Revolution #138, August 3, 2008
An Open Letter
16 July 2008
In six weeks, the Democrats meet in Denver.
As recent news makes clear, an attack on Iran could happen before the election, driving the Bush Agenda into the next administration, whoever the president is.
Who will stop an attack on Iran?
Not the Democrats who secretly authorized military operations George Bush already has underway inside Iran. Not the Democratic leaders—including Senator Obama—who insist, again and again, that “all options” remain on the table for military action against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons!
Not the Democrats who, in their majority, including Obama, not only sanctioned retroactive immunity for the large telecom companies who went along with Bush and spied on people, but have given them prospective immunity in expanded government spying.
This war now belongs to the Democrats no less than the Republicans. If it is left to McCain and Obama, the occupation will continue for years. It was wrong to go into Iraq, it’s wrong to stay in Iraq, it’s wrong not to get out now!
If there is not a strong showing from the anti-war movement against this whole direction outside the convention, it will signal those who make war and the victims of these wars around the world that the people of this country will go along with continued occupation, with McCain or Obama sending many more troops to Afghanistan, and with threats to Iran. The Bush regime promised a war to last generations. Are we against this, or not?
The anti-war movement must set a standard of resistance, not accommodate what is intolerable. Only the people—not the politicians—can force open debate over why the U.S. occupation must end now. Only we can act on our convictions, letting others know that an end to the illegal, unjust and immoral wars and occupations will not happen without massive mobilization of the people, and that putting all your hopes and energies into the elections will not bring the change millions desire.
Some people say protest does not work. They are WRONG! What does not work is passivity in the face of a government being more widely exposed as committing war crimes and a public increasingly sickened by what is being done in their name. If the anti-war movement was so ineffectual why did the New York Times have to call it the “other superpower”?
Whether one plans on voting for Obama or not, we all must be in the streets making our clear opposition to torture, bloody occupations and any new war against Iran vividly clear. People are traveling the country to campaign for Obama. With a strong call from the anti-war movement, some will be willing to bring an anti-war message to Denver.
Local Denver activists have gone to court for permits for political protest outside the convention, and have permits for nearby parks. Recreate68 plans a march against the war on Sunday August 24, the day before the convention starts. The Alliance for Real Democracy, another coalition, is currently not planning to join this march.
Whatever differences exist, they pale in comparison to the responsibility those of us who are not at peace with being at war have to stop the U.S. occupation of the Middle East. The world needs to see us in the streets in Denver, marching together on the eve of the convention opening.
If you’re concerned this protest will be too small, you’re not alone. The people in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan whose lives may be lost to further US aggression share that concern. It is the responsibility of those of us who know the devastation and misery the continued occupation of Iraq and an attack on Iran would bring to the world, to struggle to bring many more forward to participate in this.
This is a call to MARCH together with the demand Stop the War in Iraq/Afghanistan, and Stop an Attack on Iran! You could have separate rallies and speakers at different sites in the park, but call out the many thousands of people to march together.
We will join with others in mobilizing everyone who has ever been against this war, and all those who know in their hearts this is wrong, to be in the streets of Denver, standing with the people of the world and refusing to be party to these wars.
We the undersigned will do all we can to get people to Denver to participate.
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
C. Clark Kissinger
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