It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Mother Davis scratches her scalp as she contemplates...
Thousands of women marched against war in Washington D.C. today, and got lousy press coverage. You can find out more about this march at CodePink4Peace.org.
Don't get me wrong, now, I'm really glad that this protest took place. However, the relatively low turnout and the lack of good press coverage has me thinking. It seems to me that the most successful anti-war protests have been those that don't focus on differences between people seeking peace. At these protests, there have been women and men, children and adults, African-Americans, hispanics, anti-abortionists, socialists, veterans, students, professors, Americans, foreigners, priests, atheists, and pretty much every other variety of human being. People seem to want to involve themselves in this kind of protest, because it doesn't place restrictions on them, or pressure them to conform to some other kind of identity that's not necessarily related to peace. Is peace really a woman thing? Don't think so, at least not exclusively. Let's not forget Margie Thatcher, shall we?
Splittist little groups should be congratulated for the work that they do to resist the war. However, the history of protest this last six months is clear. Voices for peace are strongest when they are united from all corners of our nation and our Earth. We can bring our identities with us, but let's not let them define us. Peace is the main thing, now.
Come together. Everybody.
Marching next to anyone who will come,
Friday, March 07, 2003
Experts Contradict Bush's War Hype
Last night, as George W. Bush gave his answers to questions he had been provided with well in advance of his press conference, he insisted that "Iraq is not disarming". Bush also claimed that there is secret American evidence of Iraqi attempts to re-arm itself.
Today, the experts hired by the United Nations, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, contradicted Bush's statements. Blix stated that "The destruction undertaken constitutes a substantial measure of disarmament. We are not watching the destruction of toothpicks. Lethal weapons are being destroyed."
ElBaradei debunked Bush's allegations of Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa as phony. "Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that documents which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded." ElBaradei added that, "Iraq has been forthcoming in its cooperation."
These men are experts in the fields of disarmament and have people on the ground conducting current investigations of Iraqi weaponry. Bush has no experts in Iraq himself.
Bush's so-called "evidence" has been exposed as false. Weapons inspectors say that Iraq is disarming, and report that Iraq is cooperating with their efforts.
So, why is Bush still pushing for war? What is it about war that Bush loves so much that he's willing to lie, bribe and threaten the world in order to start a fight with a country that the CIA says has no plans to attack the United States?
Looks like war is George W. Bush's choice of first resort.
On March 15, reasonable Americans March in D.C. to stop the war. You can join them in many ways.
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
"You will lose, Mr. President. You will lose badly and the United States will be humiliated on the world stage."
Colin Powell's words to George W. Bush, as quoted in an article by Capitol Hill Blue
There's hope yet. We're making difference. Keep up the pressure with the March 15 anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C.!
T-Shirt Censorship Update (see note below):
We called the mall at (518) 869-3522. They hung up on us -- repeatedly.
Guess what this means -- the calls are working! Keep calling. Keep asking for a formal public apology.
"Give Peace A Chance" is all it said...
"A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.
According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words ``Give Peace A Chance'' that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.
``I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall,'' said Downs.
When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing ``in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises,'' the complaint read."
Well, don't just sigh about it! Get Active! Here are a few things you can do:
At Least A LetterIf you cannot march in DC or San Fran March 15, you can at least write a letter. When George W. Bush dismisses the march of millions as a "focus group," we cannot know with certainty that a letter will make a difference. But we know that not sending a letter will certainly accomplish nothing.
With the slaughter of innocents coming in your name, can you stand to be silent?
Although you really ought to write your own letter expressing your own thoughts, I know an example can make a good springboard. My letter of this morning follows below.
March 5, 2003
George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Position: In opposition to a War Against the People of Iraq.
Dear Mr. Bush:
I would like to express my strong opposition to a war against the people of Iraq. For the purposes of this letter, I am going to assume that you mean well, that you want to solve this world’s problems. Unfortunately, the message you send by using tools of war and disregarding other means of conflict resolution is that only tools of war are of use. This is a terrible lesson for the future. When the United States demonstrates that only the threat and use of shocking and awesome weaponry can resolve international disputes, we should not be surprised when other nations obtain and then use their own shocking and awesome weapons as a geopolitical tool.
A war in Iraq will have serious repercussions: civilians will surely die, both during and after war. Conscripted soldiers will surely die. Child soldiers, of which there are many in Iraq, will surely die. American soldiers will surely die. These deaths will not be sweet or cinematic.
You promised the American people that you would restore honor and integrity to the White House. But it is not honorable to slaughter countless innocents when other means are available. The unleashing of massive weapons of destruction to prevent the use of weapons of massive destruction does not demonstrate integrity.
You have the ability to prevent these deaths.
You have the ability to say no to violence.
Do you have the courage to do so?
With Utmost Sincerity,
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Last Chance to Protest Before War!
March on the White House - March 15!
Iraq begins disarming without a U.S. invasion, and the weapons inspectors characterize the disarmarment as an example of substantive cooperation with UN resolutions. Nonetheless, Bush says we're still going to go to war.
Turkey votes to deny U.S. troops the right to invade Iraq from its territory. U.S. military leaders acknowledge that this decision will make any invasion of Iraq much more lengthy, bloody, and costly. Nonetheless, Bush says that America is going to attack Iraq as soon as possible.
The United Nations Security Council is more strongly opposed to war than ever before, as the Bush Administration's diplomatic maneuvers to bribe and coerce support for its war. Nonetheless, Bush says we're still going to invade Iraq.
Bush can say what he wants about going to war no matter what anyone else says, but his ability to go to war has been quite effectively weakened by solid, popular organization of anti-war protests of many kinds. A few months ago, the mega-media pundits were declaring that the United States would certainly be at war before the end of 2002. Then, they declared that war would definitely take place before the end of January, no matter what anyone said or did. Then, the great Washington experts insisted that Bush would invade Iraq by the end of February, in spite of the gigantic anti-war protests.
Millions of Americans have taken to the streets to demand peace, and we have made a huge difference. No matter what the White House spin is, it's obvious that the Bush Administration has had to listen to the voice of the anti-war majority. Their plans for war have been delayed by many months, and now we are on the verge of stopping Bush's insane crusade against Iraq for good.
Now is not the time to stop for a breather. We must maintain our momentum for one final push to prevent a bloody, tragic war before it starts. On March 15, another immense national protest against war will take place in Washington D.C. All the staff from Irregular Times will be there.
We urge you to get to Washington on March 15 as well. We can make a difference. We can stop this war.
Visit our Irregular Action Center to find out what you can do.
Monday, March 03, 2003
More White House doublespeak: "There is, unquestionably, a responsibility on the executive branch to provide to the legislative branch an estimate about what the war would cost, what the humanitarian operation would cost. And that is a responsibility the administration takes seriously. Because we take it seriously, I'm not in a position to speculate about what the number may be." -- Ari Fleischer, 2/26/2003
Meanwhile, from yesterday's march in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, two of my favorite signs:
"Yee-haw is not a Foreign Policy"
"PROBLEM: 22 million people in Iraq are not Saddam Hussein"
Sunday, March 02, 2003
Mother Davis sighs deeply as she ponders,
What's a warmonger to do when the market for fighting fades away?
Poor George W. He can find hardly anyone in the entire world who thinks that his war is a good idea. Sure, there's always Tony Blair, but what kind of consolation is that? After all, there's always Tony Blair.
W. sends his top people to Russia, and leaks out the story that Putin is poised to support an invasion of Iraq. Oops, W. did it again. He played with the truth, got lost in the game, and Putin said nyet.
Bush, in a time when Americans are having to close their public schools due to lack of funding, offers $30 billion to Turkey as a bribe so that American soldiers can use Turkey as a route for invading Iraq. After months of hemming and hawing, the Turkish parliament votes no, and says that Bush will have to play his war games from somewhere else. As they say, it's nobody's business but the Turks. Will Bush invade Turkey so that he can invade Iraq?
In a world where W. declares that you're either with him or against him, it looks like nobody's with him these days. Even Saddam Hussein refuses to play according to W.'s script. Bush demands cites the Al Samoud missiles, which can't even fly one hundred miles, as proof that Iraq is in possession of deadly, super dangerous technology. War is the only answer to such a threat, says W., as he sits on his stockpile of tens of thousands of intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. In response, Saddam Hussein begins destroying the missiles, and challenges W. to a televised debate.
W. declines the challenge to debate Saddam Hussein on television. Apparently, W.'s a fighter, not a talker.
Well, to top off a really bad week for our boy W., he's cornered at home by a bunch of peaceful protesters who have the wild idea that as American citizens, they should have some input into whether a war is waged in their name. You see, W. had proudly predicted that the anti-war demonstrations would soon fade away into a happy celebration of his merry little war. After over a half-million anti-war phone calls to the White House on Wednesday alone, W. is still refusing to recalculate. Yes, it's true that even in New York State, which was hit hardest on September 11, only a minority of Americans support W.'s War.
What's a W. to do? He's selling a war, but war has gone out of fashion this year.
We have a suggestion for you, W.: there's always the pawn shop. Maybe you could trade your war plans in for a complete, 100% genuine foreign policy kit. You remember foreign policy - it was the big thing back in the 90s. Well, it looks like everything old is new again.
Looking forward to a rummage sale at the Pentagon,
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