Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What Do You Do When Your Country Goes Around Killing Children At Night In Their Beds?

This will be my campaign poster. It ran on Reuters yesterday with the caption:
Nancy Mancias, of the anti-war group Code Pink, looks into U.S. President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters during a vigil in the wake of a massacre of 16 villagers by a suspected rogue American soldier in Afghanistan, in Oakland, California March 12, 2012.
Debate raged on the Afghanistan Working Group listserve yesterday regarding the best response to the massacre, as news trickled out of the soldier's repeated deployments, marital problems, and brain injury. Ralph Lopez reminded peace activists of the campaign they had waged to stop deployment of injured soldiers back into the battlefield. Some wanted to write letters of apology to Afghanistan and wondered where they could be sent. The terrific Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers were nominated; even though they live in a different part of the country, they've reached out repeatedly to hold conversations with people around the globe in the belief that connecting leads to love.

My good friend CODEPINK staffer Janet Weil pointed out that such an apology might seem as insincere as those issued by the Commander in Chief with depressing regularity lately, upon news of each new atrocity or offense against decency. She suggested we instead contact our own government officials and demand: troops out now. Also that we blog or write op eds to communicate with our fellow citizens about the mess in Afghanistan.

I decided to combine the two suggestions, sending a copy of my blog post about the incident to the Youth Peace Volunteers. In the post I named names of just some of the officials I hold responsible for the wanton destruction endured during our decade long war against the people of the region. President Obama topped the list; he has made Afghanistan his war in way that Iraq never was. Of course he has also started bombing and sending Special Forces and assassins into other countries: Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Uganda, Bahrain. It is sickening. My taxes help pay for it. It has to stop.

Now that Obama has signed HR374 -- which has been called "the CODEPINK law," referring to my organization's penchant for speaking up -- I will no doubt be a felon soon, for demonstrating at the White House, or at a campaign stop of the death dealing Obama. (See you in Portland on March 30!) If convicted, I would lose my right to vote. Oh well.

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