Today marked the fouth anniversary of the unprovoked invasion, occupation and sacking of a small, poor and broken country, Iraq, by the mightiest country on earth, the United States. Four years of an unjustified, immoral and horrible war that has resulted in the loss of over three thousand American lives, cut short in their youth, the maiming of thousands more, the death of countless thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens and the utter destruction of their country. A war effort, steeped in corruption, that has plundered our national wealth to enrich a handful of crony corporations. A war launched on a platform of lies and distortions against a country that was never a threat to us nor that could harm us even if the intent had existed. A war promoted by men who never fought in war and whose purpose was to remake the Middle East and thus make its oil wealth easily available and safe for looting by American oil companies.
Thus did thousands of New Yorkers march through the streets of Manhattan yesterday to protest the war launched by this president ... the worst president ever; A man who sits atop the most corrupt administration in our country's history. New Yorkers were joined by tens of thousands in cities throughout the country and around the world.
The New York Times, which boasts that it is the "paper of record," ignored the patriots who marched in its own city yesterday. Instead of a headline on the front page, "New Yorkers March by the Thousands to Protest the War," they saw fit to bury any mention of the outpouring on page five of the second section. It was one of nine bulleted entries in its Metro Briefing along with such earth-shaking events as "Off-Duty Officer Catches Suspect," and "Brooklyn: Carbon Monoxide Forces Evacuations." So much for all the news that's fit. Apparently, the justified criticism of its supposedly objective journalism which supported the war in the run-up to the invasion has not made much of an impact on its policies. And so its blackout on news coverage of popular protests against the continuing Bush debacle.
Click picture for a larger view (then hit back to return).
Thousands marched in New York yesterday, braving the cold and snow, to protest the war. Message to the media: This is real news not the diversionary Anna Nicole dribble.
Today Bush pleaded for patience. The chutzpah! We should be patient with a policy that has had such disastrous results for Americans and Iraqis alike? Patient with the lies? Patient with the dying? Patient with the waste and corruption? As Bush, himself, once said, "Fool me once, shame on you...." Oh, never mind, you know what that fool said. The time for patience is long past. It's time for Congress to heed the mandate of November's election and put an end to the war now.
Just trust him one more time. Um, I don't think so and neither do most Americans.
Tonight I attended two candlelight vigils called by Moveon. The weather was cold, dreary and wet, yet folks came to stand in the cold on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall and give witness to the tragedy of this terrible war. The names of fallen soldiers were read and written passages from parents and friends describing their loved ones were recited solemnly and with great dignity. It was quite moving.
Gathering at Brookln's Borough Hall to mourn four years of war.
Candles to mourn those whose lives have been cut short.
People came out in freezing rain to say NO to Bush and NO to his surge.
Later, my friend Sam and I went to another vigil, this one on Strong Place in Cobble Hill. I questioned why they would hold a vigil on a quiet, residential block instead of on a major thoroughfare where more people could witness it. But after, moved by the vision of a group of neighbors standing with their candles in front of a house on a peaceful Brooklyn street, I thought to myself that if this scene were repeated in block after block and neighborhood after neighborhood, the impact would be immense. It takes courage to stand up and proclaim your resolute opposition to your government's policy in front of your neighbors. But if each of us who oppose this war did it instead of retreating to the comfort of silence, might not the war have been over by now? Dr. King said it so eloquently:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.Let us hope that, come a year, we will not be standing vigil with candles once again.
Singer Dan Zanes reads the names of lost Americans, young victims of Bush's endless war.
Reading the names. Pictures of deceased Brooklyn soliders hang above the vigil.
This coming Sunday, March 25th, is the date for a Brooklyn Peace Parade. It's remarkable in that it is being organized by a young, single mom who has not been an activist. Just a mother so upset by the war that she felt compelled to take action on her own. In a few weeks, it has mushroomed into a major community happening. Those of you who live in Brooklyn (and those of you not lucky enough to live here) are invited to participate. This is a kid and family-friendly event. You're invited to bring musical instruments, drums, signs, banners and ballons and, most of all, "your voices for peace" as the flyer urges. By clicking on the image below, you can download a pdf version of the flyer which you can print and distribute for your contacts. Help make this a big Brooklyn turnout for peace! (Details on time and location for the parade are on the flyer. Just click on the image below).
Click on the image above to download the flyer (details on time and location are on the flyer). Print it out, cut it in half - there are two to a page - and distribute to friends and family.