Tuesday, March 18
Confronting Our Fears So We Can Confront the Empire
by Robert Jensen, Commondreams.com, March 18, 2003
I am finally ready to admit what for months I have kept hidden: I am terrified.
I am more scared than I have ever been in my adult life. For weeks now I have felt a new kind of free-floating terror at what has been unfolding, as the Bush administration has made it clear that nothing would derail its mad rush to war. [...]
This fear I feel is not just of power-run-amok but of an empire with the most destructive military capacity that has ever existed -- an empire with thermobaric bombs and cruise missiles, cluster bombs and nuclear "bunker busters." No matter how hard the government works to try to keep us from seeing the results of those weapons -- and no matter how much the news media cooperate in that project -- we understand how many civilians could die under the onslaught of these horrific weapons.
They can censor the pictures, but not our imaginations.
This fear I feel is not just of the unchecked power of the United States but of the fact that Bush and his advisers seem to think they understand their own power and can control it. It is the arrogance of virtually unlimited power married to lifelong privilege. It is hubris, and in a nuclear world there is no sin that is potentially more deadly.
This is the fear that I feel, that I think so many of us feel. The Bush administration wants us to be afraid, but remain quiet about it. Our power will come not from denying the fear but in confronting, and overcoming, it.
So, we must speak of it, not to scare others but to bring us closer together. Our only hope against the fear is in each other, in our organizing, in our resistance. And if we can confront our fears, we can confront this empire. [...]
Protesters Vow to Greet War with Widespread Civil Disobedience
by Jeff Donn, Commondreams.com, March 18, 2003
Having had months to focus on the buildup toward conflict with Iraq, America's anti-war activists say they are ready to mark the first days of war with protests in dozens of cities coast to coast.
They vow to block federal buildings, military compounds and streets in a rash of peaceful civil disobedience. They say they will walk out of college classes, picket outside city halls and state capitols, and recite prayers of mourning at interfaith services.
"It is sort of an acknowledgment that we are probably not going to be able to stop the war," said Joe Flood, who is helping to plan a student walkout from classes at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. He said more than 1,000 people have pledged to participate.
Some plans for the first day or two of war are writ large, like paralyzing traffic with bicycles and cars and disrupting commerce in San Francisco's financial district. Others are small, like showing a single lit candle on a Web site of the United Church of Christ.
Some are meant to be noisy, like a march in Portsmouth, N.H., with clanging pots and pans. Others will be quiet and solemn, like a vigil in Ann Arbor, Mich., with Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayers.
Many groups intend to carry out die-ins, where activists lie on the ground to symbolize war victims and to block passers-by. [...]