Iraq: Bush's Vietnam
We are coming together to build
real unity in mass protest
on September 24
The "Vietnam Syndrome" - that strange malady in which the people of the U.S. turn decisively against a U.S. war of aggression in a far away third-world country - is coming back, and the White House knows it. The warmakers today will learn, as they did during Vietnam, that it is impossible to sustain such a war as the people of the U.S. turn the issue of the war into an unending "domestic crisis."
Public opinion has shifted so dramatically against the war in Iraq that Bush and his administration have turned this week into a P.R. campaign to, as the LA Times put it, "salvage public support on Iraq." Faced with a nose-dive in support for Bush's attacks on social programs at home and his imperial conquests abroad, the White House and the Pentagon are afraid of losing their grip and are undertaking a mass propaganda offensive to rein in the one thing they fear the most - the power of the people as they turn against the warmakers. This orchestrated campaign, however, has not begun well for them.
Today, appearing before a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing in a failed attempt to paint a positive view of the war, Army Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander for U.S. aggression in the Middle East, was forced to directly contradict Vice President Cheney's recent announcement that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes." Abizaid stated that the power of the Iraqi resistance was undiminished and added, "you'll forgive me from criticizing the vice president." Donald Rumsfeld again had to explain why he has "not resigned," and a Republican lawmaker from South Carolina who supports the war complained in the hearing that "Public support in my state is turning... People are beginning to question. And I don't think it's a blip on the radar screen. We have a chronic problem on our hands."
On September 24 the people of the U.S. have the opportunity to make history. The mass demonstration in Washington DC initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in partnership with other organizations who have come together to form the September 24 National Coalition will be a powerful expression of an increasingly incensed population. This is the political force at home that is the single biggest threat to the ambitions of Bush and the warmakers. In the next months the growing outrage at the grassroots level can develop into a political force as potent as that faced by the Johnson and Nixon administrations three decades ago.
September 24 will make history for another reason. This demonstration will show what true unity looks like. This is a mass mobilization coming from the grassroots representing the voices of those who are most deeply affected by the U.S. government's assault on people at home and abroad, joining together in solidarity to stop the U.S. war machine. Mobilizing for the September 24 March on Washington are communities, unions, military families, students and youth, and antiwar, social justice and civil rights groups.
Nothing will be more powerful than to have large numbers from every community marching shoulder to shoulder in opposition to the Bush administration's criminal war against Iraq and in opposition to Bush's global effort to crush all those struggling to exercise their legitimate right of self-determination free from empire and colonial domination.
The converse of unity is to divide, to segregate, to exclude. While the U.S. wages war against the people of the Middle East, the administration is waging a domestic war against the Arab-American, South Asian and the entire Muslim community inside the United States. It is imperative that everyone stand against segregation. The antiwar movement made a major step forward when it marched 100,000 strong on March 20, 2004, under the banner "Bring the Troops Home Now! End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti and Everywhere!" The Palestinian people affirming their right to return to their homes from which they were evicted, the Haitian people affirming their right to return their democratically elected President, and all of those who are struggling in opposition to colonial occupation and in support of self-determination and peace will march together with those fighting against the war in Iraq and those fighting for social justice at home as all recognize the interconnectedness of the struggle.
The war for empire and colonial conquest is not only a war against the people of the Middle East and other lands who the U.S. government seeks to subjugate, but it is also a war against the people of the U.S. as the government slashes monies for education, housing, healthcare and jobs to pay for war, intervention and occupation.
Your help is needed now
Volunteers are mobilizing all over the country to help to build the September 24 mass action. Funds are urgently needed to carry out this work. We can’t do it without your help. To make a contribution through a secure server, where you can also find information on how to contribute by check, please click here.
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