, we declare now:

We will do everything possible to stop a war on Iran.

We pledge to bring business as usual to a halt if the US bombs Iran.

We will draw forward many others to act.

We pledge our resistance now because the world cannot wait.
Iraq - Get Out!
Iran - Stay Out!
Bush and Cheney - Drive Out!

4. The Democrats Meet in Denver: NO to more of the Bush program

August 25-29 Stay tuned for information on protest plans.


Old devil dog said...

Wow, you are somewhere between wackado and certifiable! How could you waste that many tiresome words on your juvenile ideas. To think I fought to help preserve free speech in America. If you are an example of free speech I truly wasted my time. Please do the world a favor an employ an editor!

Dennis Loo said...

The interesting thing about postings such as yours is that instead of stating what it is that you disagree with, you engage in insults and invective. This is a practice that has unfortunately become de rigeur under the sway of the right wing media and "luminaries" such as Rush and O'Reilly.

What is it that you find "juvenile" exactly? Opposition to torture is juvenile? Opposition to illegal, unjust wars that kill over a million people who had nothing to do with 9/11? Dismay at an executive branch that is openly not accountable to any other branch of government, to international law, or to the American people? Spying on all of us? The abrogation of habeas corpus rights that date from the Magna Carta and that was an explicit grievance of the American Revolution?

What rights that are supposed to distinguish America from tyrannies do you fail to see have been cast aside like so much dross and that you say you fought to preserve?

Why fight to preserve rights that you don't seem to understand the actual content of? These rights otherwise become merely rhetorical devices without any actual substance if you can't see these monstrous things are being done.

If you REALLY want to fight for the right to free speech and the others things that you would presumably think should be preserved, then NOW is the time to fight for those things against the grave threats to these same things that this government represents.