May 31, 2007

Cindy Sheehan: Moving on and Up

Cindy gets it. Our so-called "democracy" is corrupted by the corporate military industrial congressional complex. Yes. Eisenho original farewell address included the word "congressional" before it was removed. His words are worth repeating, and have been added at the end of this entry.

Cindy gets it, as did some researchers who published in Foreign Affairs. Their conclusion? The United States does not practice democracy. It is an imperial force in the world, driven by commercial and material goals at the expense of human needs. The transition is so deep, encompassing the vast majority of the mass communications media, that only external forces can correct the situation.

I posted several comments on other web sites, over the Memorial Day weekend, in response to reading Cindy Sheehan's "resignation letter." The gist? It seems that Cindy is moving on from the peace movement to the justice movement. My commentary is that we CAN wait for peace, because justice is a priority.

If anyone wants an answer to, "what's next?" it is provided by the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD). If you're serious about change, then you should read through the POCLAD research, which is laid out to some degree in a 10-part self-study program compiled by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (it's a misnomer... they're all about Justice ;-) Their program is entitled "Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights."

The three-part activist strategy is worth repeating (Dave Henson gets credit for this):

1) Devote some time to deep, multi-generational struggles, like freeing slaves, women's suffrage, and revoking corporate power.

2) Devote some time to fighting the immediate struggles, like humanitarian relief, saving historical artifacts from destruction, and key legislative battles.

3) Devote some time to developing alternative social structures (solutions to the problems), like alternative economic frameworks, alternative governance and electoral frameworks, and exploring means of positive cultural change.

Excerpt from Eisenhower's Farewell Address

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

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