World Can’t Wait Steering Committee Proposal: “End U.S. Wars, Occupations, and Torture for Empire -- Now!”
1) The whole anti-war movement should descend on Washington DC Monday, October 5 – yes, a week day -- with this message, in solidarity with the plan of Witness Against Torture, The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action, Vets for Peace, the Atlantic Life Community, and the War Resisters' League to protest continuing torture (particularly at Bagram) at the Obama White House, supporting a March of the Dead planned by the Activist Response Team, with a variety of “stop business as usual” actions of non-violent resistance to occupations and torture for empire, focusing on both the White House and Congress. This is a time for the powers in Washington to see and hear these urgent demands.
2) Tuesday October 6(the actual anniversary of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan) will be a national day of decentralized actions, particularly in high schools and organized by students, to resist military recruiters.
We must become a force to reckon with, but our actions cannot stop at one day. We must mobilize for future dates thereby gaining not only the support of many, but bringing many forward in visibly opposing and resisting these occupations and torture. We must not stop until these wars, occupations, and torture is ended, no matter who is Commander in Chief of the empire.
The election of the first Black American president is effectively re-branding preemptive and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them. Massive anti-war sentiment and action has been transformed into flag-waving patriotism, passivity and capitulation in the face of horrors. The U.S. military is being replenished with fresh
fodder, mainly targeting and black and Latino youth who have bought into the falsehood that Afghanistan is the ³good war on terror.²
And while troops are being withdrawn from the urban areas of Iraq, 130,000 troops remain in bases right outside of the cities where they can strike in minutes, in support of Iraqi security units, intelligence operations, and possible air strikes by unmanned aircraft. US combat troops are now classified in name as “advisers” bringing to mind the war crimes carried out on civilians by US “advisers” in Southeast Asia.
The war in Afghanistan is, and will be, fought the same way the war in Iraq has been fought. Most of the people killed are civilians, with the U.S. justifying collateral damage and collective punishment, secret prisons, denial of due process and torture. This is wrong, unjust, illegitimate and immoral. There is no such thing as a “good” war on terror.
An antiwar movement that does not move immediately to oppose the Obama doctrine of shifting the war of terror’s central front to Afghanistan and now into Pakistan, no longer deserves to be called an anti-war movement.
The anti-war movement must come out strongly against torture and indefinite detention with the understanding that torture is integral to the imperialists’ “war on terror” and not a separate anomaly. Torture is not being committed in “good faith” to gather intelligence to keep Americans safe, but is used to repress and intimidate whole peoples of whose countries the U.S. Empire occupies. And we must demand prosecutions for Bush era officials for these crimes against humanity.
These wars, occupations, and torture all belong to Obama now. Therefore we in this country, and those of us in this movement, have a choice. We can side with “our” government, with the “good war” fought in our names, and act like American lives are more important than anyone else’s lives.
Or we can show the people living in the Middle East, and the world, that in the U.S. there is a difference between the people and their government, and that the people are taking responsibility to end an unjust war and the war crimes that have been carried out in our name. We can act like we care about the whole planet.
Submitted by the Steering Committee of World Can’t Wait [Elaine Brower; Samantha Goldman; Emma Kaplan; Dennis Loo; Jill McLaughlin; Debra Sweet; Kenneth Theisen; Curt Wechsler].