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.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Carry it On, Urges the Lord
In spite of the fact that my Filipino wife keeps calling him a "divil", I continue to believe in the humanity of Dick Cheney and George Bush. Yet the divilish nature of this administration has now been fully confirmed by no less than Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in his new book, Wiser in Battle, where he writes, "And the investigators were now telling me that the plan called for a Phase IV (after combat action) operation that would last twelve to eighteen months. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I had never seen any approved CENTCOM campaign plan, either conceptual or detailed, for the post-major combat operations phase. When I was on the ground in Iraq and saw what was going on, I assumed they had done zero Phase IV planning. Now, three years later, I was learning for the first time that my assumption was not completely accurate. In fact, CENTCOM had originally called for twelve to eighteen months of Phase IV activity with active troop deployments. But then CENTCOM had completely walked away by simply stating that the war was over and Phase IV was not their job, that decision set up the United States for a failed first year in Iraq. There is no question about it. And I was supposed to believe that neither the Secretary of Defense nor anybody above him knew anything about it? Impossible! Rumsfeld knew about it. Everybody on the NSC knew about it, including Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, and Colin Powell. Vice President Cheney knew about it. And President Bush knew about it. There's not a doubt in my mind that they all embraced this decision to some degree. And if it had not been for the moral courage of Gen. John Abizaid to stand up to them all and reverse Franks's troop drawdown order, there's no telling how much more damage would have been done.
In the meantime, hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were unnecessarily spent, and worse yet, too many of our most precious military resource, our American soldiers, were unnecessarily wounded, maimed, and killed as a result. In my mind, this action by the Bush administration amounts to gross incompetence and dereliction of duty." - Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, "Wiser in Battle"
Though the corporate media has attempted to bury Iraq in silence this year, the thankless job of cleansing Iraq of excess humanity continues, "Citing 'security officials,' Agence France-Presse said that 1,073 Iraqis were killed last month. This is undoubtedly a gross underestimation of the real death toll. One hospital alone in Sadr City reported taking in 400 bodies. The two major hospitals in the area, which is home to more than 2 million people, said that they had received nearly 2,500 wounded. The medical facilities are overwhelmed with the number of casualties. They report that they lack sufficient numbers of severe trauma specialists to treat the wounded and are running low on basic supplies, including clean water." - "Five years after 'mission accomplished,' sharp rise in Iraqi and US casualties", Bill Van Auken, wsws.org
The current attacks on the Mahdi army are intended to weaken a key political opponent to the control of Iraqi oil assets by U.S. interests, "The military has been ordered to achieve a political objective deemed crucial for rescuing Washington’s faltering attempt to impose colonial domination over the oil-rich country. It is to take on and defeat the Mahdi Army and thereby weaken the Sadrists, who have voiced opposition to both the US occupation and the bid to open up Iraq’s oil reserves to exploitation by US-based energy conglomerates. The aim is to complete this task before October provincial elections, which Sadr’s followers would otherwise be expected to win in the key southern provinces that contain the bulk of Iraq’s oil assets." - "Five years after 'mission accomplished,' sharp rise in Iraqi and US casualties", Bill Van Auken, wsws.org
What most anti-war activists fail to realize, though perhaps the awareness has begun to seep in, is that without systemic change there can be no end to this war. The empire requires control of energy resources in order to continue its economic hegemony, therefore the Iraq occupation must continue until that control is achieved. We know that without the birth of ecological spirituality among those in power, the empire will continue to lay waste the planet. The occupation in Iraq cannot end because control of the last major oil reservoirs is fundamental to the operation of global capital at this stage in the exhaustion of the remaining carbon-based energy resources. When Cheney dismisses the anti-war opinions of the American public, he is simply being clear-sighted about what is necessary to continue dominance. And, despite all rhetoric to the contrary, most Americans are fully complicit in support for those requirements.
What the imperialists really fear is that the arms they use to enforce their claims when the propaganda fails might be attached to heads which develop consciences, abnormal growths to be sure, but mass outbreaks have been known before. A recent case is that of Ryan Jackson, an Iraq war veteran who began to rethink his involvement in the Army: "'I feel ashamed every day,' Jackson wrote in his recent conscientious objector (CO) application. 'I feel ashamed for taking part in the killing of others, and for allowing my comrades to be killed themselves. By putting on a uniform, I am showing my support...I can no longer be a part of the Armed Forces or any organization of a violent nature.' After two and a half years of honorable service, Ryan says he could no longer ignore his conscience. 'Once my beliefs started to evolve and change, I became a different person,' he explains. 'It starts to take a hold of you, giving you hope that you can make a difference, that you can change what you are doing, and that it is not too late!' After surrendering to the military at Fort Sill, he was ordered to return to his unit at Fort Gordon, Georgia—which he did without escort. Once he arrived at Fort Gordon, however, he was placed under arrest. Ryan has been held in the brig under pre-trial confinement for the last week." - Courage to Resist, "Army imprisons outspoken war objector"
Promote this outbreak of conscience - support Ryan Jackson by going to Army imprisons outspoken war objector