(Physician and Iraqi antiwar activist who has traveled to Iraq twice since the invasion and spoken out around the U.S. about what she has seen):
We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression, because all of this carnage has been done in our name.
Since World War II, 90 percent of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians, a third of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us. From Palestine to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage. They are the nature of modern warfare.
They don’t hate us because of our freedoms. They hate us because every day, we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.
The so-called war on terror is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western Asia. This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world, we are the terrorists.
In these times, remaining silent about our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation? How dare we condemn anyone else’s violence?
Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire, demanding respect for their humanity. They are labeled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.
The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt five years ago, today, we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honor and country. They sacrifice for Kellogg, Brown and Root. They don’t fight for America–they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them because we put them in a war zone.
They’re not defending our freedoms–they are laying the foundations for 14 permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum. They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.
Iraqi society today, thanks to American help, is defined by house raids, death squads, checkpoints, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets and constant violence. We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.
We must dare to speak out in support of the American war resisters–the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington, D.C., more commonly known as the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
I close with a quote from Frederick Douglass, but if you want more information, please visit my Web site at liberatethis.com.
Frederick Douglass said: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters.
“The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”
Every one of us must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep plowing, keep speaking and keep struggling until justice is served. No justice, no peace.