Don’t ya know there’s a war on?

If you’re a U.S. citizen capable of any political action, your first duty is to end this war.

We are the only people who can do this. We can vote, we can spend on candidates and organizations who change votes, we can demonstrate. No one else can.

The subject line of this post kept popping up in my head today. Just today I saw long articles, discussions, and arguments in blogs and publications about Mr. Obama’s pastor and his big mouth, about Tibet and the Chinese Olympics, about the sexualization of a 15-year-old girl as a television star, about the introduction of video into the Flickr photo site, about the virtues and vices of demonstrations in which large numbers of people ride around on bicycles… it goes on.

When the torch for the god-damned Olympics came through San Francisco, the local supporters of the Dalai Lama organized a dramatic, well-organized, and clearly expensive attack on the event and made international headlines. The arguments I mention above were not little squibs like this post, either; they stretched into yards-deep webspace over days, burrowing into tiny whorls of forum thread.

Imagine if you will, an alternate version of the last month, in which the creative energy, free time, technology, expertise, and most of all the money, money, money, money, money implied by all that crap above had been thrown at one big anti-war punch. A demonstration, a television ad, a get out the vote for an important legislator, a front page ad on every newspaper. And imagine if that happened every day. Because it could. We’re a wealthy nation with a crapload of free time. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write. Those who can’t write, write checks. (Personally I write and write checks. I’m not very good at throwing bricks.)

If you think the war should continue, I’m not talking to you. If you agree that the war must be stopped, could we all maybe spend less effort, time, thought, and ESPECIALLY MONEY on other issues?

Don’t ya know there’s a war on?

13 thoughts on “Don’t ya know there’s a war on?

  1. Prithee, the peasantry agitate at the infamous behaviour of Miss Cyruse. Mayhaps their minds be clouded.
    And it’s an invasion. And I don’t know what to do.


  2. Good luck, C. While I expect a monstrous demonstration is unlikely, maybe at least some industrious few will summon the energy to vote in such a way as to bring the war to a close sooner. While there are other problems in your country, this war is certainly the ugliest.


  3. Man I could write a book on this sentiment and it’s accompanying depression. But I won’t. It is hard to keep momentum going and spotlight on something happening literally on the other side of Earth. Intellectually we know there is a war on, but emotionally since we are not confronted with the hardship and emotional trauma that war daily inflicts on those around it, it is easy to forget and dismiss things as not as important as last night’s American Idol. After all, the war will still be there tomorrow.
    Right now my focus is laser-tight on immigration. Even tho I am half white, and obvious a US cit, I have plenty of cousins who are fully spic and look it, and the amount they get harassed on a daily basis 30miles outside of SF is ridiculous. My one cousin, I think I told you before, has been arrested like 4x for speaking spanish to a cop aka “suspicion of illegal status”.


  4. I would pay attention, but the congress ate my homework and I think they got me pregnant while doing so so I haven’t paid much attention to that whole, uh, war thingie.


  5. Sadly, we have three major problems to overcome before we’re going to end the war. Each of these three problems is one of the root causes of just about everything wrong in the world, not just the fact that we’re spending our posterity into ruin on a disastrous war.
    1) Everybody wants the war to end, but there is surprising variation when you examine how people imagine scenarios for concluding hostilities. The faction that just wants the military withdrawn from all its current combat theaters immediately, and we’ll worry about how to defend against the radical aggressors later, is small and poorly organized. Other factions are larger and more powerful.
    2) Public demonstrations of dissent, which might otherwise help address the previous problem, don’t carry the weight they should because we’ve managed to industrialize the process of marginalizing dissenters and manufacturing consent. If we could mass enough people and motivate them all to throw bricks in the same direction, we might change the regime and build a consensus for how to end the war on time and on budget, but short of that: we’re a manageable side-show, not a force that demands negotiations.
    3) The cultural hegemony of American militant authoritarians, which prevents the previous problem from being addressed, is basically invulnerable to attack. Just about the only thing that could possibly bring it to heel is the kind of Truth And Reconciliation process that likely won’t happen until after we come out the other side of a truly horrific period of outright fascism.
    You think you’re depressed? At least, you’re not alone.


    1. I still think we can stop *this* war with enough effort. I’m not inclined to dismiss the possibility because things suck worse than they did when we ended the last one in ’72.


      1. Oh, and I’m not dismissing the possibility. I’m just bellyaching about how difficult it will be going forward and how badly behind schedule we are now.


      2. but there never was a war…
        Five years ago today the Mission Was Accomplished.
        The problem is that the Evil Liberal Democrats wanted to keep on giving away welfare.


  6. Yeah! While I find hte content of this post both true, and inspiring, I confess that in my small politically apathetic/ignorant town full of Hummers, my outrage is most often directed at aforementioned Hummers rather than the war itself. One interesting and possibly meaningful thing I did was have my students keep a body count in my classroom last year. We made a tally mark for each dead American soldier, then check the internets and updated it every day. We quickly filled up an entire white-board. It was an eye-opener when I pointed out that we would need four such white boards to track the Iraqi casualties. But still. That’s not much. I vote, and read and try to talk with people, and consume as little oil as possible, but what else? What else? Please advise.


  7. War? What War????
    The Defeatist Liberals are trying to vote mcCain in as the Republican Candidate because they want to stab our valiant fighting forces in the back….
    Therefore if the nation were at war, then there would be none of these defeatist elements trying to stab our troops in the back.
    Hence the nation is not at war.
    The Nation will be more Not at War as soon as anyone replaces the War President.
    So you really need to get with the times. Only the Draft Dodgine Dope Smoking Anti-War types are whining about the fact that the Liberals gave all of the groovey billets to women and homosexuals, while the true warriors were forced to sit this one out….


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