[Marxism] Barely a Peep

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 03:29:52 MDT 2009

Barely a Peep
Escalation Unopposed


When school started in September 1969 I was attending a Catholic high
school located twenty miles outside of Washington, DC. in Laurel, MD.
My dad was in DaNang, Vietnam.  The seniors at the school were facing
an almost certain induction into the military and Richard Nixon had
been president for almost a year.  Some of the kids who lived closer
to DC were working on the big demonstration coming up on October 15 --
the Vietnam Moratorium.  The point of this protest was to bring the
antiwar sentiment home to every town in the United States.  In
addition, there was a large protest scheduled for DC.  The overall
politics were liberal antiwar politics.  A few of the nuns at the high
school agreed with their efforts and got the school to hold a small
meeting of its own.  The first person who talked was an Army guy who
said the usual Army stuff.   Then a pacifist priest spoke.  After the
two talks and some discussion, those of us who wanted to walked to
downtown Laurel and joined the small antiwar vigil taking place there.
 I don't remember if there were any hecklers, but there were around
fifty of us against the war.

Like an acquaintance of mine who helped organize the Moratorium in
College Park, MD wrote in an email yesterday: who today wouldn't take
massive liberal anti war demos?  Indeed.  Reports this morning
(October 15, 2009) from Washington indicate that Barack Obama is going
to send 45,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.  At this point it is not
clear if this is the entire number or if it is just the number of
combat forces.  As the Washington Post revealed earlier in the week of
October 11th, 2009, when Washington sent some 20,000 troops into
Afghanistan earlier this year it did not announce that another 13,000
support troops were also sent over.  If this ratio holds true that
would mean that there would be closer to 70,000 more US troops in
Afghanistan by the time this latest escalation is completed.  These
numbers would put the total amount of troops involved in the
occupier's forces euphemistically called the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) very close to 200,000.

200,000 heavily armed invaders on the ground.  Untold numbers flying
planes and dropping bombs.  More sitting in bunkers in the North
American desert launching drones aptly named Predator that kill
fighters and civilians alike without an ounce of moral hesitation.  An
unknown number of mercenaries working under the title of contractor.
Yet, there is barely a peep from the people of the nations whose men
and women wage this pointless and immoral war.  With the exception of
a few protesters in DC and other big cities and a few thousand college
students on twenty six college campuses around the United States,
recent calls for protests against the war in Afghanistan and the
continued occupation of Iraq went unheeded.  The sight of young men
and women in military camouflage and crewcuts wearing ISAF patches is
becoming overly familiar to travelers in US airports.  Yet, there is
hardly a peep.  The sight of parents crying on the television while
their children are buried in caskets covered with the red, white and
blue is not uncommon.  If the news reports are true and at least
45,000 soldiers are preparing for their assignment to Afghanistan,
these displays designed to inspire more such deaths will increase in
frequency.  All the while families tell themselves their children died
for something like freedom when most of us know deep inside that no
one but those who send them over there really know why the US military
is even over there.  When we the people are honest with ourselves we
know it has to do with empire and conceit, but those reasons do o not
make us feel good.

And there's barely a peep.  Liberals and rightwingers in Congress line
up behind the Obama who lines up behind the Pentagon and the industry
of war.  With the exception of a very few, the consensus is that the
death and destruction must continue.  The comfort of the empire's
citizens must not be disturbed.  It can not be said enough, the time
to speak up is now.  The orgy of death is set to increase.  One can
not add 50,000 more troops whose job is to kill and expect anything

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the
Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay
on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music,
art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order
Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at:
rjacobs3625 at charter.net

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