Kerry must become the new anti-war candidate
Friday, September 17, 2004
BY HOWARD ZINN
Howard Zinn is professor emeritus at Boston University and author of 'The People’s History of the United States.' This is from the Progressive Media Project.
September 17, 2004
If John Kerry wants to win, he must recognize that our military intervention in Iraq is a disaster - for Americans, for Iraqis, for the world.
Kerry needs to stop boasting about his physical courage in fighting in Vietnam and instead start talking about his moral courage in opposing that war.
He needs to stop saying, as he did recently in the Midwest, that he defended this country when he was fighting in Vietnam. That is not an honest statement. If it were true, then he would not have turned against the war.
He was not defending this country when he fought in Vietnam. He was defending this country when he said we were wrong to be in Vietnam and we should get out.
He should not be saying that he will wage the Iraq war better, that he will replace U.S. troops with soldiers from other countries. If it is immoral for our soldiers to be occupying Iraq and killing Iraqis every day, then it is immoral for foreign soldiers to do the same.
He should be clear: We are not defending our country by our war in Iraq, and we should get out.
He should stop saying what President George W. Bush is saying, that we have to "stay the course." We stayed the course in Vietnam and it cost 58,000 American lives and untold Vietnamese lives.
To those who say we must not "cut and run," Kerry can say, with some authority, we did cut and run in Vietnam - and it was the right thing to do.
And if someone doesn't like the term "cut and run," he can say: "OK, let's cut and walk." Like those signs you see: "In case of fire, do not run, but walk to the nearest exit." There's a fire in Iraq whose flames we are fanning. Let's walk.
Kerry needs to stop talking about how he will be stronger than Bush. He needs to stop talking about how he will do more for our national security. He should stop accepting the traditional definitions of strength and security.
He should say that strength should not be measured in military terms, but in moral terms. Did the possession of almost 10,000 nuclear weapons prevent Sept. 11? Will a $400-billion military budget make us stronger or weaker? Will our military actions diminish terrorism or increase it? Does not our strength lie in being an example to the world of a peace-loving nation, which uses its wealth not for bombs but for food and medicine, for our people, and for others in need around the world? Should we not stop defining "security" in military terms, but talk instead of "health security," "job security," "children's security"? This is not utopian. It is what the American people have shown they want, before they are made hysterical and fearful by government propaganda. It is not simply a moral program, but a winning program.
William Lloyd Garrison, the great Massachusetts abolitionist, was urged by a friend to speak more cautiously. Garrison replied: "Slavery, sir, will not be overthrown without excitement, a tremendous excitement."
War and corporate thievery will not be overthrown without excitement, either. Kerry, if he will stop being cautious, can create an excitement that will carry him into the White House and, more important, change the course of the nation.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.
Zinn is absolutely right. We are running out of troops. The threat of a draft is more than just a threat. I doubt that the DOJ would be staffing the Draft Boards just for the hell of it. If John Kerry has a message of hope that he doesn't intend to follow in Bush's footsteps and wage years and years of war then he ought to make that his campaign theme. I have a son of draft age. I will not sacrifice him for Halliburton or anyone's SUV. I will move out of this country right along with my son never to look back. I'm not the only one. This is the way the Bush Crime Family wants it though. It will be easier to make this country a fascist dictatorship if all the smart people leave. What a shame. If Kerry doesn't fight for us now, we'll have no choice.
A woman disrupted Laura Bush's speech crying that her son was killed in Iraq... she wore a shirt with her son's picture and the words, "President Bush You Killed My Son". The woman was taken away in handcuffs and Laura continued with her speech as if nothing had happened. Damn Laura to hell. A real woman would have invited the distressed woman up to the stage and held her in her arms. Reprehensible.
UPDATE: Oh wait, excuse me. This just in. Kerry did speak to Guardsmen in Las Vegas yesterday. You know the National Guard that has been fighting and dying in Iraq and getting the shaft. Kerry told them that Bush didn't tell them the truth. Bush told the same group on Tuesday that Iraq is headed for democracy despite the reports coming out of Iraq. Kerry told the guardsmen what is really happening. Guess the hell what? The guardsmen gave Kerry a cool reception.
"At the point that Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush had not told the convention the truth, a man shouted out "No!" As Mr. Kerry finished speaking, a few officers sat in their chairs, arms crossed. " -NYTimes
So there you have it. Kerry better get on the stick. He couldn't even freaking convince guardsmen that Bush lied. God help us.