Can the Peace Movement Halt Pentagon’s Aggression?

June 6th, 2023 - by Donald A. Smith / Progressive Memes

Can the Peace Movement Stop the Mlitary Goliath?
Donald A. Smith / Progressive Memes

Not even six months after the disastrous end to the disastrous war in Afghanistan, the US was again at war — this time a proxy war with Russia. As summarized here and documented in detail here, the US provoked the war via aggressive NATO expansion that senior diplomats had warned would result in a military response.

Would the United States allow Russia or China to set up armed client states along US borders? We don’t even allow vaguely socialist governments to be established in South America without instituting coups and economic sanctions. Eastern provinces of Ukraine and the Crimea are ethnically Russian. The US exploited divisions in Ukraine to provoke a war to overextend and unbalance Russia, using the good people of Ukraine as pawns in a cynical geopolitical chess game.

Our government is actively provoking and preparing for war with China over the issue of Taiwan, which since 1972 the US formally acknowledged to be a province of China (the “One China Policy”): “the United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.” (source)

Military spending is approaching a trillion dollars a year -— even more if you count interest on war-related debt and the Departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security.

Almost nobody was held accountable for the disastrous and deadly wars and proxy wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Latin America, Syria, and elsewhere. According to Brown University’s Costs of War Project, US wars since 9/11 have directly killed over 900,000 people and indirectly killed an estimated 3.5 million others. The financial costs since 9/11 exceed $8 trillion (ibid). Imagine what we could have done with that money if it had been spent productively.

If you go back to the 1960s and include deaths from the war in Vietnam and US-backed the war in Indonesia (which killed close to a million people according to The Jakarta Method), deaths from US wars approach 10 million.

Peace activists are outnumbered and “outgunned” by the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank) Complex, which Congress continues to fund exorbitantly. Indeed, funding for war is about the only thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on.

It’s Like David versus Goliath
As documented by FAIR in What you should Really Know About UkraineWaPo Wants US ‘Beacon’ for Ukraine Refugees—but Not for Haitians and Invasion News Fits on Front Page More When an Enemy Does the Invading.

The Mainstream News Media Are Pro-war
John Deni (Wall Street Journal12/22/21): “The West ought to stand firm, even if it means another Russian invasion of Ukraine,” because even though “the human toll will be extensive… the long-term damage suffered by Moscow… is likely to be substantial as well.”

The massive March 18 peace march in Washington, DC was almost completely blacked out in the US corporate media. See FAIR’s report: Covering up Antiwar Protest in US Media.

The Hidden Costs of US Militarism
The government runs up the debt, there is no draft, and the people suffering and dying from the wars are mostly foreigners. So, unlike in the 1960s, the peace movement is ineffective and is even divided: over whether to arm Ukraine. NATO is expanding to include Sweden and Finland, and European nations and Asian allies are increasing military spending.

It’s easy to feel hopeless and to adapt a Hedgian pessimism

Chris Hedges has written, convincingly, that all institutions of US society have been corrupted by money and militarism.

But there is still hope. We can’t give up!

As Lenny Kravitz said in his song Let Love Rule:
Love can conquer any war
It’s time to take a stand
Brothers and sisters join hands
We got to let love rule

Ideas for Making an Effective Peace Movement

Two-Pronged Approach
Not all peace activists agree that the US bears substantial responsibility for provoking the war in Ukraine. We should work on educating such people about the background to the Russian invasion, because knowledge about that background makes it much more likely that people will oppose continued escalation. But we can still work with such people who think the US is mostly innocent in the crisis, since many of them still want to avoid the costs and risks of escalation, including possible nuclear war.

Prevent War with China
Moreover, few people in their right mind would want war with China — which seems likely to happen, given current US policy.

Surely most people who support arming Ukraine don’t want war with China. And anyone who calls themselves progressive or humane should want a smaller military budget, with fewer weapons.

Organize and Work with Sympathetic

Hold teach-ins and panel public forums

Use young and attractive spokespeople

Have Worldwide Protests
Then we can get a peace candidate such as Robert F. Kennedy in the White House, with Medea Benjamin as Secretary of State, and Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of the Department of Peace.

Further Viewing
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