An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Dropping the Mask
God have mercy on the Iraqis whose suffering will not end until we show mercy. The Democrats have chosen to abandon the power given them to bring an end to the madness of this suffering. Iraqis awoke this morning to the message from a fully united U.S. government that if they didn't achieve "benchmarks", which consist primarily of turning over 75% of their oil profits to Chevron and BP for the next 30 years, that we would retaliate by abandoning any pretense of rebuilding the country we destroyed. Such is the current state of American justice.
In many ways, we have become the economic zombies that neoliberals have for so long tried to squeeze our humanity into. Why are we so incapable of compassion for those whose lives we have destroyed?
Perhaps we could listen to an Iraqi voice once in a while? "In an open letter to the US Congress, Hasan Jum’a Awwad, head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, expressed a similar view. 'We see no good reason for linking the passing of the feeble Iraqi oil law to the withdrawal of the occupation troops from Iraq,' he wrote. 'Everyone knows that the oil law does not serve the Iraqi people, and that it serves Bush, his supporters and the foreign companies at the expense of the Iraqi people who have been wronged and deprived of their right to their oil despite enduring all difficulties.'"
There is no real disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on war goals, only the means. And clearly the means is more blood: "... the number of combat soldiers would rise from the 52,500 that were there in early January to as many as 98,000 by December. The total number of US troops—including support units—could hit a record 200,000." So Bush doubles the surge to a deafening silence. There will be no protests from Democrats, all are united in the cry for more soldiers, more blood, more prosperity. Only the news media still pretends they are antiwar.
The function of Democrats in this sorrowful empire remains what it has been for decades. They defend the basic interests of empire, while maintaining the fiction of a stalwart opposition in order to stall and redirect any real opposition that may lumber forth - to smother the otherwise fierce passions of a betrayed and exhausted population. A betrayal that is sensed, but misconstrued by the majority.
Here are the facts: "In all, at a time when 82 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want Congress to either approve funds for the war with strict conditions or cut off all funding immediately, 90 percent of House and Senate Democrats combined voted to give George W. Bush a blank check." - David Sirota, Working Assets, May 25, 2007.
In fact, there is nothing our leaders fear more than democracy. By assenting to this moral catastrophe, the people themselves are abdicating their right to further dissent from empire's designs. Now we must feel as the ancient Romans did in the days of early Christianity, when the Church still spoke with blood against power. Frankly, it no longer matters whether dissent is 82% or 99%, for the voice of the people has been silenced and the reign of unfettered corporate empire has slouched unashamed into the light.