Bring the War Home


Fifth Estate # 365, Summer, 2004

The latest escalation of the fighting in Iraq is a clear sign that the people of Iraq reject their “liberation.” The United States, led by the Bush regime, can’t decide why it invaded Iraq and refuses to pull out of Iraq. The Bush regime is dedicated to the continuation of the American program of empire building. A withdrawal from Iraq would be seen as a setback of this ongoing effort to build a Thousand Year Reich in which the world would be run by America. The quagmire in Iraq has not deterred the United States as it continues to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries (Haiti) and actively threatens other countries (Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and on and on).

Protesters in America react to the horrors of Abu Graib, May 2004
Protesters in America react to the horrors of Abu Graib, May 2004

Even if the US pulled out of Iraq completely tomorrow, this would not stop its empire-building and imperialist policies around the world. Any person can look at the 200+ year history of the United States to see that it only drives in one direction.

While resistance and uneasiness over the Iraq war is growing among the American population, the so-called peace movement has not helped this along.

The least we can do right now is make our resistance to war and empire more visible. We need to make our opposition to war visible everywhere that Americans are pissed about the war. We can start by placing antiwar agitprop everywhere. We need to have more frequent protests, but these need to be in places that make sense. No more protests outside of deserted government buildings on weekends. If you want to organize a protest, take it to the neighborhoods, shopping malls, and entertainment complexes. We need to show our neighbors that people are pissed about this war. A protest in front of the White House might be symbolically important for the leaders of ANSWER [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, also known as International A.N.S.W.E.R.], but these protests haven’t accomplished anything.

The war needs to be brought home. The anti-war and peace movements need to step up their opposition in every way possible. We need to shut down the military recruiting centers. We need to kick military bases out of our communities. We need to demand that veterans aren’t being forced to live on the streets.

We need to sabotage the war machine. We need to kick ROTC out of every school. We need to shut down every draft board. We need to continue our resistance to capitalism, which is, after all, the driving force behind American imperialism. We need to throw pies and, yes, we may need to throw bricks. It will be up to us to organize all of this together, but the good thing is that we have the networks and organizations. We know what needs to be done and we can’t afford to allow the organizations that purport to “lead” the peace movement to lead us down the path of despair and disempowerment.

We are not alone. Millions of Americans oppose the war. Billions of people around the planet oppose the war. We have our work cut out for us. If there is a time where we can go beyond merely reacting to the current war du jour in dissent and move towards a wider opposition to the US war machine, now would be that time. But we can’t accomplish anything if we sit on our hands or take no risks by attending the same old rallies and marches. There are enough of us out there that we can make a difference if we step up our opposition to the American war machine. We need more frequent protests, but we need to organize opposition against the entire war apparatus. We must recognize that a change of presidents will not end the American war machine. We can shut down the American war machine and end America’s dream of A Thousand-Year Reich. Consider this an invitation to a revolt!