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(en) New Slingshot edition: Stop the Everyday

From dr.woooo@nomasters.org
Date Sat, 11 Jan 2003 06:44:13 -0500 (EST)

way ( war?)
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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> from http://slingshot.tao.ca PB Floyd

As horrifying as the prospect of the United States
launching a pre-emptive strike war against Iraq is to
millions of people, one has to wonder if we're
not all falling into precisely the trap that Bush and
Company are laying for us.

This war is being conjured up out of thin air, timed
during a major economic downturn, with
“debate” and Congressional approval of
the war conveniently scheduled a month before
mid-term elections. People are hurting financially all
over the country. Under these circumstances,
Bush&'s war talk appears to be a cynical attempt
to divert attention from domestic problems, in hopes of
gaining a short-term political advantage. The chance to
diminish the United Nations, flex unilateral US
military dominance, and increase world oil supplies are
gravy. The pretext of making the world
 safe  from Iraq is at best laughable.

If the only ripple effect of Bush's war strategy was
securing Republican control of the Congress, perhaps
it wouldn't be so bad. Whether Congress is controlled
by Republicans or Democrats is essentially irrelevant
since both stand for the same earth destroying, worker
exploiting, world dominating policies.

But the ripples haven't been limited to the mainstream
political reality. In the US and around the world, people
involved in popular movements that had been starting
to challenge the economic assumptions of the ruling
order - generally known as the anti-globalization
movement - have shifted their time and energy to
opposing the approaching war. Time that could have
been used for positive action has been consumed on
reaction - playing defense, not offense.

If those in power are able to divert activism that would
have been directed against their economic domination
into defensive single-issue activism narrowly focused
against war, the war will pay much greater dividends
than mere control over vast oil resources.

For our part, it's crucial that we don't
lose sight of the real war while we're opposing
Bush's manufactured war against Iraq.

The real war is waged every day, receives little media
coverage, and isn't the subject of countless marches
and rallies by well-meaning liberals: its the war of the
powerful against the weak, the north against the south,
industrialism against the earth, cold economic
rationalism against life and freedom.

This daily war systematically causes far more
destruction, human misery, death and environmental
destruction than Bush's contemplated war against Iraq
will. Bush's war may kill a million Iraqis, a terrible,
unacceptable, horrendous cost.

But how many people are dying day in and day out
because of this capitalist/industrial system? How many
are living lives as walking dead, their spirits crushed,
serving a machine? How many live without food, clean
water, a dry place to sleep, any hope or future?
Between 1 and 2 billion people worldwide live below
the subsistence threshold. Even in Western
industrialized countries, millions live hopeless,
powerless lives.

As terrible as war against Iraq would be, and as
vigorously as we must oppose, disrupt, and if possible
prevent the Iraq war, the everyday war must not be
permitted to continue. If the war on Iraq can be
prevented, it won't be time to sit back in satisfaction
and declare that everything is now A-okay. The day
before a war on Iraq begins, and the day after it ends,
the daily war will continue.

The daily war concentrates the power and weapons of
mass destruction in the hands of the United States that
makes a war on Iraq possible. Only when the daily war
is ended once and for all will the need to oppose this
and that military adventure off into the future finally

Fortunately, opposing the war against Iraq and
opposing the daily war against the earth and its people
are not totally incompatible. While its certainly possible
to oppose the war against Iraq in such a narrow way
that the everyday war is not simultaneously opposed,
there are numerous opportunities to use the struggle
against the Iraq war to promote understanding of the
struggle against the everyday war.

The horror, the waste and the brutality of war can
focus attention on the gap between the rhetoric of our
rulers, and the reality of this system. People who
believe in the system   who believe that the US is a
kind nation which promotes democracy and peace  are
ripe to be radicalized when they see how the system
operates in practice. In September and October, polls
showed a majority of citizens opposed a preemptive
attack against Iraq in the face of international
opposition. Folks wrote thousands of letters, lobbied
their representatives, and got nothing. Now they sit,
opposing the US regime, feeling increasingly alienated
from the system.

Our opposition to the Iraq war can promote greater
awareness of the everyday war by emphasizing the
failure of liberal methods and assumptions. The
approval of congressional resolutions in favor of the
war shows that the system doesn't care what citizens
think. The whole affair demonstrates that the United
States government relies, not on the promotion of
democracy and peace, but on naked military superiority
in international relations.

People who turned out by the thousands to anti-war
demonstrations have been confronted with the reality
of the corporate media   these demonstrations were
largely ignored.

>From the liberal perspective, war against Iraq seems
an aberration   a violation of the liberal conception of
the United States   role in the world. This is an
opportunity to point out that the war isn't an
aberration   its an honest expression of a society that
promotes power, violence and domination over
self-determination, cooperation and human life. In
short, the war unmasks the death culture that is the
capitalist / industrial system.

Each speech given by Bush demonstrated the gap
between rhetoric and reality: Bush and the US
government are guilty of most of the  evils  that Bush
charged against Iraq:

The US attacks and threatens to attack its neighbors
without provocation.
The US is the world's leader in weapons of mass
Bush emphasizes the danger of Iraq acquiring nuclear
weapons, when the US already has thousands of them.
The US is the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons
in war, and its war plans contemplate their use again,
including preemptively.

If these actions are evil for Iraq, how are they good for
the United States? Nothing distinguishes the US's
military domination of the world scene from
Iraq’s much weaker attempted military
domination of their local scene.

The task of the radical community goes far beyond
working to publicly oppose the war against Iraq.
It's crucial to prevent Bush & Co. from using
the war to distract the world from a critique of
economic domination. Moreover, it's up to us to use
our struggle to oppose the war in a positive way   to
build a movement against the everyday economic war
all around us.


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