Speak Out - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Statements from a wide array of individuals and organizations about why they are taking up the Call for November 2nd.

Monday, October 31, 2005

A Call from New Orleans

A Call for Everyone, and Especially People Dispersed from New Orleans, to
Act on Nov 2nd to Drive Out the Bush Regime
by Malik Rahim, Common Ground Collective, New Orleans

I urge
everybody who sees the horrors that the Bush regime is inflicting on the
country and the world, and the even greater horrors they have in store for
the future, to join in making the mobilization on Nov 2nd--Drive Out The
Bush Regime, The World Can't Wait--as powerful as possible. Bush & co.
showed their true colors with their actions and inactions in New Orleans
before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. The Bush administration
weakened the levees in the months leading up to the hurricane. They
refused to evacuate people once it was clear the hurricane was going to
hit New Orleans hard. After the Hurricane, they failed to rescue people
whose lives were at risk or provide the food and water 1000's of people,
most of them Black, needed to survive. They blocked others from
volunteering to provide these necessities. And when people in New Orleans
organized themselves to go out and get the food, water and medicine they
and others needed to survive, Bush called for zero tolerance for what he
called looting. These criminal actions are completely in line with
everything Bush & co. have done since they came into power. From waging
war on Iraq based on lies, to torturing people and detaining people
without trial around the world, and in this country. And they have even
more horrible things in store for us and the world, if they're not
stopped. These are scary times, and I'm not somebody who scares easily.
They are times when it is urgent that people act. A lot of people are
disturbed by what the Bush regime is doing and need some way to express
their feelings. But they cannot find it in the politics that are usually
practiced in the US. People need to step out, take to the streets and
resist. As the Call for Nov 2nd puts it: "We must, and can aim to create a
political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where
Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has
been taking society is reversed." All this is why I am calling on people
everywhere who hate injustice to get involved in mobilizing many more
people to get involved in Nov 2nd. I especially urge those who have been
displaced from New Orleans to all parts of the country. We must take our
anger at what Bush and the rest of them did to our city. We must take the
story of New Orleans into the actions on Nov 2nd to give them added
strength and determination. Do this for the people of Iraq, for the people
of New Orleans, and for yourselves.

On Nov 2, 2005 -- THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT


Sunday, October 30, 2005


“It makes a lot of
difference. We cannot let them continue to make us
believe that our voices don't make a difference. It's
not just coming out once on November 2, but it's over
and over and over again. It's really important for a
lot of reasons: to show the media we mean business, to
show our government we mean business, to show the
world that not all Americans are robotic idiots. It's
really important not to sit on your couch and think
that I can't make a difference because one person can
make a difference.”


“I’d like to express my support for the
plan to have nationwide protest by students on
November 2nd, protest not just against the policies of
the Bush administration, protest against the war, but
against the general direction which our country has
been moving in for some time, a direction which the
Bush administration has moved faster on, more
fanatically on than any previous administration. By
that I mean that the country has been moving towards a
militarized country, a country bent on expansion
abroad and on the curtailment of civil liberties at
home, the direction which the country has been going
is a direction which is disastrous for the ordinary
people of this country. Because what it means is that
the enormous wealth that we have in this country is
going to be expended on military adventures abroad, on
expansionism, is going to be diverted into the pockets
of the super-rich in this country and the rights of
people to health, to housing, to education, to
employment, those rights are more and more being
diminished. And it seems to me that we are at a
historic turning point in this country where we will
need to turn the country in a different direction if
we are not going to be headed towards collapse and
disaster.” (Full text:

Gore Vidal:

“As the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen so,
with 8 years to prepare, 2008 will perhaps be the last such election, ending
the republic unless that 70 percent who are beginning to grasp just what is
going on join together in a popular movement dedicated to ending pre-emptive
wars and restoring the nation to its traditional tax base which repaired levees,
educated the citizenry and at regular intervals repaired the wall that Thomas
Jefferson wisely put in place to separate church from state. Join the demonstrations
this Wednesday, November 2, to launch a movement to drive out the Bush regime. For
the location nearest you, see www.worldcantwait.org.”

from Ajamu Sankofa, Esq.

"The question now before us is civilization or barbarism. The criminal class
now running the United States has not only violated all of the fundamental
mores of civilized living both domestically and internationally, but it is also
driving the destruction of the natural world and all who live therein due to
their wanton greed, global violence, cruelty, and stupidity. They must go now!
Today, there is no room for debate of this profound question. The time is
immediately upon us for all freedom loving people who care for the survival of this
earth and all who live therein to bring the reign of this criminal class to
an absolute end. The historic necessity for completing the arduous task of
removing the Bush Regime is upon us all. In this process, we must expand and
defend human freedom and human rights by any means necessary and ensure that this
criminal cabal and any future replication of its features are removed from the
stage of human history forever. We cannot wait."

-Ajamu Sankofa, Esq.
N'COBRA Angola 11 Harlem Chapter

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Martin Espada - 2 poems

Martin Espada submitted the following two anti-war poems to World Can't Wait upon adding his name to the call for November 2, to drive out the Bush Regime.

Blues for the Soldiers Who Told You
"I¹m like a country who can¹t remember the last war."
Doug Anderson
They told you that the enemy and the liberated throng
swaddle themselves in the same robes and rags,
wear the same masks with eyes that follow you,
pray in the same bewildering tongue, until your rifle
trembles to rake the faces at every checkpoint.
They told you about the corpse of a boy or girl
rolled at your feet, hair gray with the powder
of rubble and bombardment, flies a whirlpool blackening both eyes,
said you¹ll learn the words for apology too late to join
the ceremony, as flies become the chorus of your nightmares.
They told you about the double amputee from your town,
legs lopped off by the blast, his basketball friend
bumping home in a flag-draped coffin
the cameras will not film anymore,
about veterans who drench themselves in liquor
like monks pouring gasoline on their heads.

They told you in poems and stories
you did not read, or stopped reading
as your cheeks scorched with inexplicable fever,
and because they spoke with a clarity that burned your face,
because they saw with the vision of a telescope
revolving around the earth, they spent years wandering
through jails and bars, exiled to roads after midnight
where gas stations snap their lights off one by one,
seers unseen at the coffee shop waiting for bacon and eggs,
calling at 3 AM to say I can¹t stop writing and you have to hear this.

You will not hear this, even after the war is over
and the troops drown in a monsoon of desert flowers
tossed by the crowd, blooming in their mouths
to stop their tongues with the sweetness of it.

The God of the Weatherbeaten Face
For Camilo Mejia, conscientious objector

The gods gathered:
the crusader god took off his helmet,
the desert warrior god stood his shield in the corner,
the sword-maker god sat between them sharpening blades,
the bombardier god spread his maps on the table,
the god who collects infidel heads traded trophies
with the god who collects heathen scalps,
the god of gold opened his handkerchief
for the god of oil to wipe his dripping chin,
the god who punishes sin with boils scratched his boils
and called the meeting to order.

And the gods said: War.
Sergeant Mejia heard the prisoner moan under the hood
as the guards shoved him into a steel closet, then pounded
with a sledgehammer on the door until the moaning stopped;
heard machine gun fire slicing heads from necks
with a roar that would be the envy of swords;
heard a soldier sobbing in the toilet for the headless boy
who would open his eyes every time the soldier closed his own.

Sometimes a song drifts up
through the moaning and sledgehammers,
machineguns and sobbing.
Sometimes a voice floats above pandemonium
the way a seagull floats over burning ships.

Sergeant Mejia heard his father¹s song,
the peasant mass of Nicaragua:
Vos sos el Dios de los pobres,
el Dios humano y sencillo,
el Dios que suda en la calle,
el Dios de rostro curtido.
You are the God of the poor,
the human and simple God,
the God who sweats in the street,
the God of the weatherbeaten face.

Iraq was crowded with the faces of this God.
They watched as Sergeant Mejia said no to the other gods,
miniscule word, a pebble, a grain of rice,
but the word flipped the table at the war council,
where the bombardier god had just dealt
the last hand to the god of oil,
and cards with dates of birth and death,
like tiny tombstones, fluttered away.

Sergeant no more, Camilo Mejia walked to jail.
Commanders fed the word coward
to the sniffing microphones of reporters
who repeated obediently: coward.

The cell crowded with faces too, unseen travelers
wandering in from a century of jails:
union organizer, hunger striker, freedom rider,
street corner agitator, conscientious objector.

The God of the weatherbeaten face,
dressed as an inmate steering a mop,
smuggled in the key one day, and Camilo Mejia
walked with him through epiphany's gate.


It’s time we assert ourselves,
And said to these outrageous liars
Who offended our sense of decency
And native intelligence

It’s time to BUGGER OFF!
Get lost!
And let’s unite on behalf of peace and sanity
and all that makes life rich and worthwhile.

Tom Paine was perhaps the most eloquent visionary
of the American Revolution.

His book, “Common Sense,” sold a couple of hundred thousand copies.
The population was hardly four or five million,
which means, of course, people read it.
It was a best seller for years.

He says, in that,
“Let us not let them confuse reason with treason.
Enough of that nonsense.”

Bush administration!

What I’m saying, really, is:
The World Can’t Wait!
Drive Out the Bush Regime!

DAHR JAMAIL, independent journalist:

"It is more clear now than ever that the Bush Administration is a cabal of war criminals. They’re not going to stop with their agenda; they have to be stopped. World Can’t Wait is a very effective action toward bringing these criminals to justice. I strongly urge people to join the November 2 demonstrations and then continue to support this campaign."

Friday, October 28, 2005

How Has it Come to This?

On November 2nd, one year after an election that saw more 'irregularities' than any in recent history, I will be leading a march to the streets to drive out the Bush regime! For me, a 65 year old retiree, who has believed in the orderly transition of power and reasoned argument in the public forum, I can tell you that this is a radical departure from my pattern of support for and trust in our system.

When our vote is taken away or made meaningless, as has now happened, our reality in America is changed in a fundamental way. No longer can we, the citizens, hold those in government accountable for their actions. That is what has happened in America, I am now certain, after examining the many studies done following this election. We now must face the terrible fact that we are ruled by a regime that claims a mandate to do as they please, when in fact they represent an illegitimate and criminal tyranny over us.

And look what they have done with that unchallenged power: Established torture as a policy of interrogation; instituted concentration camps around the world where those simply accused are sent to languish with no defense or hope of exoneration; illegally invaded a country based on fabricated intelligence, killing many thousands of innocents and turning the entire world community against us; pillaged our treasury and transferred untold wealth to their cronies, supporters and our largest corporations; devastated our environment by removing all protections that guard the very life support system of our planet. The list is long.

We face huge crises in the near future as our oil runs out and global warming crashes down on us. Many feel we have only a decade during which we can face these great dangers squarely and still hope to save ourselves. This regime is wasting our much needed grace period by ignoring and exacerbating these threats.

The World Can't Wait! We cannot face the challenges of our times until this gang of unchecked zealots who are driving our country over a cliff to its doom are driven from power, and a new direction can be charted for our country and world.

If our votes no longer count, we are left with the one vote that does count, he vote we make with our feet. I implore you, join with me and the many millions in America who see this great threat to our common future, and come into the streets and the town squares on November 2nd across America, and, with one voice, say loudly to these illegitimate leaders in Washington: NO! HIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT! THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT!
Jim Oberg is a retired engineer who intended to spend his golden years with is friends on the golf course. He lives with his wife and two cats in Wilsonville, Oregon, and can be reached at worldcantwait2005@yahoo.com .

Message from Howard Zinn


I’d like to express my support for the plan to have nationwide protest by students on November 2nd, protest not just against the policies of the Bush administration, protest against the war, but against the general direction which our country has been moving in for some time, a direction which the Bush administration has moved faster on, more fanatically on than any previous administration. By that I mean that the country has been moving towards a militarized country, a country bent on expansion abroad and on the curtailment of civil liberties at home, the direction which the country has been going is a direction which is disastrous for the ordinary people of this country. Because what it means is that the enormous wealth that we have in this country is going to be expended on military adventures abroad, on expansionism, is going to be diverted into the pockets of the super-rich in this country and the rights of people to health, to housing, to education, to employment, those rights are more and more being diminished. And it seems to me that we are at a historic turning point in this country where we will need to turn the country in a different direction if we are not going to be headed towards collapse and disaster.

The impetus for such change so often depends on the young, so often depends on students, not alone on students of course, but students can very often be a kind of spark that sets off, that increases the power and energy of the national movement. We’ve seen this in the past, we saw it in the civil rights movement where young Black students in the south really set of the sparks that ignited a national struggle by Black people which finally ended in the elimination of legal segregation in the south and which changed the consciousness in the country. We saw students again involved in the war in Vietnam, opposing the war. The students were joined by other people and by the veterans of the war-- but the students themselves on hundreds of campuses across the country played a crucial role in causing other people to think about what was happening in this country. And so I see what’s happening now as something requiring something like what we have seen in the past, and that is for a new student movement which would sort of wake people up, which would perhaps be the opening of a recognition by other people in the country that we are on a dangerous course in this country and that we want to have a different kind of society, one devoted to peace, one devoted to economic justice, to racial justice.

For those reasons I see the November 2nd action as something really important, [that] might be a turning point in the development of a student movement and then a national movement to change the direction in which the country has been going. I don’t think the world can wait, I don’t think the nation can wait, I don’t think history can wait. This is I think a moment for people who have wondered, “What can I do?” This is a moment for people to engage themselves and join others. And there’s nothing so uplifting, nothing so rewarding as to become part of a movement for social change.

Howard Zinn

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The War in Iraq, The Scandals, The Democrats. . . and Why The World REALLY Can't Wait

[The following analysis of Bush's recent important speech to military spouses was written by a supporter of the World Can't Wait efforts.]

In the televised speech Bush gave on October 25 to military spouses (and this is very similar to one he gave earlier this month to the National Endowment for Democracy) he asserted once again and argued very aggressively for a whole vision and plan for what can only be accurately described as an open-ended and endless war--which will not only continue in Iraq but will target any country, government, or other force that the Bush regime declares to be a supporter of terrorism and an enemy of freedom. And Bush specifically and explicitly raised the level of threats his regime is directing against not only Iran but Syria as well. This is Bush's response to the growing criticism of his war policy and what it has led to in Iraq. And this is a dramatic illustration of what is in the WCW Call--and specifically the very first point that "YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights."

Bush insisted once again in this speech that the people of the U.S., and of the world, have no choice but to accept American imperial domination in the world, and the endless wars to enforce and extend that domination. The only alternative, according to Bush, is to face the prospect of living under--and to be cast as supporters and "enablers" of--an "evil empire" of fanatical Islamic fundamentalists who are intent on ruling over the whole world...when, as Bush sees it, only the U.S.--and in particular the Bush regime, with its own brand of fanatical religious fundamentalists, including Bush himself--have the right to do that! But these are not the only possible choices: Bush's perverted version of reality, and catastrophic vision of the future of humanity, cannot and must not be accepted--it must be massively and actively rejected, opposed, resisted and defeated--by people in the U.S., together with others throughout the globe.

This speech by Bush, with its vision and call for unending war, was given in the midst of mounting scandals within the Bush regime and among its allies in Congress, and in the context of intensifying investigations and possible indictments of key people associated with this regime. Once more, this speech is Bush's response to these scandals and to the fact that his regime is increasingly embattled and unpopular. This is the articulation of a vision and agenda that is indeed worthy of a Hitler. This is yet another powerful demonstration of why this regime must be driven from power, why the world can't wait!--and why there is a growing basis for actually driving out this regime.

Is the Bush regime actually in trouble? Yes, definitely. Does that mean that it is no longer powerful and dangerous? No, in a very real sense, it is all the more dangerous and determined, and will bring about more and even greater horrors, until it is driven out. And no investigations, or even indictments, are going to change this, in and of themselves. In fact, there is a way in which the growing scandals, difficulties and, yes, real crises of the Bush regime can contribute to something good, but that is if, and only if, they are recognized as illustrating, all the more strikingly, the need to, and the basis to, drive out this regime--and if they are seized on to build, ever more powerfully, a movement of massive resistance to do just that, beginning in a big way on November 2 (the first anniversary of Bush's "re-election").

Of course, there are still people who hate everything the Bush regime represents, and its whole agenda, but who are holding out the hope that the difficulties it is facing will make things more favorable for electing a Democratic Congress in 2006 (and a Democratic President in 2008) and who therefore think that, rather than mobilizing to drive out the Bush regime, we should pin our hopes on, and wait for, those elections. But the questions must be honestly, and urgently, posed: Can we afford to wait that long before doing something decisive to defeat this regime and its whole agenda? And by voting for Democrats would people really be doing anything to change the whole course on which this regime has set the country, and indeed the world? The answers are NO and NO.

If, instead of bringing forth, from here forward, the kind of massive resistance, of millions, that is both urgently needed and is possible, we focus our attention on elections and on electing Democrats, this will only mean that things will be in an even far worse place by a year from now, in terms of what is happening in the world and what it is possible to do to oppose it. And, anyway, what exactly is it we would be "waiting for" in terms of these elections? Can anyone honestly say that in 2006 (or 2008) it will be possible to vote for a Democratic Party that would:

Bring an end to U.S. occupation in Iraq and other wars to enforce and extend American imperial domination in the world?

Put a stop to the torture being carried out by the U.S. government and others cooperating with it?

End the imprisonment of people without rights or legal representation and the heightened repression embodied in the Patriot Act?

Actively and uncompromisingly oppose Christian fundamentalist attacks on evolution and on science and the scientific method in general, and on the separation of church and state?

Vigorously defend the right to abortion, and to birth control?

Consistently and systematically defend the rights of gay people?

Seriously address and do something to actually end the continuing discrimination and institutionalized racism, oppression and poverty that were once again and dramatically brought to light through hurricane Katrina and in the way the government has dealt with that natural disaster and its aftermath?

The answer to these questions, as well as the actions of Bush himself, in the face of growing difficulties for his regime and its agenda, show once again why the Call, "The World Can't Wait! Drive Out The Bush Regime!" is speaking to a profound truth and a profound need when it says:

"There is not going to be some magical `pendulum swing.' People who steal elections and believe they're on a `mission from God' will not go without a fight.

"There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party, This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into `leaders' who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.

"But silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn--or be forced--to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.

"And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history."

Once again it is crucial to understand that the growing difficulties and mounting crises of the Bush regime, and Bush's response to all this, only serve to underline both the urgent need, and the growing possibility, to drive out this regime, through the mobilization of millions of people who know in their hearts that in fact they must, and are coming to see that they can, change the course of history through their own independent historical political action. And, as the "Call" for November 2 concludes:

"The point is this: history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined.

"The future is unwritten. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US."



Why I'm Getting Arrested at the White House Today

-David Swanson (signer of the Call The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime)October 26, 2005

The first reason I'm going to lie down, refuse to move,and wait to be arrested outside the White House todayis my belief that massive civil disobedience is neededif we are going to end the war and forestall the nextwar. The power of nonviolent sacrifice has been triedand tested. It may not work this time, but nothing elseseems remotely likely to do the job, not even my mostextravagant hopes for indictments. I'm being aspractical as I know how to be. Public opinion is widelyagainst the war in this country, in Iraq, and aroundthe world. Talk is cheap. Our democracy is a shell.Something more is needed.

But there are other reasons for my action. A few ofthem are:

* Solidarity -- I've been encouraging civil disobedienceand reporting on it, but have not been engaging in it. If I miss another useful opportunity to engage in it, Ibecome a hypocrite and a bad example. And were I tomiss it, I would miss the bonds of solidarity that areformed in such actions. If you think I am right, what do you think about whatyou, yourself, are doing? Or not doing?

* Admiration -- I plan to get arrested together with Cindy Sheehan and other leaders of the movement forpeace, including veterans of the war and family membersof the dead. I greatly admire these people and considerit an honor to act with them.

* Honor -- I want to honor and remember the people whose lives have been most directly destroyed by this war,including those who have fought in it on both sides,and those -- the vast majority of the dead -- who havedied in this war without ever picking up a gun. These people have been brutally attacked from behind a deskin an oval-shaped office. Children have lost limbs andminds by the tens of thousands for the greed and powerof a small number of cruel people.

* Anger -- I'm extremely angry. A gang of criminalsblatantly lied to the world about the reasons for theslaughter. There could be no acceptable reasons forsuch a thing, but I would be less angry -- I think -- orit would be a very different anger if they had givenhonest reasons and my compatriots had accepted them.Instead they told lies. They concocted stories. Theyforged documents! [http://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezioni/
esteri/iraq69/bodv/bodv.html ] And many of us knew they were lying.They weren't even so much lying as going through themotions of lying -- this was the level of theirarrogance. This sort of arrogance may never before haveseen its match outside of the profession of journalism-- a profession about which I am too angry to speak.

* Disgust -- I am disgusted with the debate over whetherthe hell that is occupied Iraq might be even worse ifit were no longer occupied. What's at stake here,primarily, is the future of international law, that is:the future right of the country with the most weapons to aggressively attack and occupy weaker countries andnever face justice. If this war is allowed to stand,there is no more international law and cannot be for along long time -- perhaps longer than such a planet willhave for human life. The debate must begin with ademand for justice. If I break into your house and bustup half your furniture, I do not then own your houseand have a moral obligation to stay the night. If Ibully the police into letting me, then I have created alawless state. And if I force you to torture yourfamily members and then claim that you and your family will fight horribly after I leave, that still does notgive me the right to remain. The only decent thing Ican do is get out. When I get out, I owe youreparations and repair services and counselors andaides of your choosing. But staying helps nothing anddestroys great things.

* Communication -- By pretending to die on the WhiteHouse sidewalk, we will symbolize the dead. By being arrested, we will symbolically play out the only decentaction a police officer could perform at the WhiteHouse: arresting its occupant. It is my hope that thepower of nonviolent action, and the brilliance of CindySheehan in working the media (you should have seen themwait in the rain for her yesterday) will communicatethe force of this message to those it has not yetreached, namely the United States Congress.

* Nausea -- The U.S. Congress makes me sick to mystomach. Its members routinely ignore the will of theresidents of their districts. With few exceptions, theywork for corporate greed, not human needs. Theexceptions include Senators (they can be counted on onehand) who have taken baby steps toward ending theongoing global crime in Iraq. The main exceptions arethe approximately 75 Members of the House ofRepresentatives who inconsistently make general motions in the direction of forming an opposition party against the war party.

The stellar exceptions include the leaders of the Outof Iraq Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, members likeJohn Conyers, Maxine Waters, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee,and Charlie Rangel who have raised their voices withrelative strength. Dennis Kucinich has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group [http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/whig ]. Jim McGovernis preparing to introduce a bill to cut off funding forthe war [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/funding ].Not a single Congress Member, despite the wishes of 72percent of Democrats [http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/polling ], has thenerve to support impeachment.

* Hope -- We can give them the nerve. That's what Ihope that civil disobedience will accomplish. (Andlet's hope for some help from Fitzgerald as well).There are signs that we may be turning a corner. Thereare members of both houses beginning to clear theirthroats and open their ears.

* Love -- I love my friends, family, and colleagues.Above all, I love my wife and the baby who is due inMarch. I can't bring a child into a world like thiswithout doing what I can to make it better. And I trymy best to love my enemies and to do what I can todefuse their holy hatred.

David Swanson is creator of MeetWithCindy.org, co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, awriter and activist, and the Washington Director ofDemocrats.com. He is a board member of ProgressiveDemocrats of America, and serves on the ExecutiveCouncil of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild,TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as acommunications director, with jobs including PressSecretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidentialcampaign, Media Coordinator for the International LaborCommunications Association, and three years asCommunications Coordinator for ACORN, the Associationof Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swansonobtained a Master's degree in philosophy from theUniversity of Virginia in 1997. His website iswww.davidswanson.org

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

An Open Call To Poets, Authors, and Academics

“Everywhere an alchemy of resistance transmutes your flowering name.”
— Thomas McGrath, “A Warrant for Pablo Neruda”

It is a moment of unprecedented urgency. Never before in the history of this nation has any administration pushed so avidly for an agenda of such unmasked hatred, suppression, and expansionism. Never before has a religious literalism been placed on footing so equal with – or, in many cases, superior to – that of empirical science. Never before has political prerogative been equated so baldly or totally with race and economic class. Never before have so many been asked to kill and die for the narrow privilege of so very few. Never before has the call to action rung so loudly, clearly, or eloquently as it does now.

Across the world, the simple facts ask little elaboration. America, rather than a friend, potential ally, or even mere bully, increasingly is seen as a juggernaut, blithely rolling with cold-blooded deliberation over all that stands between the ever-narrower band of ideological and economic thugs at the helm and the objects of their avarice. Internationally our government seeks loyalty through intimidation, exemption from basic codes of decency through a hollow rhetoric of siege and emergency, material profit through the most egregious and horrific kinds of violence. The Bush administration has publicly declared a chilling new state of perpetual exception, in which its authority can render foreign nationals stateless, wage illegal wars without due international process, criticize human rights abuses abroad while fostering a climate of repression and torture domestically.

For the academic and literary community at home, the urgency of this situation is articulated with especial clarity, as with stultifying efficiency of mind the administration seeks to marginalize or silence all voices of dissent domestically. At stake are not merely the perspectives and inclinations of a few – nor even those of the majority – but rather the intellectual and aesthetic freedom of pursuit that are the very life and blood of scholarly exchange: fundamentally of issue is our very ability to disagree. This administration in its attacks on the viability and integrity of the American intellectual has been relentless: our journalists are vilified and imprisoned for doing their jobs, ideas that have endured centuries as keystones of our scientific understanding are declared invalid on the authority of religious texts, poets and authors are asked to subordinate their consciences to the sick will of a maddened state.

It is the ample testimony of history that not to act, not to intercede on behalf of reason, compassion – in short, on behalf of our very humanity – would amount to the worst kind of treason against the entire world community: complacency in a rapid, perhaps ineradicable shift toward fascism. Around this nation and the world, a broad movement is coalescing from all corners that exists to dispute the phony consensus evinced, and reverse the vicious agenda pursued, by the Bush regime. We must stand within this movement. If ever poetry were necessary, if ever the world were crying out for the dignified voice of reason, if ever the world needed us, surely, unequivocally, urgently, it needs us now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

NY Teachers Against Bush- "Our Kids Can't Wait!"

We, as educators, support the call “THE WORLD CAN’T WAIT, DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME!” We say, “OUR KIDS CAN’T WAIT, DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME!” We are calling on all teachers, parents, and students to take this up!

Education is under direct attack by this administration. Legislation like “No Child Left Behind”, only serves to further segregate the public school system, failing our children and leaving most of them behind. School funding must be made available to all schools, not just the ones with higher test scores. Jonathan Kozol, author, has said that we are in the process of restoring apartheid education in America! Can we really sit back and accept this? As stated in our call “That which we do not resist and fight to change, we will learn or be forced to accept.”

This government is sending military into our schools and giving them the right to request the records of any student. Why is the government after student records? To seek out the kids with the low test scores (due to unfair testing) to prove to them and their families that the USA army is the best chance they've got?

This government is turning our students into quick and easy military recruits.

Can we really sit back and accept this?

This government has mandated that our children “be held accountable” and are demanding that our children take high stakes tests every year in their schools in order to prove themselves for further funding. A report from Policy Analysis for California Education shows clearly that the more diverse a school is and the more economically disadvantaged students it enrolls, the less likely it is to make Adequate Yearly Progress, which leads to direct punitive action from the government. In other words, the message to struggling schools is, “Fix your problems, get your test scores up, or we shut you down!”

Can we really sit back and accept this?

This government has imposed a separate and unequal education, reduced to test preparation, for the nation’s most vulnerable children.

Can we really sit back and accept this?

Could it be that the state testing mandates with NCLB are inextricably linked to the need for a draft? How incredibly convenient for the military to have a plethora of data on our black youth which show them unfit for college due to the unjust tests given to kids who don’t have resources in their schools to GET an education, thusly turning these same kids into prime military candidates!

This government spends more of its efforts on criminalizing its youth than educating its youth! According to Jonathan Kozol, it costs us $64,000 a year to incarcerate an adult on Rikers Island, and $93,000 a year for a child on Rikers Island, which is 11 times what it spends on the average NYC public school student, and 18 times what is spent on an average 1st grader in the South Bronx. This government uses lower test scores to promote racism, bigotry, and hatred.

Can we really sit back and accept this? No, no, no! The future of our children depends on our actions now.

Nov. 2nd, no school, no work, join the movement to DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME!

Statement from Veterans for Peace LA

We at Veterans for Peace Los Angeles recognize the tragedy fostered on the people of this country and the country of Iraq by the Bush administration's illegal war on the people of Iraq. This is an ideological war, and these wars can never be successfully won. We haven't won the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people as we failed to do in Vietnam, and as in Vietnam we have decimated another country, polluted it with chemicals and unexploded ordinance, and killed many of its citizens. Our accomplishments there are meger our failures legion. Our only course is to pull out of Iraq immediately knowing that the Iraqi people have the werewithall to govern their country and manage and gain benefit from their own resources.

Ed Ellis
Veterans for Peace
Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Message From The Black Law Students Association at Columbia University

A Message From The Black Law Students Association at Columbia University

The people of New Orleans lived in a place where a natural disaster was expected to strike. For years the federal government knew that the city would be flooded if it was hit by a Category 3 or larger hurricane. Last month that day came. The local leaders did the only thing they could- order everyone to evacuate to avoid the catastrophic loss of life and human suffering that would result from Katrina.

But some were left behind, because they had no means to flee or no where to go or no money to pay for shelter and food while they waited until it was safe to return. The only man in the nation who had the authority, power, and resources to quickly and efficiently bring these people and their families to safety was in the next state …on vacation.
Only once it is too late to act, too late to save those who could not save themselves- he comes to survey the damage.

President Bush chose to let the chips fall where they may for the poor in New Orleans. The self appointed evaluator of the fitness of others to rule their nations sat by and let only God knows how many die. Had this happened in Iran, there is no doubt he would have been planning “Operation Irani Freedom” the next day. There would have been no end to the outraged speeches on morality and human rights emanating from the White House. Yet there have been no apologies from George W. Bush to those he abandoned, only entreaties that we not “play the blame game.”

There is no game to be played here. Instead of acting when he heard there was imminent danger to American citizens, President Bush stayed on his Texas ranch and only deigned to cut his vacation short when the outcry and criticism by elected officials, the press, and the public at his lack of response became so overwhelming that he could no longer sit back and watch. The outcry peaked unexpectedly on a live NBC telecast when rap star Kanye West emotionally declared “it's been five days ...America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible.”

However, the crime of omission happened long before that sentiment was uttered. We have witnessed what is likely the biggest avoidable disaster in U.S. history. Ironically, the very people Bush allowed to die in the floodwaters in New Orleans are the parents and grandparents of those he sends to die in the deserts of Iraq. Out of this disaster, he said, we as Americans could begin a “dialog” on race and poverty issues. As we all know that dialog has yet to be started. In a nation that has proclaimed that all men are created equal and that liberty and justice stand above all else, what happened to the poor in the Gulf Coast cannot be tolerated or ever allowed to happen again.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2005 there will be a nationwide student walk-out to show our President that this type of callous disregard for the welfare of the poor is unacceptable. We hope that other students at Columbia University will heed the call for action and join the protest.

contact: nyc@worldcantwait.org

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Letter from Clergy - Call to Resist

Dear Friend,
This a time to act, and we are calling on you to join us in acting on November 2nd. We all know the litany of abuses that call out to the heavens demanding our action: Immoral and illegal warfare based on lies, the justification of torture in the name of state security, the campaign of detentions of our immigrant sisters and brother, the demonization of gays and lesbians, the racism, the intensified oppression and repression of poor people, and more...and the religious rhetoric employed to justify these deeds. And so the signs of the times are becoming clear: It is time to join with others, to blend our voices, our hearts and our minds with the thousands and millions of others who agree with the Call; "The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!"We urge you to mobilize your community along with us for a day of massiveresistance on November 2nd, the anniversary of Bush's "re-election," making this November 2nd the beginning of the end of the Bush regime.
The lives of our communities depend on our actions. The lives of millions of people around the world hang in the balance. We pray that you will walk into a new future along with us on November 2nd as we resist the present evil face. All over the country, people will walkout of school, they will take off work, they will come to the downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US! In New York City we will converge at Union Square at Noon on November 2nd.
The time is crucial. Please join us in endorsing the Call and mobilizing for November 2nd. Speak the truth from pulpits. If we fail to lead now nothing will stop the continued spiral into madness and destruction. Our actions can change the course of history so that the long arc of the universe can, in Dr. Martin Luther King's famous phrase, bend toward justice.
Fr. Aaron Archer, Rector, St John the Baptist, R.O., Spring Valley, NY
Fr. Luis Barrios, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Harlem
Fr. Earl Kooperkamp, Pastor. St. Mary's Epsicopal Church, Harlem
Reverend George W. Webber, President Emeritus, New York Theological Seminary
Note: Please immediately forward or send this letter to all clergy you know. For the text of the Call, "The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!" and to endorse it, go to www.worldcantwait.org . If the letter is sent or delivered in hard copy it should be accompanied by a copy of the Call. If email is not available call the NYC World Can't Wait Committee call 212-969-0772.

Open letter to South Asian Community

An open letter to the South Asian Community:
from Prachi Noor, World Can't Wait national steering committee
& Saira Ali - World Can't Wait

You look at the pictures of naked men on leashes ordered at act like dogs and your anger wells up…

You hear about Falluja being bombed to rubble and despair...

You see over 100,000 mainly Black people left behind to die in New Orleans and your blood boils…

You see John Robert’s swearing in as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and get chills imagining how we will go back to back-street alley abortions and no birth control…

You read about prisoners at Guantanamo bay pledging to starve them-selves to death to end the torture and indefinite detentions without trial and you are infuriated…

You hear about two 16-year old Muslim girls picked up from their homes, detained without charges, with secret so-called evidence against them, and you fear for what will happen to the youth...

And it doesn’t stop there. Every day you open the newspaper, open your emails or put on the TV wondering what will be next: intelligent design in schools, vilification of gays and lesbians as unnatural and satanic, unleashing of Minutemen militia, moves towards a theocracy, attacks on academic freedom and unfettered assault on the environment.

The Call for the World Can’t Wait, Drive out the Bush Regime says, “The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.” November 2nd 2005 will be the beginning of this! What you do in the next two weeks could be part of making history.

Many of us organized for and marched on February 15th and March 20th to stop the invasion of Iraq. We poured onto the streets to stop the attacks on immigrant communities and against the Patriot Act. We celebrated the tremendous resistance of millions of people around the world. Some of us organize for detainees, worker’s rights and against the war. Some of us voted for the first time in our lives in the last election and organized others to do the same. We’ve been talking to our friends, families, and co-workers about our anger, despair and frustration.

This is not enough! Anger and frustration alone will not stop the current atrocities carried out by this government and the horrific direction they are taking. However, this anger and frustration can drive us to take history into our hands and organize and mobilize the millions of others who feel the same way. It is no longer enough to live an ethical life of good politics. It is no longer enough for us to declare our solidarity with those people around the world whose lives have been devastated by this government. “Silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn— or be force— to accept.” We can already see the beginning of this being borne true with torture, racial profiling, mass murder and destruction and the list goes on.

We will not conciliate with this regime over mass murder, torture of human beings, and denial of women’s right over their own bodies. We can’t afford to keep waiting and hoping that somehow we are going to make it through. We can’t sit there and hope that the ‘empire’ will fall or that the Democratic Party will come to the world’s rescue. We can’t stand aside from what is happening here because our homes are in another country.
We need to stop this regime now. Because the world really can’t wait! Because the people living here and all around the country can’t afford to wait another day for more lives to be devastated, as they take us daily closer and closer to a society we could not stand to live in.

We need a movement that threatens their existence. We need a vehicle that is aimed at halting the entire program that encompasses all the outrages of this regime. ‘World Can’t Wait!’ is this vehicle and Nov. 2 will be the day of public manifestation of that aim to drive the regime out.

What is the responsibility of all of us who live in this country and hate the outrages forced by this government on the people of the world? As people who hate the Bush regime for what it is doing and the future it promises we have to take responsibility to drive out the Bush regime. We are people from parts of the world where we have seen various religious fundamentalisms take brutal forms we know what this looks like; we can begin to imagine what a fascistic form it would take in this country. We are those communities in the United States that have seen large scale mass round-ups, rampart racial profiling, surveillance and disappearances. We are those communities here and around the world torn between vicious choices over supporting Bush’s war on terror or siding with fundamentalists. As such people, we have a responsibility to drive out the Bush Regime. As people from countries with a history of liberation struggles and driving out colonial regimes we have a responsibility to take inspiration from that courage, rebelliousness and determination and put it into ending this entire program.

And WE can do it.

“We need more than fighting Bush’s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime’s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed.”

As writers and artists you can express the anger, the pain, the truth of these outrages, you can inspire people to resist and you have an audience that reaches far beyond those you know. You can create art, write articles, call up editors and ask them to print the World Can’t Wait Call in their newspapers, put it on their websites and publicize November 2nd.

As professors and teachers you can start organizing the youth, students, teachers and professors—students have always played a tremendous role in upsurges and resistance, and in fact if the campuses and high schools are not alive with resistance and debate, we will not be able to drive out the Bush regime. Today when academic freedom itself is under attack, those who have dedicated their lives to this must play a forefront role in mobilizing others to resist.

As taxi drivers and grocery store owners you meet hundreds of people every day— figure out ways to plaster the World Can’t Wait posters, stickers, flyers across the city and spread it throughout the communities— imagine if on November 2nd, South Asian communities across the city are vibrant and alive with a visible and public proclamation to Drive Out the Bush Regime—we are not alone or scared because hundreds of thousands more across the country are with us.

As lawyers many of you know families of people who are currently caught up in immigration dragnets— you can give voice to these nameless and faceless people, you can organize lawyers, legal groups, bar associations and in law schools. The unanimous passage of the Patriot Act, the unabashed disdain and violation of International law, the rejection of international treaties on torture and detentions has many lawyers and legal scholars up in arms. All of this needs to be harnessed into a movement that is actually aimed at driving this regime from power.

As activists and organizers you work with people who every day face and stand up to the harsh realities of these outrages— draw these different people together as a strong force that isn’t aimed at just one outrage or another, or scrambling from one attack to another, but that can galvanize millions into a force that will actually have a chance to stop this onslaught in it’s tracks.

To everyone: we need you to be organizers and inspire others to be organizers. We need people ready to DRIVE OUT the Bush regime, we need to you to raise and donate money, we need you to mobilize your families and co-workers; we need ideas, creativity, courage and defiance. We all have a tremendous role we could play now, or we could continue with life as usual.

“November 2 will be the beginning— a giant first step in forcing Bush to step down, and a powerful announcement that we will not stop until he does so— and it will join with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped. The future is unwritten. Which one we get is up to us.”

Go to www.worldcantwait.org, check out the website, and sign the attached call. Get in touch with us; take this call out to others and start organizing massive walk-outs from work places and schools for November 2nd, the ‘beginning of the end of the Bush Regime.’

Luis Barrios- ¿Por qué no debemos esperar?

El Diario


Unos días atrás, le decía a Dios en una de esas oraciones que me permiten pelear con ella: "George W. Bush es un asesino, racista, verdugo, mentiroso, dictador y sanguinario".

Dios en cambio muy sabiamente me contestó como siempre suele contestarme: "Yo lo sé, ¿y tú que vas a hacer? "¡Que bueno es tener a una Diosa que no nos quita la responsabilidad si no que más bien nos pone de cara a la misma!

De aquí la necesidad de reconocer la existencia de un desafío bushista el cual se sigue manifestando a través de una ideología nazi-onalista.

Esta es una especie de idolatría la cual puede ser identificada como un cristianismo fascista con la intención de justificar los sentimientos de odios y desprecios y a la misma vez excusar las acciones racistas, sexistas, heterosexistas, etnocentristas, clasistas, entre otras muchas.

De aquí la realidad de tener que acusar a Bush y a su gobierno de genocidio y holocausto contra la humanidad.

La resolución 260 (III), del 9 de diciembre 1948, de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas nos dice en el artículo 2, entre otras cosas, que genocidio es cuando ocurre el asesinato de personas que pertenecen a unos grupos específicos; o cuando se causa daños serios

tanto físicos como mentales a estas personas. El artículo 3 también

nos dice que el genocidio, la conspiración para cometer genocidio, el intento o la complicidad para cometer genocidio deben de ser castigado por la ley.

A mi juicio, todas estas violaciones contra la dignidad y la integridad humana se cometieron recientemente por parte de Bush y su gobierno cuando el huracán Katrina. A la gente de Louisiana y Mississippi se le dejó morir porque pertenecían a uno o más de esos grupos los cuales la clase dominante en Estados Unidos no quieren:

gente negra, Latina y/o pobres.

El informe del año 2005 de Amnistía Internacional de Estados Unidos formuló unas acusaciones serias contra el gobierno de Bush concerniente a torturas llevadas a cabo contra grupos de prisioneros de guerras en la cárcel militar de Guantánamo, Cuba y la cárcel militar en la Base Aérea en Garam, Afganistán. Este informe enfatiza y critica el rechazo por parte del gobierno de Bush de permitir el que se investigue y se evalúen las condiciones de los prisioneros, lo cual no deja de ser un encubrimiento.

También es necesario acusar al gobierno de Bush de llevar a cabo el crimen de holocausto ya que este concepto es aplicable en situaciones en donde un aparato gubernamental lleva a cabo o auspicia la persecución, y comete genocidio contra grupos políticos.

Aquí están los grupos independentistas puertorriqueños. El asesinato del Comandante Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, líder del Ejercito Popular Boricua, los Macheteros, en Puerto Rico por parte de la policía federal (FBI) es un ejemplo de este tipo de crimen y también lo es su amenaza de perseguir y arrestar a más de 150 personas involucradas con este

movimiento de descolonización.

¿Por qué entonces no debemos ni podemos esperar? Porque no nos da la gana de permitirle a Bush y a su administración que sigan gobernando de esta manera fascista.

Hay que sacarles de la presidencia; ¡basta ya coño!

De aquí la invitación a que nos sumemos a la gran demostración que se está organizando para el miércoles, 2 de noviembre, con la intención de sacar a esta gente de la presidencia.

Todos los caminos conducen a Union Square (calle 14) en la ciudad de Nueva York a las 12 del mediodía.

Paz con justicia y saquemos a Bush, que ¡sí se puede!


Oakland Educational Association Resolution supporting Nov. 2nd




Whereas WORLD CANT WAIT/DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME has called for a national day of protest on November 2, 2005, the anniversary of GW Bush's re-election,

Whereas there will be a convergence in the Bay Area at noon at the Civic Center in San Francisco followed by a march through San Francisco,

I move that the OEA support the right of participation in the November 2nd. 2005 day of protest and support the policy of no reprisals against students, teachers, and others in the school community who may take-off work or school to take part in protest activities that day.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Statement from Juan Torres - Gold Star Family Member

Why do you endorse the World Can't Wait Drive Out the Bush Regime?

I don't care about what politics - I want to support people who are real, who want to bring the troops home, stop the war. I know what it is like. I come from Argentina. It was a country without justice, everything covered up. Now the civilians control, the civilians pushed out the government. In this country, it is the opposite. They are too much interested in staying inside the house. They need to put the head out and see what really happens in America.

I am the father of a solider who died in this war (Afghanistan). I know how I and my family feel. We die forever. My son give me my new mission - stop the war, stop the lying, stop the recruiting liars to the 16 years olds. I don't want to see no more Gold Star Families.

The president, the Congress, they don't have any Gold Star Family. The people pay the taxes. They use the poor population Spanish and Black. They say hero. My son was a hero. I am the father, when I receive the medal by mail - they don't respect me, they don't respect my family.

We start in Crawford to Washington. We don't need to stop. If we give victory to Bush, then a small group is controlling the country.

To stop the war, everyone join to stop the war. We start now. We saw a lot of people in DC (September 24). President Bush doesn't care. In 2 or 3 weeks they forget 300-400 thousand in DC. They do it again. We wait another year. NO. One more year, how many more die? How many more go to Iraq?

We don't stop - we bring in more people. The people in Argentina when something is wrong in the government - the people go out, they stop working, they don't go to school. Everything to stop the war.

Urgent Message to Educators- from Larry Felson, OEA site rep at Oakland High


>From Larry Felson, teacher and OEA site rep at Oakland High, Oakland, California

November 2nd, 2005 is shaping up to be a major day of protest against the Bush regime, a day which will usher in a whole new movement to change the course of history! There are demonstrations and actions called for in over thirty cities, thousands of endorsements are coming in, and WORLDCANT WAIT/DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME is picking up steam. As educators what we do can make a huge difference. On October 3rd, 2005, the Oakland Educational Association (OEA) representative assembly, in a spirit of righteous solidarity, unanimously passed a resolution I authored which "supports the right to participate in the November 2nd national day of protests and supports the policy of no reprisals against students, teachers and others in the school community who may take-off work or school to take part in protest activities that day."

If this was Germany in the early 30's and you could see the outlines of the oncoming onslaught of Hitler and the Nazis, would you support a call to build a movement to drive them out? Would you join with or stand up for students and teachers and thousands of others who walk out of schools and jobs to take part in a day of resistance that could spark a whole new path forward against the rising fascism?

If this were Selma or Birmingham or Kent State or San Francisco in the late 60's, where would you be, who would you stand with? What about Cesar Chavez and the farm- workers, the Rodney King uprisings, the struggle to free Mumia Abu Jamal, the Battle of Seattle, and the protests against the Iraq Wars I and II? These have all been momentous struggles in which students and teachers have played pivotal roles, and have not only walked out of schools and jobs but put their hearts and souls and bodies on the line. And we are facing just such a critical moment in history right now, with perhaps even more to lose and a whole world to win!

The continuing slaughter of the Iraqi people! The exposure of Bush and the government surrounding New Orleans and the horrendous treatment of Black people. The vicious attack on poor and immigrant youth and youth of color represented by "No Child Left Behind," as well as the attempt to turn our schools into recruiting centers for their wars of expansion and greed! These are outrageous crimes that must be stopped!

As the WORLD CANT WAIT call puts it: "The Bush Regime is setting out to remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. A new movement is now forming to stop this disastrous course by taking action and on November 2nd it begins: a mass political resistance that will not stop until this regime is driven from office."

I urge educators across the country to take up WORLD CANT WAIT/DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME activities on November 2nd and to pass similar resolutions of support and no reprisals against those who participate. NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Statement of Tomás Olmos

Statement of Tomás Olmos in support of “The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime” Mobilization on November 2:

I do not usually write these types of letters, but I find that the circumstances of our time require that I take some action beyond the normal. I think you will readily agree with me that these are not normal times. Quite frankly, I believe that we are living in a very dangerous time in which the very future of our society is in the balance. Over the past five years, we have experienced major changes in national and international politics with frightening consequences. Most of these changes are the direct outgrowth of policies implemented by the Bush Administration. Bush continues to govern as if he is unaccountable to the electorate or to the guiding principles of our Constitution. Each day, Bush becomes bolder and more brazen in his acts. And each day, we become more demoralized and lower our expectations to new depths.

This is the world that Bush has created:

1841 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq & untold thousands of Iraqi lives as of August 12, 2005;
$300 BILLION has been spent on the Iraq war as of August 12, 2005;
0 weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq;
$236 BILLION was the surplus inherited by Bush when he took office;
$333 BILLION is the current deficit under Bush;
1 in 5 American children live below the poverty level;
5 MILLION Americans have lost their health insurance since Bush took office.

Our government is engaging and defending the torturing of prisoners.
Our government is arbitrarily detaining, for unlimited periods, suspects who are not afforded basic rights under the Constitution.
Hundreds of Katrina victims died unnecessarily because funds and resources were redirected to support Bush’s war on Iraq and terrorism.

Bush’s agenda has not made our world a safer place—but rather a more dangerous place.
Bush’s agenda has not made our world a better place–but rather a place where we have compromised our ideals and principles.


I know that you believe dearly in a world that values human life. I want to urge you to join me in supporting a movement to stop the Bush agenda and change the course of history beginning on November 2. Each one of us has a duty and obligation to shape the future. Be part of a solution. Let your voice be heard!

Tomás Olmos is Dean Emeritus, People’s College of Law*; President, Mexican American Bar Foundation, Los Angeles County*; and partner in the law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg*, representing employees in discrimination & wrongful termination claims.
*affiliation for identification purposes only.

A Call to Democrats, Independents & Non-Voters

I came to the national New York organizers meeting to help organize the November 2nd activities to drive out the Bush regime. I had marched against war and nuclear weapons. I had marched for civil rights and choice. I had boycotted various goods and companies, written letters on behalf of immigrants and the environment and made donations to groups and political campaigns too numerous to name. At the meeting in New York something in me shifted. I finally understood that what we were doing, and what needed to be done, was different from what had been done before.

This important gathering wasn't going to turn into a fund raiser for some loser democrat. We weren't being told to back off on issues like troop withdrawal, Roe v. Wade, scientific theories of evolution, global warming and the separation of church and state. Instead, we were asked to be the kind of leaders that our elected officials would or could not be. We were asked to put our agenda forward, even if it meant doing it alone.

People had come from all across the country in answer to the Call to drive out the Bush regime. People in the streets were hungry for what we had to say. A light began to dawn. This is not about protesting government policies; it is about resisting them, with every fiber of your being. This is not about partisan politics; it is about transcending the two-party system. This is not about surrendering your freedom; it is about liberating yourself from tyranny of any kind.

At the meeting we discussed some of the people that I knew who could be brought forward to be a part of this resistance. Many of them are reluctant Democrats, people who felt that anyone or anything was better than Bush and who supported Dean and Kerry on that basis. Organizers at the meeting suggested that I write my own call to these people to give up their illusions and take up the call to Drive Out the Bush Regime. Taking their suggestion to heart, I have written the following. Please use it as you see fit. I and others in my area have begun sending it out to our friends, families and contacts along with the WCW call.

A Call to Democrats, Independents & Non-Voters

You know who you are. You have cried at the endless horror of war and the ongoing development of hideous weapons by a society accustomed to putting profit before peace. You have prayed for change that doesn't come, and grown disillusioned with efforts to weaken or reverse changes that you helped bring about. You have donated money, even when your own funds were low, to help raise the status of women, people of color, the poor and the homeless. You have loved this Earth, our home, and grown sick at its desecration. You have put your body in harm's way for a cause you believed in. Maybe you have even fought as a soldier, only to find your medical benefits cut when you needed them most. You have sought refuge in television and books, or pills, to blunt the depression that only grows deeper the longer you fail to act.

Give up your despair and frustration! Are you too sick and tired to take meaningful action right now? Then rest awhile, and join us. The world can't wait. Are you too busy working or raising a family to help others secure a living wage and reproductive rights? Then fulfill your responsibilities, reorganize your priorities, and join us. The world can't wait. Are you too old to make a difference in how the future unfolds? Never! Remember a time when you were young and full of fire, then join us. The world can't wait. Are you thinking, "Been there, done that, it's useless?" This is not another protest movement. The time to protest is over. The time to resist is here. Join us. The world can't wait.

You are not alone. There are people of all ages ready, willing and able to change the direction this country is headed. There are wise old people with nothing to lose, people in the prime of life who understand devotion and commitment, and young people full of courage and strength. There are new leaders, brilliant and uncompromised, ready to emerge. Together we will work to stop war on the world and illuminate the darkness.

Some of you are loyal to groups that have united around a common cause, only to see important issues ignored by the media and compromised to death by politicians that care more about their own careers than the well being of their constituents. Leave your groups behind. They no longer serve you. They serve the needs of so-called "viable" candidates who, in the end, do not stand for peace, freedom or equality. With fraudulent elections, your vote means nothing anyway. Join us, and your friends will follow. The world can't wait.

You know who you are. Somewhere, sometime in your life, you chose freedom; the freedom to love who you want; the freedom to choose where you live, work or go to school; the freedom to worship the God of the Bible, Divine Mother, Buddha, or nothing at all; and the freedom to choose whether or not to bring children into this world.

We know who you are. You are the lovers of the world. Join us. We can't wait.

--Janet, Connecticut

What's at Stake in Academia

Alan Jones, Dean of Faculty, Pitzer College

This summer, a colleague of mine, a president at one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country announced to a national conference of her colleagues that we, as a body need to recognize that "we are at war". She was responding to a call from some quarters at the meeting for more civil discourse and compromise on campus. What drove her to take such a radical stand in a body not known for taking radical stands ? She had come to realize that there was no choice, that people of conscience in the Academy are under attack and there is no more room for compromise.

When someone is threatening to burn down your house, you can't politely suggest to them that a workable compromise might be for them to burn down only the left side of your house. You have to fight, and there is no bargaining.

What is at stake is at the very heart of what we do in the Academy--reasoned thought and critical, independent thinking. Our process is not driven by loyalty to any individual or tied to a particular religious or ideological agenda. This commitment is to truth, and to the application of reason and empirical methodologies to determine what is true, is unacceptable to the Bush administration. In the words of a senior Bush advisor to New York Times reporter, Ron Suskind, guys like you [Suskind] exist in "what we call the reality based community", which he went on to define as "people who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernable reality". When Suskind started to agree, the aide cut him off and said, "that's not the way the world works anymore. We're an empire now. When we act, we create our own reality, and while you're studying the reality, we'll act again, creating new realities." The empire that George W. Bush inhabits is becoming, in some ways, like that of the Imperial Pharaohs and Caesars, a dangerous brew of narrow egocentrism and messianic delusion.

In the same article, Suskind informs readers that Bush, in speaking to Amish farmers in Lancaster County, PA, said "I trust that God speaks through me." In the fragile world constructed out of such absolutes, individuals or institutions that question the President's fundamental(ist) vision or the facts that support it, cannot be tolerated. As the bumper sticker says: "God said it, I believe it, that's that". Truth is, after all, directly imparted and the task of the true believer is not to question or refine that truth but to maintain and assert it in spite of the overwhelming evidence that contradicts it.

The contradiction between faith based and inquiry based epistemologies is fundamental. Questions of justice and truth emerging from within the Academy through a thoughtful process of empirical investigation and reasoned analysis are at best, irrelevant to the President's reality and, at worst, hostile to his vision for carrying out god's work. The objective fact that there never were weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam never did pose a threat to the American people is irrelevant. Their existence became a part of the reality that allowed him to act on his vision of invading Iraq.

For followers of the President, the task is not to weigh the merits of his decisions or to evaluate the facts that support his position. The task is to have faith in him, despite the facts. So where does that leave the academic community, firmly committed to the pursuit of truth through the mechanisms of critical thinking, empirical research and the formal application of reason? Inevitably, it plants us squarely in the camp of what his aide referred to as the reality based community. Since members of the academic community have not infrequently questioned the merits and rationality of his "received wisdom" , our community has increasingly been viewed as disloyal to the president's vision directly, and to god's plan, indirectly.

So, what does the administration do? With enormous financial support from the Olin Foundation, The Scaife Foundation, and the Bradley Fund, and with the political backing from Carl Rove and Tom Delay, David Horowitz and his Center for the Study of popular culture have unleashed a vicious attack on higher education in this country. Graham Larkin of the California AAUP and Stanford University, describes Horowitz's techniques as "ranging from cooked statistics, race baiting and guilt by association to editorial foul play". (Inside Higher Education "Horowitz's War on Rational Discourse")

Evidence for this latter charge is reinforced by Michael Berube of Penn State University. Berube describes an on-line debate that he had with Horowitz on Horowitz's FrontPage Blog site. In transcribing the debate, Horowitz excised large portions of Berube's comments (without informing him) in a manner that rendered Berube's arguments incoherent. In a debate with Larkin, Horowitz asserted that his ABOR bill had the backing of progressives like Stanley Fish, Todd Gitlin and Berube. When Larkin contacted these individuals to confirm this, they were incredulous. Horowitz had simply lied. The facts apparently did not did not fit with Horowitz's rapidly developing reality. Even when Larkin confronted Horowitz with the lie and cited their numerous objections to the ABOR, Horowitz, more vehemently continued to assert the "fact" of their support.

Although Horowitz carefully couches the language of his bill in the rhetoric of free speech and academic freedom, principals no self-respecting academic could resist, imbedded within this unctuous language however, is a Horowitzian statement of "truth" that the academy is an unrepentant repository of leftist bias, and that conservative students are the objects of unrelenting politically inspired indoctrination - An accusation for which he can muster only the most shameful form of anecdotal support. Horowitz goes on to assert a second truth. Since Colleges and Universities are incapable of addressing this issue themselves, legislative intervention is necessary - hence the Acaadeamic Bill of Rights (ABOR)

These bills, although their form varies from state to state, guarantee that whatever belief (truth) a student asserts (particularly if they are conservative beliefs), they have a right to assert it. The unexamined truth thereby becomes protected speech. Something is true simply because the student believes that it is true. In this version of reality all such assertions of truth have equal merit and are deserving of a faculty member's respect. A faculty member, who challenges such a statement on the basis of failures in its logical underpinnings, now runs the risk of having the student file a charge of bias. This pernicious bill then, guts the ability of a faculty member to engage and challenge students in the kind of rigorous logical debate that has characterized the Academy for 400 years. It undermines the ability of faculty to nurture and develop in students precisely the kind of critical thinking skills that will be necessary to challenge the "received wisdom" orthodoxy of the Bush administration.

Although Horowitz has continuously assured faculty in various venues that he has no desire to impose outside oversight to what goes on in their classrooms, bills have been introduced into legislatures in 18 states, and Horowitz nearly did back-flips when HR177 (an ABOR-like resolution) passed the Pennsylvania House in July. One passage in this bill is particularly noteworthy:

"Resolved that if an individual makes an allegation against a faculty member claiming bias, the faculty member must be given at least 48 hours notices of the specifics of the allegation prior to the testimony being given and be given an opportunity to testify at the same hearing as the individual making the allegation."

So, a select committee appointed by the Pennsylvania State Legislature will now investigate all charges of political bias in the classroom - a select subcommittee of the state legislature, a partisan appointed committee, will be charged with insuring against political bias in the classroom. The ABOR has nothing to do with insuring an open atmosphere for the free exchange of ideas and the promotion of critical thinking and thereby enriching the Academy. It is designed, in fact, to do exactly the opposite. It is designed as Horowitz says "not to refute your opponent's arguments but to wipe him from the face of the earth" (in The Art of Political War)

The Academy has been slow to recognize and to respond to the Bush Administration's attack on rational discourse and critical thinking, but it is coming around. The highly publicized and vicious attacks on University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, for his political views, were a wake-up call. I and hundreds of my colleagues have been organizing to resist the attacks on him and on the Academy in general. We have generated a petition of support for Churchill that has thus far gathered over 600 faculty signatures. We have a website and list serve to communicate with one another. We have formed discussion groups to educate ourselves about the apparent war that is being waged against us, and we are beginning to write about the fraudulent nature of this attack. We are encouraged that, given the level of outraged vitriol in the attacks on Churchill and calls for his dismissal, initially on charges of sedition, by the Governors of two states and by David Horowitz, his students, in the midst of this, voted him a distinguished teaching award. Perhaps they have developed critical thinking skills after all.

Alan Jones
Dean of Faculty
Pitzer College



In November 2000, and again last November, we all faced momentous choices regarding our nation’s future – Choices that even then were seen by all as among the most important decisions facing our country that would occur in any of our lifetimes. Anniversaries are an excellent time to review past decisions in order to determine the success or failure of the choices one makes. So, let’s take stock for a moment, shall we?

November, 2000:

• Domestically, the country was enjoying an unprecedented 7 year run of prosperity -- A prosperity highlighted by record surpluses that not only guaranteed the long-term solvency of the nation’s Social Security programs, but also promised to wipe out the staggering debt accumulated through years of deficit spending in the 1980s and early 1990s. Indeed, the main gripe at the time was that the nation’s economy wasn’t growing as fast as it had been the previous three years! America’s major cities were intact and optimism abounded as America’s bounty was not only spurring upward mobility but also laying the foundation for a better social safety net to help the less fortunate.

• Internationally, the U.S. was at peace, enjoyed unprecedented respect and influence, and had recently led an alliance that put an end to yet another Balkans War – the very region of the world that gave rise to WWI (and, by extension, WWII) – without suffering a single U.S. combat casualty! In doing so, the country had stood up for American values of justice & equality on behalf of Muslims in the region, and helped bring to justice Slobodan Milosevic, perpetrator of the worst acts of genocide in the West since Adoph Hitler. Other than a few radical Islamist Fundamentalists who we had been successful in tracking, we enjoyed the support of most of the Muslim world.

November 2005:

• Domestically, the record run of peace and prosperity is “gone with the wind,” the record surpluses have gone to record deficit, the record economic growth has evaporated, the very viability of the Social Security program is under attack, thousands of Americans were killed in the preventable attacks of 9/11 that decimated a large chunk of New York City, thousands more in the preventable Iraq War that is costing hundreds of billions, and thousands more killed in the preventable floods that decimated New Orleans, which was affirmatively denied relief. Americans now live in daily fear of other preventable, deadly catastrophes, including a potentially devastating avian flu pandemic, and are deeply pessimistic about the future. Our post-9/11 unity has been sacrificed to the political expediency of lies and greed in support of economic and military policies that benefit only the very wealthy corporations and their benefactors, and not the small to mid-sized business interests that are the backbone of our economy.

• Internationally, we are mired in a Vietnam style quagmire with no end in sight, dependant upon an unstable alliance that includes rogue states to whom we are now politically indebted, are fighting what is essentially WWIII on an open ended basis without any comprehensive strategy of how we are to meet our goal, and without a specific exit strategy - The very flaws in our Vietnam War policy that Colin Powell said in 1996 should be avoided in future military actions! Tens of thousands of innocent civilians lay dead and thousands more Americans will die at the present rate. We are now either actively hated, contemptuously ridiculed, or morbidly feared worldwide.
What is the difference between then and now? An unaccountable regime that has come to power and held on to power through racially based voter disenfranchisement, politically based voting irregularities and just plain fraud that had denied the vote to millions. A corrupt regime that doles out billions of dollars to its hand-picked corporate benefactors via no-bid contracts that short change our citizens at home and our troops abroad. A crony regime that plants sycophants in the most sensitive positions of our government -- some of which are lifetime appointments with power over our most cherished liberties -- and allows sneakthieves to plunder our treasury for their own narrow interests. A cruel regime that justifies torture, forced sodomy and other disgraceful acts of subhuman barbarity that truly are abominations before God. An uncaring, compassionless regime that has denied food, water, medicine and transportation to tens of thousands of poor African Americans following Hurricaine Katrina -- tens of thousands of people who just happened to be of a racial minority that typically votes for the regime’s political adversary. An incompetent regime that has venally sacrificed a governing philosophy of service to all the people in favor of a governing philosophy of theft, criminality and unchecked governmental power over the most intimate details of our lives. A treasonous regimes that has permitted its operatives to undermine and neutralize patriots who have sought only to protect our security. A radical regime that seeks to remake the world in its own narrow, fundamentalist image, regardless of the costs of its agenda to ordinary people.

THIS IS NOT CONSERVATIVE! Indeed, it is an ANTI-Conservative, reactionary, nihilistic agenda that, at its core, more resembles anarchy than the Federalist Republic envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

THIS IS NOT CHRISTIAN! OR BUDDHIST, OR HINDU OR MUSLIM, OR ANYTHING ELSE OF THAT NATURE! Indeed, is a godless, ANTI-Christian, ANTI-religious, ANTI-Spiritual agenda that is, at its core, utterly, completely, soulless and profit driven.

THIS IS NOT IN THE INTEREST OF AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS! Indeed, it is an agenda that is ANTI-thetical to the interests of small and medium sized business owners that, at its core, more resembles an oligarchy of corporate giants who are bent at passing the costs of their piracy onto the backs of the smaller businesses (like us) who lack their political and economic clout.

THIS IS NOT FREEDOM! Indeed, it ANTI-Liberty agenda that, at its core, subjugates human rights and liberties to those of the corporations upon whom they have bestowed greater “personhood” than the actual flesh and blood persons – our families -- upon whom most of us depend for our happiness and/or livelihood.

THE WORLD CAN’T WAIT TILL 2008! It is for this reason that I, a white, married, Christian, small business owner who himself rose from poverty without any government assistance joins the WORLD CAN’T WAIT call for a National Day of Resistance to Drive Out the Bush Regime. Take the day off work and school and join me in the park, in the street, in the town square for the beginning of our Drive To Take Back Government. You have nothing to lose but your shackles.

Marc L. TerBeek

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Statement of Stephen Rohde, civil liberties lawyer

Stephen Rohde

Statement of Stephen Rohde, civil liberties lawyer and peace and justice activist, in support of "The World Can't Wait!" Mobilization on November 2:

As the horrible tragedy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina unfolds, we see the gruesome evidence of the terrible toll that George Bush's war against Iraq is taking back at home.

The funds that should have gone (and should now be going) to flood control, to rebuilding the levees, to disaster relief, to helicopters, to National Guardsmen, to water and food and shelter, has instead gone (and continues to go) to support Bush's illegal war against Iraq.

To fuel this illegal war, Bush has drained the resources of America. He has stolen the lives of almost 2000 young men and women serving in the US military, hundreds more from other countries and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives. He has caused permanent injuries to countless soldiers and civilians. He has laid waste to the infrastructure of Iraq.

In all this, Bush has made the world a more dangerous place, fomenting hatred against the United States and our allies in London and elsewhere, feeding our image as the aggressor and oppressor, making us more vulnerable to attack. And at every turn, Bush has violated international law abroad and civil liberties at home, not only undermining the rule of law and the Constitution, but stripping Americans of reciprocal protections.

In the face of all this, Bush is bereft any coherent policy, except the mindless mantra to "stay the course."

He must be stopped.

To that end, on November 2, the first anniversary of Bush's "re-election", people across America will take a major step by organizing a truly massive day of resistance all over this country. People everywhere will walk out of school, they will take off work, they will come to their downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US.

They will repudiate this criminal regime, making a powerful statement:




Mobilize for November 2, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's defiant stand has unleashed a welcome storm

Larry Everest

Cindy Sheehan's defiant stand has unleashed a welcome storm - tapping into the deep hatred of millions for the Bush regime, re-energizing anti-war resistance, and re-ignited debate over the Iraq war. At last count "Cindy Sheehan" brought up 4,440,000 hits on google; Maureen Dowd calls the moment a "cultural shift that is turning 2005 into 1968."

Since Sheehan helped force the spotlight back on Iraq, political forces of many stripes (ultimately representing different classes) have felt compelled to respond and try to shape the raging debate. Bush was even forced to interrupt his five-week vacation to stump for the war. So, as Revolution recently pointed out, the question now "is where this anger will go and what it will really take to end the insane path of the Bush agenda."

Salon.com recently offered their answer: stuffing the genie of mass outrage and protest back into the suffocating bottle of "acceptable" mainstream politics - specifically the been-there/done-that, dead-end of relying on Congress and the Democrats to stop an agenda (of which the war is but one part) that they mainly support and helped launch.

In the guise of friendly advice to the anti-war struggle, Farhad Manjoo in "After Cindy Sheehan" argues that the anti-war movement's biggest problem is, well, the anti-war movement - especially those who are clearest about the illegal, immoral and unjust nature of the war and occupation, and consequently firmest in demanding the war end and the U.S. leave Iraq now. That includes Cindy Sheehan, who says, "We're over there and we need to come home.....We need to let the Iraqi people handle their own business."

To Majoo, immediately withdrawing from Iraq poses a "dilemma," because all the options "look bad," i.e., look bad to the U.S. establishment whose global power rests in significant part on control of the Middle East. Manjoo's solution: support "Homeward Bound" - a bill in the House that - if it ever passed and was implemented - would not even BEGIN withdrawing SOME - not all - troops until October 2006 - over a year from now! So the resistance is supposed to sit on its hands for another year, waiting on a bill that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing – much less forcing Bush out of Iraq? We'd like to ask - how many more Iraqis and how many more GI's will be dead or maimed by then to continue an illegitimate war and imperialist occupation? (See "World Tribunal in Istanbul - Iraqi Victims Expose U.S. War Crimes"

Manjoo's logic is that the war is not murderous and utterly illegitimate, but rather a mistake, or a legitimate idea poorly executed. He quotes MoveOn.org, who describes Sheehan as a symbol of "the administration's refusal to face the facts about Iraq." No! The real problem, as Sheehan and many others have pointed out, is NOT that the Bush regime hasn't "faced facts." The problem is they've lied about them from day one, that they occupied Iraq to reshape it in U.S. interests as part of a global war for greater empire, and they are still hell-bent on pursuing that agenda as Bush made clear in his most recent rant, "we will stay, we will fight, and we will win the war on terror."

(Norman Solomon points out that Move.on's Aug. 17 vigils "acknowledge the sacrifices made by Cindy Sheehan, her son Casey and the more than 1,800 brave American men and women who have given their lives in Iraq - and their moms and families" - but said nothing in opposition to the war itself.


Manjoo's titles his article "After Cindy Sheehan," not "WITH Cindy Sheehan." He labels her "impolitic" and a "hard-liner," and argues that her "rants" and "foul-mouthed tirades" - like criticizing Israel, calling the Bush gang "fucking hypocrites," and denouncing Bush as the "biggest terrorist in the world" - will "derail" the anti-war movement.

In other words, telling the truth will supposedly "derail" the struggle. In fact, it's Manjoo who is trying to "derail" the struggle because he doesn't really oppose the war, and he's trying to steer the opposition back into the pro-war Democratic Party fold.

In reality, the truth is precisely what people need to "derail" the whole U.S. juggernaut of war and repression, what millions are thirsting for, and why so many are rallying around Sheehan. "I have been known for sometime as a person who speaks the truth and speaks it strongly," Sheehan wrote in an August 20 letter, "Why do my friends at Camp Casey think they are there? Why did such a big movement occur from such a small action on August 6, 2005?...The people who supported me did so because they know that I uncompromisingly tell the truth about this war."

This war is NOT in people's interests. Millions and millions can be won to seeing this - and a crucial national debate fueled - by people boldly speaking the truth and standing in uncompromising opposition to the war and the Bush agenda.

The right-wing is desperately trying to outlaw this truth and suppress this debate. With anti-war protests gaining momentum, the American Legion condemned them as "visions of Jane Fonda."

No wonder they're worried.Jane Fonda, herself recently took an anti-Iraq war bus tour, and here's what she found: "I just spent five weeks traveling around the country, and except for one incident where a vet spit at me, what I'm seeing is that people are ready and hungry for statements like this. They really are. I'm talking in the heartland, in those red states."

(Manjoo tries revising the history of the 1960's to bolster his attack on the resistance: "Could Sheehan's rants derail the antiwar movement? It's conceivable, if what happened in Vietnam is a guide." Revisionist '60's historian-in-chief and pro-"war on terror" writer Todd Gitlin chimes in, "Nixon was able to score points off the protesters' theatrical condemnation of the war." Suffice it to say, war criminal Henry Kissinger was more accurate when he admitted that "the tiny indigenous radical movement" was "pivotal" in forcing the U.S. from Vietnam. (Years of Upheaval, p. 84) And let's not forget, the '60's were the 60's because both the anti-war and Black liberation struggles were, in large measures, revolts against the Democratic Party! That's precisely what Manjoo and Gitlin are terrified of.)Even Manjoo admits, "Many of the criticisms of the war in Iraq that were once heard only on the far left ... now echo across suburbia." Well, how in the f* do you think those criticisms spread to suburbia (and will spread even further), if not - in significant measure - because many of us have refused to take your advice and have continued to call this war out for what it is: naked, unjust aggression based on lies!


As protest explodes, the Democrats, who have voted for the war every time the issue has come up in Congress, continue to support the war and occupation. As Lucinda Marshall points out the crucial issue in the eyes of the Democratic Party is "how best to achieve success in Iraq" and how to "convince voters that they can do a better job of winning the war." Listen to Howard Dean, the National Democratic Party chair: "Now that we're there, we're there and we can't get out....I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now that he's there."

This is not the Democrats being stupid, short-sighted or cowardly, and if only we could persuade them to wake up. No, this is the Democrats being who they are - a party representing the reactionary interests of U.S. global capitalism, as Clark Kissinger succinctly details ("Getting Real About the Democrats") "We have already seen where the Manjoo/Move.on logic of supporting these war collaborators leads - to paralyzing and demoralizing resistance. What happened to the massive outpouring of 2002-2003 against the war, which the New York Times represented another "superpower"? It was derailed and demobilized when people put aside their convictions in the name of realism," held their noses, poured their time, energy and money into elections controlled by the system that bought us the war - and then voted for a pro-war candidate! Why should we do this again - in 2006, 2008, or whenever!? Talk about a deadly remake of Groundhog Day!

Today it's more urgent than ever that this confused "superpower" again find its voice. We need a new upsurge against the war - and against the whole Bush agenda. A more determined upsurge based on our greatest strength: those who are turning against Bush and the war by the millions - including in corners of society unimaginable a few short months ago.

This will only happen if people refuse to get roped into the killing confines of the political terms set by the Democrats, and limit their struggle to this or that particular outrage. None of these outrages will be stopped unless we stop the whole Bush agenda and drive out his hated regime.

Everyone is talking about "tipping points" and quagmires, but lets face facts about what it's really going to take to end the war and derail the Bush agenda. First, the quagmire in Vietnam (which was brought to you by the Democrats) was only ended by a revolt that shook society to its foundations on many fronts (giving rise to fears in the ruling class that they could lose much more than Vietnam): people were putting themselves on the line, changing their lives, and taking risks - troops were in open revolt in the military, students were closing down campuses and stopping troop trains (contemptuously rejecting the advice of the Todd Gitlins of the world), Black people were rising up in the inner cities and in the deep south, women were refusing to be submissive and subordinate, and a spirit of revolution against the entire system was in the air.

Today it will take that kind of clarity, courage, determination and massive upheaval - and more. The Bush regime is hell-bent on conquering the world and reshaping U.S. society along fascist lines. It has already killed 100,000 people in Iraq and is now threatening to attack other countries. With near-unanimous support from the Democrats, it has made permanent the fascist Patriot Act, and it's moving against all spheres of culture and life (again, with no opposition from the Democrats) - from women's right to choose, to the teaching of science, to the separation of church and state.

Jane Fonda is on target when she says, "I think this is the scariest time I've ever lived through. It's a dying beast, and they're always the scariest and most dangerous. Just below the crust of the surface there is a volcano ready to erupt. It's our job to create critical mass and ignite it."

As World Can't Wait puts it, "People who steal elections and believe they're on a 'mission from God' will not go without a fight."

There is a way out, something that can really make the difference. It is refusing to fight Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught, but instead, on November 2, launching a movement aimed at creating "a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed."

This vision represents what's urgently needed - and so it has the potential to galvanize millions and transform the political terrain. Come to a national rganizer's conference on September 3-4 in New York City and help make this vision a reality. "We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history." The world really cannot wait.