An Unhappy Birthday

Sadly, it is that time of the year again. It has been 6 years since the invasion of Iraq. We have seen over 4,200 US soldiers die, 30,000+ injured, 100,000’s of Iraqs and Afghanis killed, $100’s of millions spent DAILY with an estimated total cost upwards of $3 trillion with no end in sight, and countless refugees and destruction.

Now we have a president who is keeping 10,000’s of troops in Iraq and escalating war/occupation in Afghanistan. How much more blood and money will be lost?

There are a number of events this weekend starting Thursday in both East Bay and SF. The big demonstration is Saturday.

It is worth pausing to reflect and ask some questions. Should we blame Bush? Cheney? Halliburton? Blackwater? Congress? Obama? We see changing faces and talking heads but retain the same face of our militaristic priorities and those who profit from it.  I am tired of blaming them. We deserve their fair share of accountability. “They” just did what they always have done and always will do–usurp more and more power, rev up the the war machine for the profit machine.

It is to be expected.

If citizens fail to act unified in resistance they fail to pull the plugs on that agenda. The system functions the way it does because it is allowed to function.

But we have the power. Indeed, only citizens have the real power. But in the face of a titan war machine that real power is only realized en masse.

Complaining to our friends is cathartic, but the gears keep grinding away. Emailing our Mr. or Ms. Representative “Status quo” makes us feel like we are doing something—kind of like prayer. Bumper sticker activism is cute.  But isn’t the point to change the way things are and push them in the direction of the way we would like to see them?

Last year at this time I was arrested along with 100+ others for direct actions in SF. I am only more encouraged and determined that people working together to create the world they want to see, to resist, to get their voices heard, and to NOT COOPERATE is the right thing to do and the only thing that has worked to create a more sane and just world. Remember, India ground to a halt and made the British pay attention with the help of a Gandhi on his non-cooperation days.

And that was before Facebook!

Here are some of the figures to reflect upon on this 6th anniversary:

Iraq Numbers
Cost of War
Washington Post numbers


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