December 16, Washington, DC, the White House — “The speeches were over. There was a mournful harmonica rendition of taps. The 500 protesters fell silent. One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.”—Chris Hedges from “Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail.”
The wars and the occupation of Iraq still rage. We read almost daily of new atrocities spawned by our corporate government’s ruthless militarism. People in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine, as well as our own soldiers, experience these things firsthand.
When soldiers, wounded and maimed, both in body and soul, come home, do they find relief from the horror of war and killing, or does it haunt them, affecting their families, friends and communities? Do they find accessible medical care? Do they find support from the very military they served or are they cast off like so many no longer useful tools? Do they readily find gainful employment or a steadily deteriorating economy and job market for the poor and middle classes while Wall Street thrives?
What about the people in the countries the war machine is still destroying, supposedly to bring them democracy and freedom? Can we imagine what their lives are like?
What about the planet we live on? Are we aware that the U.S. war machine is the greatest polluter on earth?
Hedges says, “War perverts and destroys you. It pushes you closer and closer to your own annihilation—spiritual, emotional and, finally, physical. It destroys the continuity of life, tearing apart all systems, economic, social, environmental and political, that sustain us as human beings.”
On March 19—the anniversary of the brutal invasion of Iraq, where over a million Iraqis and almost 5,000 U.S. soldiers died with thousands more grievously injured—as the occupation of Iraq and the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue unabated, Veterans For Peace is calling for increased veteran-led nonviolent civil resistance at the White House.
As these words are written, men, women, and children are dying because of our government’s deadly policy of war. Yet the state of endless war threatens to achieve normalcy in this country. We cannot let this happen. There is no justification for these wars, but there is a desperate and urgent need to show the United States and the world that nonviolent resistance will continue to grow in strength and numbers until these wars end.
There are two critical ways that you can help build resistance here in the United States.
Most important, put your body on the line for peace and join us on March 19!
If you can’t do that, or even if you can, please support this effort with your donation. With your support and participation we’ll be at the White House March 19, resisting the war machine with numbers far surpassing our effort in December.
Resist the War Machine!
For more information on participating in the March 19, 2011, veteran-led civil resistance to the war machine, email firstname.lastname@example.org.