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More Wars Looming
The news is filled with alarming new threats of attacks on Syria and Iran. Secretary of State Clinton says the U.S. and Turkey are discussing details for a “No-Fly Zone” over Syria. We know from the Libyan experience that a “No-Fly Zone” would require massive NATO bombing of Syrian air defenses and huge civilian casualties. At the same time, State Department spokespeople are targeting Iran and Hezbollah for alleged military support to the Assad government and unsubstantiated terrorist actions. These claims and increased sanctions are designed to justify increased U.S. intervention. Israel says Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. Israel, whose belligerence was recently rewarded by the U.S. gift of a $680M missile shield (added to the $3.1 billion for military aid this year), has again gone to the airwaves threatening pre-emptive military action against Iran in the near future.
All of this sounds eerily familiar as lead-ups to new wars, when the old ones have not ended. This is how the public was whipped up and the basis was laid before attacking Iraq and Libya. Going after Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya, causing massive loss of life and destruction, could be small potatoes compared to the conflagration we might see following military intervention in Syria, Iran and Lebanon. This would also prevent achievement of the promise we witnessed with the Arab Spring uprisings. All of this stemming from a rapacious drive for imperialist domination of resources and power.
At the same time, we see increased repression and poverty at home. Islamophobia and scapegoating of Muslims leads to manufactured frame-ups and violence against the Muslim community, and by extension brutal attacks on Sikhs as well. Immigrants are targeted. Increased militarization of our society leads to an expansion of surveillance and stop-and-frisk operations, military weapons in the hands of police, and an explosion of the prison industry with mass incarceration of Black and Latino youth. Civil liberties and the right to dissent are under siege with indefinite detention and extra-judicial assassinations now the law of the land.
To pay for wars and to maximize the profits of the haves, they take more and more from the have-nots. We see cuts to the social safety nets, attacks on labor, privatization of government programs, huge unemployment, neglect of infrastructure, rapid climate change and poisoning of the environment.
When we need a strong and unified movement to mobilize against these horrors, much of the left is confused by the misinformation and distracted by the elections. We can’t be falsely assured that elections will save us when the wars and repressions have been bi-partisan. We are not powerless. We must do everything we can to counter these threats.
What should we do?
· Counter the media propaganda and educate people about the realities on the ground with teach-ins, forums, protests, letters to the editor, op-eds, phone calls to Congress, petitions, resolutions and referendums. Be creative.
· Reach out to new constituencies and form alliances based on our connected interests – students, Occupy activists, workers, immigrant groups, Muslims, community groups, civil liberties organizations, antiwar committees, international solidarity groups, communities of color.
· If there is direct military intervention or a “No Fly Zone”, we must pour into the streets with day-after mobilizations.
· Stand in solidarity with victims of police, state, and racial violence and repression and build links to people under attack – Sikhs, Muslims, undocumented workers, death row prisoners, African-American and Latino youth, social justice activists are all targets in an atmosphere of escalating racism and repression.
· Build regional and local actions all over the country focused on the dual wars abroad and at home-on Sunday, October 7, the anniversary of the attack on Afghanistan and the initiation of the global War of Terror on the 99% in the interests of the 1%.
LET’S STAND TOGETHER IN UNITY AND SOLIDARITY. TOGETHER WE ARE POWERFUL!