Mudcat Café message #2738521 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123871   Message #2738521
Posted By: sing4peace
04-Oct-09 - 10:40 PM
Thread Name: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
Haddocker - I am truly sorry for your experience. I am sorry for the betrayal you experienced from those who sent you to the war and for those who judged you for it when you got back home.

I grew up in a military family. I was born in the shadow of nuclear bombers in the land of perpetual searchlights. My father - whom you met - was a master air traffic controller for the Strategic Air Command. I know how the military gets used - and abused.

That is why I am concerned about the G-20, the globalizing economy and the ever widening use of surveillance, intervention, imprisonment and other forms of intimidation that are growing exponentially more ubiquitous.

My experiences within the belly of the beast have gone a long way toward informing my pacifist practice. And nowhere in my experience of demonstrating against the U.S. military interventions from Vietnam to Afghanistan have I, or anyone I have ever personally known, ever spit on a veteran or in any way caused harm to a wounded person. When you speak of the actions of a few, please remember that they are only a few and look beyond that and see that there were - and still are - many voices in the wilderness who are the voices of compassion and healing.

A couple of years ago, I happened to spend a week volunteering to help people in my town look names up on the Moving Wall, a touring replica of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. During that week, I had many conversations with veterans whose opinions on the impact the anti-war demonstrations had on troop or "enemy" morale were far more varied than one might imagine.

One one hand I heard how I, as the embodiment of the entire anti-war movement(a lot of responsibility for one person) with my peace songs and marching, was responsible for giving comfort and encouragement to the enemy and how our movement was responsible for the war going on as long as it did.

On another hand, I heard how the peace movement was responsible for the war going on as long as it did because we didn't go far enough in our protests and, in our cowardice, we were responsible for more of the killing and dying.

I am tired of being held responsible for other people's acts of murder and mayhem. I am not responsible for the actions of any other person. I speak only for myself. I am responsible only for my own actions or lack thereof.

All I can do is try to follow the still small voice within that leads me to shine a light into the darkest recesses of the war machine to reveal who really is responsible for the war and all the horror attending.

When the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Bush and Cheney started the war in Iraq under false pretenses, I understood that to be the highest form of treason possible. Where was the outrage? I personally went into the middle of a conference of U.S. Attorneys General to hold up a sign asking why Bush and Cheney weren't under arrest (2007). Who is responsible for the continued violence our troops are experiencing or perpetrating in Iraq or Afghanistan or Guantanamo Bay? The peace movement?

There are unanswered questions from back then that still have a bearing on what's happening now. We have to take a broader look at these events to see who really is pulling the levers behind the curtain.

I think those are the right questions to ask. They might be inconvenient questions but I'm asking anyway.

We are all in this together.

Curiously questing -