Keep Protesting

by Philip Greenspan

April 28, 2003


Keep Protesting to Disclose the Truth and Expose the Profiteers!

Your protesting didn't accomplish anything. You didn't stop the war. What's the use of protesting? It doesn't have any effect.

They're the comments of many confused people. Are they right? Is protesting a wasted effort?

Most major political accomplishments resulted from protests but they required a great expenditure in time and energy. Two major examples of long lasting and hard fought protests culminated in amendments to the constitution: the abolitionists' protests against slavery, and the suffragette protests for women's right to vote.

Amongst the most recent and most well-known protests are the civil rights and Vietnam struggles.

The overthrow of Jim Crow was a hard-fought battle that took years with frequent demonstrations until the legality of that dastardly system was finally smashed.

The Vietnam protests caused a president to reluctantly resort to the peace table and not seek reelection. His replacement, the ultra-hard liner Nixon, was unable to continue the war as he would have liked, having run on a platform to end the war. He did everything he could to keep it going but was restrained in his actions -- he had hoped to use the atomic bomb but was warned that with so much opposition he could not risk it.

The hawks and their supporters claim that they are supporting the troops but those troops should be aware that veterans are compelled to protest because the government turns its back on vets' needs.

In 1932 during the depression, between 12,000 to 15,000 veterans and their families in desperate need protested in Washington for an early payment of a bonus scheduled for 1945. Troops under General Douglas McArthur used tear gas and tanks and destroyed their encampment. One vet was killed and numerous vets and police officers were injured. A second Washington protest to a new administration was made in 1933. The bonus was paid in 1936.

Protests, at times violent, by suffering Vietnam vets continued for years. Although confronted with convincing evidence that Agent Orange caused their sicknesses, the government stonewalled them. But the vets did not give up and eventually were able to secure the VA's acknowledgement of liability for some illnesses. Vets suffering from other conditions are still fighting for recognition of their illnesses.

Veterans of Gulf War I have been challenging the VA for recognition of conditions that arose from another new war-related sickness, Gulf War Syndrome. Their battle closely resembles what the Vietnam vets encountered with Agent Orange. Seven thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight vets have died from causes related to GWS and 160,000 have been approved for disabilities by the VA.

Veterans who were exposed as guinea pigs to atomic testing have been continually complaining because the VA has not recognized their service-related disabilities.

In March 1943 in the heart of Berlin, the Gentile spouses of Jews, although harassed by the police and the SS, repeatedly demanded the return of their husbands. The Nazis, with the approval of Hitler and Goebbels, released 2,000 Jews who survived!

Those examples are just a few of the successes.

But the war is over? There's nothing more to protest.

The media has reported that the war is over; but US armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are flirting with danger.

Protests are still necessary and must be continued to implement new objectives.

US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Columbia, the Philippines, Korea, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and all the numerous countries around the world where troops are stationed should be brought home.

All upcoming foreign adventures should be challenged.

The media has been doing an excellent job for the hawks. Most Americans are unaware or misinformed of basic facts. A necessary function of dissenters must be to enlighten and thereby augment and strengthen the opposition.

People should know who promotes these diabolic policies and why.

Who are the real forces behind the pro-war policies of the administration? Obviously, the real winners: the military-industrial complex; oil companies; companies that will also profit from the work generated by the war. Allied with those winners are the auxiliaries who will indirectly profit: politicians who will be handsomely paid for their support; and the major media, on whose boards of directors sit men with major stakes in the real winners. All occupy the tippy-top, the apex, of the wealthy of the country.

They are all waving flags and are the real, true patriots that you hear so much about. But outside of the career military brass very few have served -- nor will any family members serve -- in any hazardous military actions.

It is extremely important for them to prevent a sizable portion of the public from opposing their war policies. Accordingly, they endeavor to sanitize whatever might be harmful to their position.

The media has been performing their function superbly. Very little of what might have a negative effect on the public has been disseminated. The US media and the foreign media give quite different stories of what is going on in the war zones and throughout the world.

Certain traumatic events will have profound effects on the public's reactions. Before the calamity of 9/11 the public had recognized their spurious leader as an incompetent fool. The trauma of 9/11 caused them to rally round his ridiculous policies at stratospheric numbers.

Commencement of war with a call to support the troops is another surefire way to goose up the support of the public. That only 70 percent are backing the war should be an indication that the trend is waning.

Staged news items cannot continually cover up the strong opposition that is apparent in Iraq. Within a short time the public will see a different picture emerge.

For years the media falsely informed the public of conditions in foreign lands where the US administrations had puppet dictators managing their interests. The hated Shah, Marcos, Suharto, etc. were described as great progressive leaders and/or democrats until they were overthrown by sizable protests in their respective countries. A similar story may emanate from Iraq.

Like the thermometer that tells the temperature, the patriots' harsh reaction to supposed bad news indicates how seriously they consider each new situation.

Aware that the demonstration in Washington on April 12 would draw a respectable number, police reacted with more onerous policies.

Because news not controlled and censored by the military may undercut their approved dispatches, independent journalists in the war zones are being killed by the coalition forces at a suspiciously high rate.

US and non-allied citizens who were in Baghdad were unreasonably restricted by the military.

The reported polls show that 70 percent now support the administration, leaving 30 percent still opposed. Those numbers must be disappointing to them. They have tried to put the best face on this item by emphasizing the drop in the anti-war numbers.

Poll numbers continually vary. That 70 percent approval occurred with the start of hostilities and will change. Will it resemble a periodic rally in the stock market where the overall trend is down?

It can, if we keep protesting.

· · · · · ·

Main Media & Propaganda on Swans

Iraq on Swans

The 1991 Gulf War Rationale - A Swans Dossier


Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).

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Published April 28, 2003
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