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Mr Jenkins



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 602
Location: Aotearoa
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I remember being moved by the enormity of the 2003 antiwar protests, thinking power to the people, thinking it would change things..


Quote:

According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million


and it didnt stop a thing.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:38 pm
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Disharmony



Joined: 01 Jun 2003
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Location: Buried in Minnesota dirt.
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Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:02 pm
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sarah q



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
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See Arrrgh wrote:
sarah q wrote:
I've been to a handful of protest in the last year, mostly to document. I can't say I felt that energized by any of them until yesterday.

The Rhode Island Mobilization Committee were out protesting against many of Obama's policies at the Convention Center. We started out as 47-48 and were joined by several people along the way who were clearly just out for a walk. Mothers with children in strollers got in line behind us and marched with our group.

There were a few scattered tea-partiers when we got there, and our group was large and visually intimidating to both the cops and other protesting groups (except Queer Action Rhode Island because we let out a chants early to let them know we supported them).

The tea-partiers had some Obama as hitler signs. They tried to start arguments with a few members or our group, but quickly got shut down as most of them didn't fully understand what they were protesting.

They also thinned out and dispersed fairly quickly upon seeing how organized we were, that we chose to plant ourselves front and center, and that we had the energy and organization to stay together and chat for an hour straight.

I'm going to go back and check the numbers and probably come back and correct this, but I want to say we had around 75 at the high point.

We also had the attention of most of the press.

It was the first time I was energized by a protest and felt like we were accomplishing something.

We scared several tea-partiers away and that felt like a small victory. Strangers on the street joined in, that also felt like a small victory.

Normally I don't do much chanting, I mostly just take pictures and observed, but as we walked past a bunch or racist, bigoted tea-partiers I found myself chanting at the top of my lungs because we out numbered them by a lot and I needed them to know that.


I'm confused by the fact that the journalist who wrote the article about the protests yesterday couldn't tell the difference between 50 - 75 people and "about two dozen."



I mean... That doesn't look to be anywhere close to 50 - 75 people, in my opinion.









Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:03 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
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See Arrrgh wrote:

Instead of demanding our immediate withdrawal from the area, why don't we demand that the soldiers and contractors abusing the people be held responsible for their actions? Instead of generalizing anyone in a uniform, or any contractor employed by the DoD, why aren't we targeting the specific people responsible for these infringements on the Afghan people's human rights?


Abuse is the direct result of government policy. The threat of abuse by specific individuals (something that is inherently part of all wars) is much smaller than the threat created by the government actively seeking to torture, detain indefinitely, and in some cases kill combatants without due process of any kind. This:


Quote:

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric
By SCOTT SHANE
Published: April 6, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.

The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.

The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He’s gotten involved in plots.”

The official added: “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. Awlaki knows what he’s done, and he knows he won’t be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.”

As a general principle, international law permits the use of lethal force against individuals and groups that pose an imminent threat to a country, and officials said that was the standard used in adding names to the list of targets. In addition, Congress approved the use of military force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. People on the target list are considered to be military enemies of the United States and therefore not subject to the ban on political assassination first approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

Both the C.I.A. and the military maintain lists of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and its affiliates who are approved for capture or killing, former officials said. But because Mr. Awlaki is an American, his inclusion on those lists had to be approved by the National Security Council, the officials said.

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”
--NYT

is not the work of lone soldiers: it's policy. Not only are these policies horribly ineffective in combating terrorism, they actually increase it because they anger the Muslim world and cause some to become radicalized.


My stances are thus:

Iraq. Withdraw immediately, they are strong enough on their own.

Drone attacks. Stop them, they kill innocent civilians, inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and violate other nations' sovereignty.

Abuses of human rights including infinite detention, torture, murder without trial. Stop them, they inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and are often carried out on completely innocent people.

Afghanistan. The situation has a complexity that is difficult for me to understand. I don't want them to fall to the Taliban, but establishing a weak corrupt government, which is all we've done so far, hardly seems worth the price we've paid in blood. Remaining there will only be worthwhile if we can establish an effective non-corrupt government. Also the "we broke it we bought it" policy does not apply, as we had legitimate reasons to invade, unlike in the Iraq War.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:42 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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Disharmony wrote:
This may be bold to say, but I believe a lot of protesters protest just for the sake of protesting. No matter what- they need/desire to have something to stand for or stand against. Even if the social climate is improving and even if there are strides to righting the wrongs of previous candidacies, they will yell through their megaphones and wave their signs because it helps validate themselves.

Sure a lot of the causes they're fighting against are important, but I've seen a lot of important issues be turned into a way of life, rather than a way to change life.



I would have to respectfully disagree, Disharmony, and I'm typing in a friendly, honest tone here.

Most protesters get out because they believe in Direct Action as a necessary part of moving progressive issues forward. It's not the whole answer, it might even be just a small part of the answer, but it's necessary none-the-less.

I'll give you some examples...

1. A conservative Democrat from Cranston, RI named Palumbo tried to introduce copycat SB1070 legislation here in RI back in June. So we organized a civil disobedience and occupied the RI State House of Representatives Chamber with almost a hundred people at their next session- handing out literature that spoke to the racist nature of SB1070 and refusing to leave until the State Police removed us. It was in our major paper and on some network news television stations that night and throughout the week. The following Monday the Speaker of the House declared that he was tabling the bill and would not allow it to be heard.

2. A couple weeks ago Palumbo had the founder of the Minute Men hate group flown up here to speak at a press conference/RI Tea Party/Rhode Islanders for Immigration Legislation Enforcement/Youth For Western Civilization (nationalist-anti-immigrant group) rally. We got two dozen anti-racist clowns to form Clowns for Immigration Legislation Enforcement and took part in the event. We ended up being the largest group there and prevented the corporate media from giving a one sided account of the event- also aside from just letting them know that racism and anti-immigrant hate speech is not welcome here, our presence served to deflate speakers as they attempted to encourage/embolden people to consider SB1070 like legislation here in RI.

3. When the RNC 8 were arrested and charged with "Conspiracy To Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism" - people got in the street and protested. Over and over. This helped gain moral, legal, communal, and monetary support for their cause (part of which came from a benefit show that Francis head-lined) and anti-war organizers in general. As a result, they got money for their lawyers, had a media like community platform from which to report about their case, and all the support they needed as they went through the process. Those actions also lead to the formation of the RNC Arrestee Support Structure and RNC Courtwatch, which had "watchers" at every single RNC related case from 2008 till now- court watchers who actually changed the whole process by providing detailed accounts of judges giving harsher sentencing to RNC arrestees who also happened to be people of color. In the end, charges were dropped completely for 3 out of the 8, and the remaining 5 reached a non-disclosure plea with no jail time. Who knows what would've happened without that support, of which protesting and getting in the street was an integral part.

4. Here at Providence City Hall we organized and packed City Council meetings in the lead up to their vote on whether or not to divest from Arizona over SB-1070. The sponsor of the bill used our presence as he built consensus for the legislation and when the vote came, we won. He later said that our strong turn out was key to turning the tide and passing the proposal.

5. Back in 07 we rallied, protested, and picketed with the Janitors Union as part of contract dispute that boosted their 0% pay increase up to almost .60 more an hour and a better health benefits package. The bosses were predicted to capitulate to like .35 extra, but not .60 and benefits weren't even on the table.

On a grander scale...

6. Apartheid, the American Civil rights movement, the American Women's rights movement, the 8 Hour Work Day movement, and countless others. Protesting was a necessary and effective part of all these struggles.

There are countless cases like these. Protesting/Direct Action/visibility work is nowhere near the whole answer but it is a small and necessary part of moving the struggle forward; it serves as a vehicle to pass out literature and provide on-line information on the issues and the groups organizing around said issues, serves as a walking billboard, emboldens those on the fence into perhaps joining the struggle more actively, and increases our chances of getting heard in corporate media outlets (whether they downplay our numbers or not.) It also pushes people to challenge their two party reps with the phone calls, letters, and emails that scare them with the prospect of lost votes. Perhaps most importantly, it puts many different groups together, in yesterday's case, Queer Action Rhode Island, RIMC, Brown U Students For Justice in Palestine, Jobs With Justice, Student Labor Alliance.

We're getting closer and closer to the point where we all not only understand that we're all part of the same struggle, but where we can actually stand together and actively boost one another to more meaningful gains. It's happening in Providence now. At the end of the day, it's the same billionaires that need to be overthrown in order for justice to thrive. Whether they are war profiteer billionaires, bank billionaires, factory farm billionaires, manufacturing billionaires, or oil billionaires, they are all collectively the force standing in the way of democracy, driving the cost of living up, while keeping wages low. Driving the cost of health care up and pushing products/environmental/work/live hazards that deteriorate our health, while providing less and less service.

All the different movements are closer than ever to being on the same page.

Capitalism is not Democracy. It literally ensures that the minority (those with the most money) will always have the most power, access to legislators, judges, and the controls of society- you can't even run for major office today unless you are a millionaire, or bank rolled by millionaires. You can't have Democracy when the will of the majority doesn't mean anything, and the top 2% decides everything. That's not Democracy, it's Oligarchy.

With the resources available on this land that we have stolen and usurped, and built on through slavery and slave labor untold, and with the combined/focused talents and labors of those now living here, we could feed, clothe, shelter, and provide health care for all Americans 100 times over. Shit, between restaurants, schools, hospitals, and grocery outlets we throw out enough food to feed most of the world every single day. So much suffering could be ended so easily. Yet, that isn't happening. All because a couple hundred greedy fucks believe they deserve it all.

So you see, I do not protest just to have something to protest about. I protest because my tax dollars are being used to kill civilians in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all over the world through any manner of covert CIA/NSA programs. I protest because they could pass legislation that would curb carbon monoxide output and end factory farming in a relatively short time. I protest because as long as you accept the live choices they present, we are generally free to go (as long as you're not a person of color), but when you begin to organize for change they surveil, beat, arrest and kill us... like they've done to labor and environmental organizers right along, like these FBI raids that are happening on small local anti-war groups around the country are doing to us right now. I find it all utterly and completely unacceptable. As do most of those moved to organize.

They will never change the way they do business.

And they won't until we make them.

Until the corporate strangle hold on Democracy is broken and they are done dumping in the Amazon or taking risks in Bhopal, until they are done striking Pakistani villages with Predator Drones and invading sovereign nations, until they are done crushing small farmers so that Monsanto can have a monopoly on how food is produced, until the "Defense" Department and Corporate welfare don't account for 60-70% of our budget, until innocent immigrants are no longer locked in u.s. detention centers in WA, CA, & TX, until all innocent people are let out of jail... there will ALWAYS be something to protest.

The large actions of which Mr. Jenkins speaks in 2003 were nothing short of inspirational, but unfortunately led by ANSWER and United For Peace & Justice. They were maybe the only two groups capable of calling the amazingly well attended actions that took place from 2002-2005 but they let us all down. I've since discovered that ANSWER is mainly a front for the Workers World Party and that UFPJ is a front for a coalition of different pro Democrat groups.

Neither ever wanted to use those mass demonstrations as the civil rights era training grounds and mass civil disobedience opportunities that could've changed the course of the war, or at least potentially lost Bush the election in 2004. Workers World used the events to gain clout, raise money, and keep themselves out front as a national anti-war organization. UFPJ used them to make the Republicans look bad, but actually actively worked to dismantle the anti-war movement in the lead up to the 2006 mid-terms and the 2008 Presidential election.

They failed us.

The Bush Administration was going to war no matter what, and enough Democrats were paid to support them, as proven by their repeated votes for every request Bush made for more money on behalf of Haliburton, Textron, Raytheon, Becktel, and all the rest. But even though 2004 was perhaps the most fraudulent election in U.S. history, we still could have been responsible for enough votes to overcome their tampering- if those multiple 200,000+ actions had actually led to mass shutdowns of recruitment centers, sit ins in state houses, national strikes, and other mass civil disobedience/occupations around the country.

Fran is right to have lost faith in them. Those organizations, along with the "Democratic" Party, are not worthy of our faith.

As Francis is found of saying, Education is the most important thing now. And I don't believe he means elementary school text books. Education meaning encouraging everyone to research and understand their rights, to seek out where power comes from, what defines it, and how it used. To work to understand what is effective and what is isn't, to challenge and deconstruct racism, patriarchy, classism, homophobia, islamophobia, and the whole bloody lot of it.

And I think we're beginning to be ready. There are more groups than ever. And many folks have learned the lesson of getting into bed with the Democrats, and putting your trust in huge, semi-anonymous, top down dictating "anti-war" coalitions that have you going on symbolic marches and listening to 40 speakers while standing out in the cold, but not taking the action right up to the Capitol steps and into it's chambers.

I don't have all the answers. Not by a damned sight. But I have found direct action to be effective and I'm not stopping anytime soon.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:59 pm
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See Arrrgh



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 251
Location: New England
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
See Arrrgh wrote:

Instead of demanding our immediate withdrawal from the area, why don't we demand that the soldiers and contractors abusing the people be held responsible for their actions? Instead of generalizing anyone in a uniform, or any contractor employed by the DoD, why aren't we targeting the specific people responsible for these infringements on the Afghan people's human rights?


Abuse is the direct result of government policy. The threat of abuse by specific individuals (something that is inherently part of all wars) is much smaller than the threat created by the government actively seeking to torture, detain indefinitely, and in some cases kill combatants without due process of any kind.


My stances are thus:

Iraq. Withdraw immediately, they are strong enough on their own.

Drone attacks. Stop them, they kill innocent civilians, inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and violate other nations' sovereignty.

Abuses of human rights including infinite detention, torture, murder without trial. Stop them, they inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and are often carried out on completely innocent people.

Afghanistan. The situation has a complexity that is difficult for me to understand. I don't want them to fall to the Taliban, but establishing a weak corrupt government, which is all we've done so far, hardly seems worth the price we've paid in blood. Remaining there will only be worthwhile if we can establish an effective non-corrupt government. Also the "we broke it we bought it" policy does not apply, as we had legitimate reasons to invade, unlike in the Iraq War.


I agree with every point you made.

However, withdrawing from the Middle East does nothing to actually FIX these problems. Instead, it just hides them until the next time the country is engaged in conflict, and then we'll have to deal with the same problems, if not worse ones. If the policies are the problem, then our demands should be more direct than "End the war!" Our demands, and the actions that go along with these demands, need to be focused toward fixing the problem, not just sweeping it under the rug so we can pat ourselves on the back for "accomplishing" something with our protesting.

Also, the only difference of view I have on Afghanistan is that our sole objective over there isn't to set up a government. It's part of the foreign policy that goes along with waging war in another country, especially when the country in question didn't have a solid government to begin with. Effectively, it's still business-as-usual in Afghanistan, because they had a corrupt government run by warlords before we invaded. But, the reason we're there is for the Taliban and the fundamentalist groups like them. Which is where the complexity of the situation comes from. How do we continue to wage a war against "terrorists" while limiting the wrongdoing of the ISAF and our hired contractors? If the policies are ineffective because they promote the abuse of human rights, then those policies need to be singled out and changed. Our call to action should be for more transparency, more responsibility, and more culpability for those who promote these policies.

That's my two cents.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:24 pm
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See Arrrgh



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 251
Location: New England
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sarah q wrote:
See Arrrgh wrote:
sarah q wrote:
I've been to a handful of protest in the last year, mostly to document. I can't say I felt that energized by any of them until yesterday.

The Rhode Island Mobilization Committee were out protesting against many of Obama's policies at the Convention Center. We started out as 47-48 and were joined by several people along the way who were clearly just out for a walk. Mothers with children in strollers got in line behind us and marched with our group.

There were a few scattered tea-partiers when we got there, and our group was large and visually intimidating to both the cops and other protesting groups (except Queer Action Rhode Island because we let out a chants early to let them know we supported them).

The tea-partiers had some Obama as hitler signs. They tried to start arguments with a few members or our group, but quickly got shut down as most of them didn't fully understand what they were protesting.

They also thinned out and dispersed fairly quickly upon seeing how organized we were, that we chose to plant ourselves front and center, and that we had the energy and organization to stay together and chat for an hour straight.

I'm going to go back and check the numbers and probably come back and correct this, but I want to say we had around 75 at the high point.

We also had the attention of most of the press.

It was the first time I was energized by a protest and felt like we were accomplishing something.

We scared several tea-partiers away and that felt like a small victory. Strangers on the street joined in, that also felt like a small victory.

Normally I don't do much chanting, I mostly just take pictures and observed, but as we walked past a bunch or racist, bigoted tea-partiers I found myself chanting at the top of my lungs because we out numbered them by a lot and I needed them to know that.


I'm confused by the fact that the journalist who wrote the article about the protests yesterday couldn't tell the difference between 50 - 75 people and "about two dozen."



I mean... That doesn't look to be anywhere close to 50 - 75 people, in my opinion.












This will be my last disagreement in regards to yesterday's protests because it's just becoming a squabble.

That's no where near 75 people. It's roughly 30 - 35 people. Which is a lot closer to "about two dozen" than claiming there were 75 people in attendance representing the RIMC.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:29 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 1379
Location: Rochester, NY
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See Arrrgh wrote:
Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
See Arrrgh wrote:

Instead of demanding our immediate withdrawal from the area, why don't we demand that the soldiers and contractors abusing the people be held responsible for their actions? Instead of generalizing anyone in a uniform, or any contractor employed by the DoD, why aren't we targeting the specific people responsible for these infringements on the Afghan people's human rights?


Abuse is the direct result of government policy. The threat of abuse by specific individuals (something that is inherently part of all wars) is much smaller than the threat created by the government actively seeking to torture, detain indefinitely, and in some cases kill combatants without due process of any kind.


My stances are thus:

Iraq. Withdraw immediately, they are strong enough on their own.

Drone attacks. Stop them, they kill innocent civilians, inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and violate other nations' sovereignty.

Abuses of human rights including infinite detention, torture, murder without trial. Stop them, they inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and are often carried out on completely innocent people.

Afghanistan. The situation has a complexity that is difficult for me to understand. I don't want them to fall to the Taliban, but establishing a weak corrupt government, which is all we've done so far, hardly seems worth the price we've paid in blood. Remaining there will only be worthwhile if we can establish an effective non-corrupt government. Also the "we broke it we bought it" policy does not apply, as we had legitimate reasons to invade, unlike in the Iraq War.


I agree with every point you made.

However, withdrawing from the Middle East does nothing to actually FIX these problems. Instead, it just hides them until the next time the country is engaged in conflict, and then we'll have to deal with the same problems, if not worse ones. If the policies are the problem, then our demands should be more direct than "End the war!" Our demands, and the actions that go along with these demands, need to be focused toward fixing the problem, not just sweeping it under the rug so we can pat ourselves on the back for "accomplishing" something with our protesting.

Also, the only difference of view I have on Afghanistan is that our sole objective over there isn't to set up a government. It's part of the foreign policy that goes along with waging war in another country, especially when the country in question didn't have a solid government to begin with. Effectively, it's still business-as-usual in Afghanistan, because they had a corrupt government run by warlords before we invaded. But, the reason we're there is for the Taliban and the fundamentalist groups like them. Which is where the complexity of the situation comes from. How do we continue to wage a war against "terrorists" while limiting the wrongdoing of the ISAF and our hired contractors? If the policies are ineffective because they promote the abuse of human rights, then those policies need to be singled out and changed. Our call to action should be for more transparency, more responsibility, and more culpability for those who promote these policies.

That's my two cents.


The government in Afghanistan now does not have the support of the people. Without the support of the people it is easier for the Taliban to take over. Leaving a corrupt government in place is not ideal.

As for protests...protests don't work when they're complicated. "End apartheid," "Free India," and "End the War" are easier messages to get across than "Constructive Policy Change" and "Regulate the Derivative Market." Troops need to be withdrawn from Iraq. They're still dieing over there and it's still costing us money. Those are problems worth solving. I don't know what you mean when you say "withdrawing from the Middle East does nothing to actually FIX these problems." Withdrawing from Iraq would substantially decrease the incentive for terrorism.
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:29 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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A statement from the home page of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (a group that I had been marginally familiar with before, but who See Argh suggested we all view as a source on the feelings of Afghan women during the exchange in the other thread.)

http://www.rawa.org/rawa/2009/05/07/lets-rise-against-the-war-crimes-of-us-and-its-fundamentalist-lackeys.html
RAWA, 07.05.2009
Let’s rise against the war crimes of US and its fundamentalist lackeys!
RAWA Statement on Massacre of over 150 civilians in Bala Baluk of Farah Province by the U.S.
Injured girl in Farah. RAWA Photo
Photobucket
(Photos of Bala Baluk Massacre) (Report and Video Clip)

As the US occupiers continue killing our innocent and sorrowed people without regret, this time they committed yet another horrible crime in Bala Baluk village of Farah Province. On 5th May 2009, the US airstrikes targeted people’s homes, killing more than 150, mostly women and children. This is another war crime but Pentagon shamelessly includes Taliban as the perpetrators too and announces the civilian deaths being only 12!

The so-called ‘new’ strategy of Obama’s administration and the surge of troops in Afghanistan have already dragged our ill-fated people in the danger zone and his 100-day old government proved itself as much more war-mongering than Bush and his only gifts to our people is hiking killings and ever-horrifying oppression. This administration is bombarding our country and tearing our women and children into pieces and from the other side, is lending a friendly hand towards the terrorist Gulbuddinis and Taliban -- the dirty, bloody enemies of our people-- and holding secret negotiations and talks with such brutal groups.

While our grieved people are burying the torn bodies of their loved ones in mass graves; the traitor lackey Said Tayeb Jawad, in his comfort in the USA, tries to dim the war crimes of his masters and about the killings of civilians, shamelessly salts people’s wounds saying, “this is a price we have to pay if we want security and stability in Afghanistan, the region and the world.”!

If his or other ignoble spies like him would lose their children and dear ones like the people of Bala Baluk, would they still become so stone-hearted and remain silent in the face of US/NATO war crimes in Afghanistan?

The only way our people can escape the occupant forces and their obedient servants is to rise against them under the slogans of: “Neither the occupiers! Nor the bestial Taliban and the criminal Northern Alliance; long live a free and democratic Afghanistan!”
Post Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:51 pm
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Z-0



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Posts: 700
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this is on RAWA's "about us" page:

http://www.rawa.org/rawa.html

"The US "War on terrorism" removed the Taliban regime in October 2001, but it has not removed religious fundamentalism which is the main cause of all our miseries. In fact, by reinstalling the warlords in power in Afghanistan, the US administration is replacing one fundamentalist regime with another. The US government and Mr.Karzai mostly rely on Northern Alliance criminal leaders who are as brutal and misogynist as the Taliban.

RAWA believes that freedom and democracy can’t be donated; it is the duty of the people of a country to fight and achieve these values. Under the US-supported government, the sworn enemies of human rights, democracy and secularism have gripped their claws over our country and attempt to restore their religious fascism on our people.

Whenever fundamentalists exist as a military and political force in our injured land, the problem of Afghanistan will not be solved. Today RAWA's mission for women's rights is far from over and we have to work hard for establishment of an independent, free, democratic and secular Afghanistan. We need the solidarity and support of all people around the world."
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:01 am
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Confidential



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There's got to be a term for the specific type of logical fallacy that says, "if you are anti-war, then you are pro taliban."

My dad's a viet nam vet. I've seen the lasting effects of war- PTSD, Disease related to chemical weapons, alcoholism and he's one of the lucky ones that made it back alive with all four limbs. One thing my dad repeated as i grew up was that war is ugly and guns are terrible.

i don't know how much evidence we need. i mean every war destroys innocent lives. this whole war machine system is wrong. i feel like if you need a objective reason to be against war, then you might be spiritually impoverished. But that's just me, coming from a spiritiual trip.

I'm learning to accept that there is some truth to different sides of an argument. It's reasonable to question the effectiveness of protests. The largest globally coordinated mobilization in word history i believe was the 2003 Iraq war protest. We kindly asked our statesmen not to have a war. It didn't work. And there is some activist scenesterism going on, which is actually why I reject the label of "activist."

Sometimes I feel like the state wants us to protest so they can say how free we are, or to provide a pressure valve for activists. i get the feeling like the statesmen are looking down from the building saying "look at those activists, aren't they cute." Now if the state were made ungovernable, if war was made unprofitable by us in the movement, and if protesting was something that regular people did, and not something that we do to validate our activism, then that is a different situation.

I don't know how much evidence would be enough to convince yall that war is imperialist colonial bullshit violent racism. For me, you either see how much misery and destruction this system cause or you don't, and evrything else just details - the mountaintop removal, chemical warfare, poisoning water systems on Native American reservations, death penalty, white phosphorus, NAFTA, Oscar Grant, Manuel Jamines, LAPD, bio-prospecting, mansanto, ICE raids - all details.

I'm sure that during India's independence, there were some very rational arguments made against independance, as there were probably some good arguments, based on facts, that were made in favor of segregation, slavery. I'm positive that during Algeria's independence movements, the colonialist intellectuals pointed to the Muslim woman's veil as a reason why the Algerian people needed France to "liberate" their women and their people. But a people that does not want an occupying force will make it ungovernable and unprofitable to the colonizer.
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:27 am
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Disharmony



Joined: 01 Jun 2003
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Jared- Thanks for the well thought out lengthy response, it was a good read. But I think you misunderstood my original statement. I do not think all protesters are this way, but I do feel a large majority are. I have not been apart of any protests, but the ones I've witnessed while driving by or seen from different media outlets appear to be more of a spectacle then a call for change. I am not doubting change does come from them and they hold their place in cultural and political change, I just think a lot of people go about them in the wrong manner. I may be speaking from pure ignorance though, so forgive me.

I would guess organization is the key factor. Everyone should have the same plan, the same general goal of the protest and know they shouldn't act outlandishly in any way to draw unnecessary negative media attention. This isn't the 60s anymore. Protests are not bringing crooked politicians to their knees anymore because they know the general consensus on the average protester. They're labeled radicals, outcasts, unruly, terrorists, antipathies to reaching political fruition. A lot of these negative stereotypes really hurt the long-term goals in American societies eyes. And let's be honest, the average American is practically brain dead when it comes to politics- I am almost in this group. I'm like a baby t-rex trying to do push ups.

We live in a country where we have the basic right to protest and let our voices be heard. But is protesting the same way the God Hates Fags organization does really the only way to get your voice/message across? I understanding that the spectacle is part of the allure. It's a good recruitment strategy to draw younger, more energetic crowds who are the foundation for any type of change in the future, but it cheapens the point to me a little. Again, I am speaking out of ignorance to the types of protests you and other affiliates procure.

I would also like to say that I admire anyone with a strong political passion and a desire to change. The fact that you can get any type of group of people together to protest the same idea is amazing; It takes a drive and a fire that most people(ie-me) don't possess out of their own narcissistic and generally lazy ways. When most people think of protests they can only imagine the widely televised ones that were shaking the foundations of American society over thirty years ago. Things are not like this anymore. We live in a different climate, but that's not saying we should just accept it. I feel like as long as you're getting results then you must be doing something right, but I also think activists should be looking for new ways to convey and get their messages across while avoiding looking like just another run of the mill collection of nutter butters. Yelling and screaming at the public doesn't seem very effective to me.

With all that being poorly said probably, hah, I'd also like to say I have a lot of respect for you Jared and what you do. I've been a fan for quite a long time.


Look mommy...a parade!


Something like this: will make any politician shit themselves. Because it is comprised of people, not clowns, and a clear message.
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:11 am
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See Arrrgh



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
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Location: New England
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
See Arrrgh wrote:
Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
See Arrrgh wrote:

Instead of demanding our immediate withdrawal from the area, why don't we demand that the soldiers and contractors abusing the people be held responsible for their actions? Instead of generalizing anyone in a uniform, or any contractor employed by the DoD, why aren't we targeting the specific people responsible for these infringements on the Afghan people's human rights?


Abuse is the direct result of government policy. The threat of abuse by specific individuals (something that is inherently part of all wars) is much smaller than the threat created by the government actively seeking to torture, detain indefinitely, and in some cases kill combatants without due process of any kind.


My stances are thus:

Iraq. Withdraw immediately, they are strong enough on their own.

Drone attacks. Stop them, they kill innocent civilians, inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and violate other nations' sovereignty.

Abuses of human rights including infinite detention, torture, murder without trial. Stop them, they inflame/radicalize the Muslim world and are often carried out on completely innocent people.

Afghanistan. The situation has a complexity that is difficult for me to understand. I don't want them to fall to the Taliban, but establishing a weak corrupt government, which is all we've done so far, hardly seems worth the price we've paid in blood. Remaining there will only be worthwhile if we can establish an effective non-corrupt government. Also the "we broke it we bought it" policy does not apply, as we had legitimate reasons to invade, unlike in the Iraq War.


I agree with every point you made.

However, withdrawing from the Middle East does nothing to actually FIX these problems. Instead, it just hides them until the next time the country is engaged in conflict, and then we'll have to deal with the same problems, if not worse ones. If the policies are the problem, then our demands should be more direct than "End the war!" Our demands, and the actions that go along with these demands, need to be focused toward fixing the problem, not just sweeping it under the rug so we can pat ourselves on the back for "accomplishing" something with our protesting.

Also, the only difference of view I have on Afghanistan is that our sole objective over there isn't to set up a government. It's part of the foreign policy that goes along with waging war in another country, especially when the country in question didn't have a solid government to begin with. Effectively, it's still business-as-usual in Afghanistan, because they had a corrupt government run by warlords before we invaded. But, the reason we're there is for the Taliban and the fundamentalist groups like them. Which is where the complexity of the situation comes from. How do we continue to wage a war against "terrorists" while limiting the wrongdoing of the ISAF and our hired contractors? If the policies are ineffective because they promote the abuse of human rights, then those policies need to be singled out and changed. Our call to action should be for more transparency, more responsibility, and more culpability for those who promote these policies.

That's my two cents.


The government in Afghanistan now does not have the support of the people. Without the support of the people it is easier for the Taliban to take over. Leaving a corrupt government in place is not ideal.

As for protests...protests don't work when they're complicated. "End apartheid," "Free India," and "End the War" are easier messages to get across than "Constructive Policy Change" and "Regulate the Derivative Market." Troops need to be withdrawn from Iraq. They're still dieing over there and it's still costing us money. Those are problems worth solving. I don't know what you mean when you say "withdrawing from the Middle East does nothing to actually FIX these problems." Withdrawing from Iraq would substantially decrease the incentive for terrorism.


I agree. Withdrawing from Iraq is a must. But that's not what these protesters are going for. It's all or nothing for them, and that makes them idealists who fail to realize the complexities that exist in Afghanistan. Also, our presence isn't the only reason these fundamentalist groups dislike us. Our whole lifestyle, everything about us as the public, is what gets them crying for Jihads. We can't change much of this, which is part of the problem. And when I say "withdrawing from the Middle East..." I specifically mean the problems with the policy and actions of the military (and the government at large), as well as the actions of the fundamentalist groups we put into power who have become their own groups. I understand that the easy slogans make sense for protests, but it can't be assumed that 10+ years of the same tired slogans have done anything. Instead of protesting, perhaps there are more things that can be done to help solve the real problems that exist so that when we leave, we won't just be ignoring the problems and claiming "victory" because our troops (some good, some bad) have vacated the region. My point is thus: If 10+ years of the same thing has yielded no results, should we be looking for new tactics to try and help the people who are suffering (at the hands of the allied forces, as well as the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups) over there?
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:56 am
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sarah q



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
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http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/26/holding-the-dems-accountable
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:24 am
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sarah q



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 175
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See Arrrgh wrote:


This will be my last disagreement in regards to yesterday's protests because it's just becoming a squabble.

That's no where near 75 people. It's roughly 30 - 35 people. Which is a lot closer to "about two dozen" than claiming there were 75 people in attendance representing the RIMC.


In that case this will be my last disagreement. I was there. Myself and several other people counted heads in our group when we first met at Burnside before the march even began. We started with 47-48. I counted twice. One of the main organizers confirmed my numbers when I mentioned we started with 47-48. We grew in size from that point on. You weren't there and you only have pictures and a right-leaning news source to go by so it makes you sound foolish to decide that you knew how many people attended an event you weren't at.
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:29 am
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