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View Diary: My Photo Journal of the DC March (247 comments)

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  •  explain please? (3.00)
    could someone please explain to a befuddled canadian how this event is a "peace" march?
    does anyone seriously believe that shipping american troops home now is going to bring peace to the wrecked country of iraq?
    you can't go running around the world tearing countries to shreds and then sashay off home when it gets a bit pricey leaving the battered to try and pick up the pieces.
    that is not "peace".
    where were you two and half years ago when you could have done some good; when the rest of the world was screaming at the u.s. "DON'T DO IT!!!"
    there's an old sayin' in canada..."you broke it, you bought it."
    to that i add: "you broke it, you FIX it" and do so before you run away.
    instead of a peace march, why not have a "justice" march and hold dubyuh's feet to the fire and force him to stay the course until some semblence of order is restored to iraq.
    and if you can possibly find a reason to impeach bush, do so and i am sure canadians would be happy to help a deomcratic president restore order over there.
    but not this idiot president. he and his mess is all yours.
    •  Hate to Admit It, But (none)
      good point.

      the real problem here is where was our democratic congress prior to the invasion when BushCo were conducting their OBVIOUSLY phony PR campaign to justify the invasion/occupation of a sovereign nation-- a nation that was totally not a threat to U.S. soil?

      where was the congress on the constitutional requirment that ONLY congress has the authority to declare war?

      WEAK.

      •  Precisely (4.00)
        Dear lawsond:

        We, as US citizens, supposedly have representation in Congress & only have political redress here as pertaining to congressional abilities to provide mandated checks upon the power of the executive (that is, BushCo) as described in the US Constitution. However, in recent years & for a number of reasons -- including outright Mafia-style intimidation by instruments of the majority party --  this mandate has basically been abandoned.

        So, in short, we do not have a functioning representative government at this time. The results are as you see it.

        We did not, as a nation, vote to elect George W. Bush as president in 2000 (the Bush-friendly Supreme Court did that) & there is questionable validity to his re-election in 2004. Even if the election is eventually proven valid (if the issue happens to come up some time), Bush was elected by all of about 16% of  our citizens.

        That said, a terrific number of us have been taking to the streets, contacting our congressional representatives, educating ourselves & others as to the true functioning of the Bush regime since before the 2000 debacle. The complicity of a Bush-friendly corporate media complicity hasn't helped one iota.  

        Drop your suppositions about the 'power of the people' in the US to directly influence the functioning of our 'democracy'  & you might understand the current situation a bit better.

        •  thank you! (none)
          thank you for that.
          my question "explain please?" was not rhetorical and i truly am looking for answers.
          your explanation was helpful.
          the american political machine is a fearsome beast and influencning or changing it is, i understand, like pulling a u-turn with a cruise ship.
          however, that doesn't help the millions of iraqis picking their way through the ruins of THEIR country.
          i guess what i really want to know is when you talk about "peace now" do you mean peace in iraq or ohio...at home?
          •  'Peace now' (none)
            I can answer you on a personal basis only, lawsond.  Others might answer differently.

            With regards to the position of the US in creating & managing societal stability in Iraq, one is apt to assume two things: that a) this is an actual objective of the current administration (doubtful, imo, even given its short-sightedness & historical myopia) & b) that the continual presence of the US as an occupying force can in any way achieve this. My opinion on this second question is negative. At this point I believe stability is beyond the powers of the occupation to achieve, regardless.

            As for peace in either Iraq or Ohio, I don't see it as an either/or question. Imho, peace is a matter of economic self-determination, a systemic functionality of the means of representational governance & the continued vitality of communal culture, meaning that individual citizens are conscious of their civic responsibilities in the functionality of the whole for their own ultimate benefit.

            Community disenfranchisement as a means of control is in play here in the US & in many other nations across the globe as a result of either direct or indirect US influence, in service to the benefits of heavy industry, including defense.

            Sorry for slow response; I'm on dial-up.
            Glad to be able to offer just a little help with your questions.

        •  Beengo! (none)
          great take, ww.

          as George Carlin pointed out two weeks ago on Bill Maher's show-- our current government is a scam... a fairy tale.

          we do not have representative government.. and the dems are just as much to blame as the repugs.

          the dems are just as happy about the pathetic fact that only fifty percent of eligible voters actually vote as the repugs-- because that makes their jobs easier! it's millions of people they don't have to pay attention to-- or be concerned about their issues!

          weak.

        •  By the way, (none)
          about 'the rest of the world' screaming 'don't do it!' before the invasion of Iraq: millions of our own citizens joined in that screaming, not only in the streets, but in direct communicative action regarding our elected representatives.

          My own urgent requests to my Democratic NY representatives that they vote against the Iraq War Resolution were met with literal yawns by staff members. Citizens attempting to address Senator Clinton at her NYC offices before the vote were arrested, cleared away like dust-mites. They were too bothersome.  

          And yes, there's far too much media complicity in the Grand Illusion that is Bush governance, but the phrase above should read: The complicity of a Bush-friendly corporate media hasn't helped one iota.

          And it hasn't, neither.

          •  fascinating but.... (none)
            yes, this is all fascinating..all this talk of the dems and repugs.
            but how does this help THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ?
            it is their country that has been effectively destroyed.
            what does the united states owe to them?
            •  Shorter comment as per above (none)
              Imho, the US needs to remove its talons from the flesh of Iraq. The current administration is not interested in the well being of the Iraqi people, but only in the profits of its own benefactors; ergo, the continued occupation will only do further harm.

              The situation would be different if the US was currently an instrument of stability in Iraq, but it isn't. There is no benefit whatsoever to this occupation. If there were, we would see this benefit begin to manifest. It's been over two years since the invasion & the people continue to suffer. The entity that will help them is not the current US administration; Bush et al have no plan beyond regional military domination, no ideology beyond ultimate profit & no concern whatsoever for the lives of the Iraqi people beyond societal & political control.

            •  ps: Dems/Repugs (none)
              Actually, discussion of the basic political realities now in place here is relevant  in relation to the balance of powers against the executive (Bush et al).

              We're supposed to have some.

    •  Rumor has it (none)
      that our petzeldent is drinking again.

      Canada has oil.

      Bad combination for you!

      •  oil for feud (none)
        what?
        give our oil to america?
        nah, we plan to sell our natural resources to china...a country that can actually PAY for them.
        that's where the future and the money is.
        as for invasion, sure "bring it on!"...just bring along 50 bilion dollars a week in reconstruction funds and we're happy.
    •  Explain please...? (none)
      Well first of all, to your question:
      "where were you two and half years ago when you could have done some good; when the rest of the world was screaming at the u.s.?"
       We were on the streets. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of us. We were writing our political leaders. We were writing letters to our newspapers. we were doing everything we could think of to stop this war before it started
      And to your statement;
      "instead of a peace march, why not have a "justice" march and hold dubyuh's feet to the fire and force him to stay the course until some semblence of order is restored to iraq."
       I do not believe that one more, or one thousand more dead Amrerican soldiers is going to bring  "a semblence of order" to Iraq. Iraq is now fighting a civil war. Which side do you believe we should be killing for to bring that "semblence of order"? The Majority Shia, making our friends the Iranians very happy? Maybe we should be fighting for the Sunnis, afterall, they have an exellent record of maintaining order in Iraq. Or maybe we're fighting for that Iraqi Constitution, which adaopted in its present form would very likely divide the country even futher apart.
      •  what about responsibility? (none)
        ok, but doesn't the united states have some responsibility for triggering this civil war?
        and if so, then a responsibility to help police and rein it in.
        •  All Too Obviously... (none)
          Continuing the Chimperial occupation is not doing Iraq any good. The U.S. are not providing anything close to security for Iraqis; the U.S. troops provide the motivation for the insurgency.

          Whenever the U.S. finally withdraw, the power struggle/civil war will take place.

          This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

          by Mr X on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:57:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lawsond (none)
          "doesn't the united states have some responsibility for triggering this civil war?"
          Yes, absolutely, 100% responsibility. But American soldiers will never be able to "help the police rein in" this civil war. Our presence ignites violence. Sunnis see the Shias as traitors for working with us. And for God sakes, look at what just happened in Basra. The British Army attacked the Basra police station to free two of their own. This is not bringing the country closer to civility.
          I do not believe that the American and British forces can stop the violence in Iraq.
          •  so what next? (none)
            so what IS the u.s.'s responsibility?
            i honestly don't mean to denegrate anyone's efforts during the march this weekend, but what comes after the pullout, le deluge?
            certainly not "peace".
    •  Lawsond (4.00)
      I take your point and I thank you for posting it.

      However.

      Do I really think that "shipping american troops home now is going to bring peace to the wrecked country of iraq?"

      No.  I'm quite conflicted on the entire subject of pulling people out now.  I don't, however, think that sitting home picking my nose would have been a better use of my time.

      "where were you two and half years ago when you could have done some good"?  I was writing my Congresspeople.  I was giving money and support to those who were NOT willing to support the war and who were vocally and vehemently opposing it.  At the same time, I was withdrawing money and support from those who did.  

      To your "justice march" point.  That WAS the point.  Walking out on the extreme without much realistic hope of the extreme POV succeeding was exactly the point and the POINT was to hold our own feet to the fire and make some semblance of progress in the direction of accountability and reflection.  Do I realistically think it's either right or possible that we just pack up our barbies and come home to play in our own yard?  No.  Do I think that a march like this raises the consciousness of those who supported as well as did NOT support the war in the first place?  ABSOLUTELY.  Do I think that a march like this raises the consciousness of those who supported this President by voting for him, those who are now uncomfortable and questioning their own past choices?  ABSOLUTELY.

      I completely reject the negative tone of your post because it says to me that you think the march itself was fodder.  You seem to prefer to ask why we "didn't do this" and "didn't do that".  We may need to ask those questions, but you're asking the wrong people - we NEVER believed in this war and we screamed and railed and wrote and called and donated and volunteered and sweat and fucking WORKED to try to turn the tide.  Your post is frankly a slap in the face though I don't think you intended it that way.

      Finally, I welcome support from our neighbors to the North but revisionist, unrealistic armchair quarterbacking that looks into the past it totally unhelpful.  You are stating the obvious and that which most of us already know - save your negativity next time, please.

      Sept. 24 March in DC - Meetup details found at my blog!

      by RenaRF on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:59:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WOA there! (none)
        my post was not meant to insult your efforts but to get a clear idea of what is meant by "peace".
        perhaps this wasn't a peace rally but an anti-bush rally, or a rally against 25-years-of-unresponsive-republican-b-s.
        if so, then once again the media has made a booboo by branding it a "peace demonstration".
        as for armchair quarterbacking, i can only say that we are all in this football game together.
        it just so happens the u.s. always has the ball.
        and it is an unending source of frustration for those of us in the "WOA" (world outside america) to see the madness continue and to watch, as has been pointed out, the system drop the ball again and again.
        i certainly did not mean to denegrate your efforts. thank god you are there, doing what you are doing.
        but i am still unconvinced that the simple withdrawl of troops is a responsible move right now. and that the u.s. owes WOA a bit more than that.
        •  Ok. I've calmed down (4.00)
          although I wasn't actually mad.  The original post just seems to me to look backwards with somewhat of an accusatory tone while at the same time kind of questioning the whole current effort.

          I don't have the answer for what we should or should not do in Iraq.  Morally, I feel that we went in there and turned the Iraq toybox upside down.  Like any good guest, then, we should clean up before thanking our hosts and heading home.  That's a deep moral question for me because I don't think of the "Iraqi people" as some disembodied tool for my politics or anyone else's.  They are people and there is a heavy moral question here, imo, which should temper political or personal objectives.

          Having said that, though, I wind up looking forward and contemplating the unknowable.  First, I think (and always thought) that invading Iraq would made it a flashpoint for terrorists.  I knew it would give terrorists cover.  They would flock there - the paradox of the administration's "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" is striking to me - that's what we're doing, at least at the moment, and WE brought them there.  I definitely believe that our presence continues to attract them and that, essentially, is what places your average every-day Iraqi in harm's way.

          I'm not a pollyanna - I don't believe it would just be peachy the day the last US soldier left - but I think there's a real argument in what I stated above - it's worth considering that Iraq may get better and safer much faster without our presence.  Perhaps this is national narcissism, but I think that the US is the magnet for the terrorists and embarrassing and causing the US to fail in Iraq (which is what is currently happening) continues to attract more to the cause.  We work not only against ourselves in this effort - we also work against a shorter timeframe for Iraqis to have returned to them some semblance of order.

          Further, I think an argument can also be made that a US withdrawal (if you buy that it leaves the actual terrorists without much of a reason to perform terrorist acts, at least in Iraq) would invite other countries to help in the rebuilding effort.  They would do it for financial reasons - with the US removed, agreements can and would be struck that would lead to a faster rebuilding of the infrastructure than Iraqis are currently experiencing.  IF much of the terrorist violence abated after a withdrawal, then it follows that contractors and companies interested in profits would flock to the region and have an easier time at the task.

          We owe the Iraqis EVERY responsibility.  In that you are right.  They are people not just some place or some strategic initiative.  I agree on that as well.  But it's worth considering that withdrawal accomplishes the purpose to which you allude.  We are likely, at this point, doing more harm than good.

          Sept. 24 March in DC - Meetup details found at my blog!

          by RenaRF on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:17:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  upon reflection... (none)
            thanks for replying.
            yes, upon reflection, my "where were you" statement was inflammatory and meant to needle...which i guess it did a bit.
            your response though is exactly the kind of dialogue i wish to GOD we were hearing more of instead of simple "get out now" or "peace now" slogans.
            and i get a bit caught up in semantics for which i am also sorry.
            but the term "peace" is thrown around willy nilly without any seeming understanding that there is none, and there may be less if the u.s. simply takes off.
            i don't have an answer either, god knows except to beg americans to never, never, ever do that again...invade a sovereign country without the approval of the u.n.
            it's really all the "WOA" can do.
            as always, your team has the ball.
            •  As a marcher in my town (none)
              I can say that the tone of our demonstration had a lot to do with holding our Administration accountable.  If I had a nickel for every "Support our Troops - Impeach Bush" sign I'd have enough money to join the GOP.

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