This Madness Must Cease! Resist the War Machine March 19, 2011

Click here for a full-size pdf of the flyer

By Tarak Kauff

“Somehow this madness must cease.” That’s what Martin Luther King said in his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in April 1967.

Almost 44 years later madmen are still running the asylum. Last December 16, many of us were at the White House fence, where we were taking a stand for peace. We were opposing that same entity that Martin Luther King called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”

Violence in Iraq continues as more than 50,000 U.S. troops and mercenaries continue to occupy that war-devastated country. In Afghanistan, 850 children are dying daily, some directly from U.S. bombs, many from illness and starvation, all this, byproducts of the evils of war.

But it is not just that these wars and occupations for empire are evil; they are endemic of an insane corruption of the human condition.

To sane human beings, war, not to mention permanent war, is madness. But to the madmen who control America, wars that reap massive profits are normal. Madmen do not pity the suffering, do not empathize with others’ pain that they cause. Cold to the misery of others, immune to reason and conscience, they are a strange lot, these dispensers of death.

James Connolly, the Irish socialist leader who was executed by the British in 1916, said:

It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare,’ of the ‘rules of civilized warfare,’ and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress. What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.

Over time, this “mad ruling class” loses the very qualities of love, kindness and empathy that make us human. Like inhuman monsters they become, these executors and guardians of an equally inhumane system of corporate capitalism, destroying all that humanity holds dear and sacred.

Those who are mad with power will never voluntarily relinquish, nor surrender to even the most eloquent and passionate appeals. They are like drunken drivers whose license must be revoked. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”—Frederick Douglass

The system and those in power recognize that the source of their power is a subdued, sedated and manipulated public, a public fed lies and fantasies that can, when needed, be manipulated by fear or coercion. They play all the angles. But as the uprisings in Tunisia and now Egypt show us, lies, fear and coercion can be resisted.

Here in the United States, war profiteers are thriving while people are losing homes and jobs. We don’t have adequate health care or decent education for our children, and civil services are cut while the Pentagon budget grows exponentially.

During the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964, Mario Savio said, “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.”

Join veterans, many of whom have seen the madness and horror of war firsthand, as we march again to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end of U.S. wars and occupations, as well as an end to U.S. military support and aid for oppressive right-wing client states like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and $3 billion-plus-a-year partners in crime like Israel.

March 19, 2011. Help make this the largest veteran-led civil resistance to the war machine in recent history. E-mail and we’ll keep you posted.

As Martin Luther King said 44 years ago, “Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter—but beautiful—struggle for a new world.”

For more information on participating in the March 19, 2011, veteran-led civil resistance to the war machine, email

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3 Responses to This Madness Must Cease! Resist the War Machine March 19, 2011

  1. Markin says:

    *On The 8th Anniversary of The Iraq War (Really 20th) A March 19th Veterans-Led March In Washington To Stop The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq-All Out In Support Of The Vets

    Markin comment:

    In the lead up to the December 16, 2010 Veterans For Peace led- civil disobedience action in Washington, D. C. where 131 people were arrested (many of whom later had the charges against them dropped) I motivated my support for that action as described below in a blog entry that I am reposting today. That same general motivation applies (with a caveat noted below) as another Veterans For Peace-led planned civil disobedience action is scheduled for March 19th 2011, the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War II. (Although as noted in the headline to this entry it really is the 20th year as the Catholic Worker-led demonstrations in Washington on January 15, 2011 made clear, correctly clear.)

    I note here that while I support and will attend the March 19th actions (with as many of the group that I belong to as can come that day) because they are very symbolic actions on an important anti-war occasion I am worried, at least a little worried, that if we do not take more arrests (more than 131 that is) this action will be seen as a failure. Not by the media, of course, as they hardly paid attention on December 16th. Not the Bush I- Clinton- Bush II- Obama government, of course, they haven’t paid attention at all, ever. But militants, and potential militants, who will dismiss such actions out of hand and write off street actions as the work of cranky old men and women. In short, we do not want to get civil disobedience-itis any more than we wanted to keep doing those endless dwindling mass marches. So to do this right-All out in support of the Vets- All out to resist these wars- All out to end Obama’s Iraq and Afghan Wars.

    December 1, 2010

    A December 16th Veterans-Led March In Washington To Stop The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq-All Out In Support Of The Vets

    On November 11, 2010, Veterans Day, I marched with a contingent of Veterans For Peace in the Boston Veterans Day parade and posted an entry in this space about my take on the event. (See, A Stroll In The Park On Veterans Day- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S. Troops From Iraq and Afghanistan!, dated November 11, 2010). As part of that commentary I noted the following:

    “Listen, I have been to many marches and demonstrations for democratic, progressive, socialist and communist causes in my long political life. However, of all those events none, by far, has been more satisfying that to march alongside my fellow ex-soldiers who have “switched” over to the other side and are now part of the struggle against war, the hard, hard struggle against the permanent war machine that this imperial system has embarked upon. From as far back as in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) days I have always felt that ex-soldiers (hell, active soldiers too, if you can get them) have had just a little bit more “street cred” on the war issue than the professors, pacifists and little old ladies in tennis sneakers who have traditionally led the anti-war movements. Maybe those brothers (and in my generation it was mainly only brothers) and now sisters may not quite pose the questions of war and peace the way I do, or the way that I would like them to do, but they are kindred spirits.”

    Now comes word (click on headline for March 19th action) that veterans are leading an action in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 2010 in front of the White House under the rubric of “Peace On Earth.” There is no question that I, the anti-imperialist committee that I am a member of in Boston, any self-respecting radical or, hell, any self-respecting little old lady in tennis sneakers for that matter, could not endorse this thing. If for no other reason that it begs, literally begs, Warmonger-In-Chief Obama (of the double troop escalations in Afghanistan with nobody holding a gun to his head remember) to “do the right thing.”

    That said, the sentiment expressed above in that Veterans Day commentary still holds true. So I, and all I can gather to go with me, will be in Washington on December 16th. I will hold my nose in doing so, although not my tongue, trying to get my fellow vets to change course. In my hand I will hold this slogan-Obama- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S. Troops From Iraq and Afghanistan! And I won’t be begging him about it, no way.

  2. Richard Parisio says:

    Please send me information on the civil disobedience actions planned for March 19 and/or 20 in Washington, DC.

    Thank you.

  3. kim hanna says:

    Good sign for the protest:

    “Just Following Orders” was ruled ILLEGAL at Nuremberg trials.

    REAL soldiers DON’T TORTURE
    (especially their own)

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