Make Art, Not War

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No New Wars! Hands off Syria, Hands off Iran!

(my speech at the MPAC demo at Fed building June 25th 2012)

Threats of U.S. intervention in Syria must stop. While they claim to have humanitarian reasons, we in the peace community know “military aid” is an oxymoron. In military-speak “humanitarian aid” is just another term for war, just as “collateral damage” is just another term for dead civilians, “surgical strikes” “sanctions” “timelines for withdrawal” – all of it is propaganda.

If you listen to the mainstream media, the situation is Syria is that we, the benevolent United States, must swoop in and save the poor people of Syria from their brutal government. It sounds nice, heroic even, but the real motives are far less chivalrous.

As we assembled...
Just take a look at recent history and you can see that our help isn’t going to bring a single Syrian closer to their freedom. Look at Libya, or Iraq for that matter! At the start of the war with Iraq they told us they had weapons of mass destruction (which was a lie). And then they also told us the people there were desperate for our help, for us to come to their “aid”. But over a decade later, the Iraqi people have suffered uncountable atrocities because we are there. And while the U.S. government would like us to believe that occupation is essentially over, the reality is they just don’t want us to talk about it anymore. Meanwhile, they’ve installed a puppet government that serves U.S. corporate interests in the next big resource grab of the war on terror. Never forget that this is a for-profit war, a model that our government has used again and again and always under the guise of supporting democracy.

Back during the Bush administration, we were fond of the slogan “the regime change starts at home”. It was popular when we had an unpopular president and it became unpopular when we got a popular one. Unfortunately for us, there seems to be no real difference in our government’s attitude towards foreign policy. And very unfortunate for the Syrian people, because we know what happens next.

So, I would just like to reiterate that if our government was so interested in fighting for democracy and supporting a people’s right to fair government, than perhaps they should start here at home. How about calling off the dogs that have been beating up protesters, forcibly evicting occupations across the country, aggressively spying on U.S. citizens, and targeting peace groups- like the anti-war committee- with political repression, labeling us as terrorists because we advocate for peace and justice. How about ending the corporate control of our government, instead of allowing corporations to buy elections to serve their un-human agenda. How about restoring the power of governance to the people, the way it was first envisioned.

Maybe then, the United States would be in a position to teach other people about democracy. Until then, the hypocrisy of these claims cannot go unchallenged by us, people smart enough to read between the lines. We want a non-military solution in Syria that allows the people to establish their own government and decide their own fate. It’s basically the same thing we are asking for here. And it’s what any sane person would want.

We, also, want an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The people have never supported this war. We never wanted to go there in the first place, or keep funding it to the obscenities that we have, or stay there indefinitely. Yet these politicians keep beating the war drums, now with Syria and next with Iran in their crosshairs. This war on terror is run amuck and it is up to us, the American people, to rein it back in.

And I don’t want to hear any promises from any politicians, either! It’s an election year. Their promises, now more then ever, don’t mean shit. I want to see action. And if they wont listen, then it is up to us to take our message into the streets- like we are doing here today.

So, thank you for coming and please continue to spread this message: Guns don’t help people. Bombs can do no aid. We’ve heard this all before. It is time to end the war on terror and no new wars on Syria or Iran. Listen to the voice of the people, all over the world. The people want peace.  

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