YOU PEOPLE here on FDL, with your many thought-provoking diaries and comments of late, many of which can be found in my last diary entry, have given me much to think upon.
I’m a historian. I’m also an American, which is why I refuse to write “an” historian. I know that, as Mr. Spock once said, history is replete with turning points. Seeing them when they are actually happening is rather more difficult, and perhaps impossible, but I don’t think it’s impossible to see the chance for seizing the opportunity for making a turning point when such opportunity arises. I truly think that We, the People of the United States of America, have such an opportunity right now, and in the coming months. But we must ACT, and act forcefully, and together, or it will pass us by.
Some very rare and unusual things have happened in just the last couple of weeks. The British people forced Parliament into refusing to allow Britain to join the American government in yet another foreign war. The American people as a whole, quite rightly, wondered where the hell our own Congress was in this matter, and flooded our Congresscritters with emails, tweets, faxes, phone calls, letters, and old-fashioned in-your-face rants demanding that they DO something to stop a war the clear majority of us did no want. Some of those Congresscritters, even House Speaker John Boehner, worm that he is, let President Obama know that Congress had damned well better be given a chance to vote on this matter. Either Obama’s advisers or Obama himself(it really doesn’t matter which) figured out that this course of action was necessary, at least for now, and decided to get an authorization for war against Syria, even if they refuse to call it that, from the American people’s elected representatives.
Then something else happened. The clear majority of the American people, across the political spectrum, across all racial, ethnic, gender, age, and religious divides, said NO! It became clear that there was no way, no how, that the House of Representatives was going to approve such a thing. Then John Kerry opened his mouth and gave Russian President Vladimir Putin and opening, which he seized upon, and Obama had to back down.
At least for awhile. But we all damned well know that he and the others of our ruling kleptocratic oligarchy will be back, making the case for war, telling us it’s necessary for this, that, or the other reason, and telling us that those of us who are opposed to war are traitors threatening the national security of the country. The old Herman Goering ploy, as cmaukonen has described a couple of times on this site.
Some see a replay of 2002 and 2003, when President Bush II and company successfully waged a propaganda campaign to secure the invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq. That is undoubtedly what most of our oligarchy wants to see happen again, but it absolutely does NOT mean that it WILL happen again in Syria.
Much has changed in the last 11 years. The events of September 11, 2001 are now 12 years in the past. America has not been recently attacked by anybody. America HAS been at war, non-stop, since the Afghan Conquest and attempted annexation. The Iraq War and occupation drags on, even if it is mostly private American contractors and Iraqis fighting other Iraqis. The Second Great Depression is STILL alive and well, no matter what our government and corporate media say, and most Americans are very much aware of that. Our standard of living continues to deteriorate. The rich get richer, and the rest of us get poorer, the rich LIKE it that way, and they control our government and our representatives, so it just keeps getting worse.
None of these facts are in dispute among the clear majority of We The People. It doesn’t matter whether we are Democratic or Republican, Green or Socialist, Constitutionalist or Libertarian, theistic or atheistic or agnostic, black or white or brown or red or yellow, male or female, straight or gay or anything else, we KNOW those things are true.
Now. In 2013. Not so much in 2003, but this is not 2003, it’s 2013.
And all of us think that waging yet another imperial war, this time against Syria, is a Bad Idea. Unacceptable, in fact. And we have made ourselves heard. For now.
We can continue to make ourselves heard. We can continue to discover that when we act together, we have real power, power enough to defeat the oligarchs. Power enough to make John McCain and the other warmongering profiteers cry.
We, ALL of us, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, Socialist and Communist, anarchist and libertarian, left and right, pro-choice and pro-life, pro or anti-gay marriage, beer drinkers and wine sippers, hardcore drunks and teetotalers, steak-lovers and vegetarians, hybrid car owners and SUV owners, rednecks and rappers, tattooed and non-tattooed, pierced and unpierced, jocks and nerds, ALL of us need to focus like a laser beam for the next few months on one objective and one objective only: STOP. THE. WAR.
The oligarchical propaganda machine is already gearing up to divide us so its masters can manipulate us, divide us, and most importantly, control just enough of us in order to get what they want. I guarantee you that you will see lots more posts that scream about LGBT or racial or gender or religious injustices on sites like this one, and the mirror image on the more “conservative” sites very soon. Anything to divide and distract We The People from discovering our real common ground, and our real power. And anything to keep us from stopping THEM from getting their nasty little and highly profitable war.
We have to learn how to organize ourselves in order to fight the common enemy–the oligarchs, the kleptocrats, the Wall Streeters, the military-industrial complex. We have to learn not to let them distract us from our common purpose with stories about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. We have to learn to ignore the Nancy Grace’s of the world.
So. For now, and for the next few months anyway, I say this. Stopping the war must be primary for the next few months. TPP? Sure, if it comes up, fight like hell to delay it, at least. The Teabaggers will probably agree with you on that one, too. What American wants to give up our sovereignty to foreign multinational corporations? Abortion? LGBT? Guns? They’re not important. We HAVE to stop this insane war first. Then we can concentrate on making our government and our economy more accountable to US. All of us.
But we can only do that if we first unite in a common cause to stop a truly preventable evil. We can stop this war. And in the process, we just might find that those Teabaggers we so despise really aren’t all that despicable, and they in turn will figure out that we on the left are people just like they are. We really DO have more in common than we have in differences, because we are, after all, in the same social and economic classes.
We can win this one, folks. But only if we act now, keep acting for awhile, and act with others with whom we disagree on other issues and they with us. But it’s doable.
Historical turning points are just like that.
And have a nice night.