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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Berkeley Protests at Marine Recruiting Center: REFOCUS

Photo by Ted Kwong

What do I think about the political action directed at the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley, CA?

I don't support it. I am thoroughly 100% against the war and that motley slimey crew of war mongers and war profiteers - Bush, his administration, and their business cronies. However, I believe that the activists are going after the wrong target. There is a whole hierarchy of targets, why not go to the root cause? I think that these activists, like most peaceniks including meself, are very frustrated with our representatives in the government and their lack of diligence and success (and perhaps will) in stopping the war or stopping the funding of war. I do empathize with them. Greatly. I feel tremendous frustration and impotence sometimes.

But I feel that our efforts should be directed at the root cause.

This action in Berkeley is reminicent to me of some stuff that happened during the Vietnam war. And it's being perceived as an attack on the Marines - sons and daughters of regular folk that are risking their lives every day over in Iraq.

And ... some of my fellow progressives disagree, but I believe that someone has every right to enlist in the armed forces.

Our job as peaceniks is to change people's minds about the use of war to further an imperialist government's greedy desires. Our job is to stop the funding. Our job is to put our representatives' feet to the fire and get them to stop this cruel war! Go to the root cause of all this. Get a hold on our emotions and quit working out our frustrations at a few staffers at a Marine recruiting office.

Further, this action can be used (and is being used) very nicely by the Republicans in their usual shenanigans in pitting one group against another.

And in today's Oakland Tribune it's reported that the activists are claiming victory because the office has been closed all week. Maybe it feels good to have what seems like a victory but the word that came to my mind was pathetic. Casulties are still mounting in Iraq -- among our soldiers and the long-suffering Iraqi people. What kind of victory is that?

Code Pink, World Can't Wait, Drive Out the Bush Regime, and other activists down there: Stop. Refocus.

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At 12:38 PM, Blogger zoe said...

excellent point. "the military" is not the problem, nor was it the problem in the late 60's, when I protested against their presence on campus in berkely. I was short sighted and misguided. Hell, most military leaders have gone on record in the present war, calling bush and rumsfeld misguided assholes.....go for the head, the rot starts there.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Connecticut Man1 said...

What kind of victory? The kind where bush is not resupplied with fresh young bodies to be used as cannon fodder. You have to starve the political heads of the warm bodies they need to continue this illegal invasion and occupation.

I am a veteran of the Infantry. Like all other soldiers, I took an oath to uphold The Constitution. Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble is protected by The Constitution. Most soldiers understand it and realize it when they see someone picketing them at their bases or at a recruiting station. Even the soldiers that support the Iraq follies think about that when they see these people. Some may not like it a whole lot, but most accept it as part of "what they are fighting for."

The only people that really get pissed about the peace protesters, for the most part, are the warmongering chickenhawks. They want them hidden away, or penned in and out of sight at designated protest areas. Not very much for freedom, nor The Constitution, are they?

Kos may think that you can change the world by sitting around a computer and typing, and from the inside of the political machine that enables all of these things to happen, but you can't, IMHO. Not without the real world activism that groups like CODEPINK, World Can't Wait and others provide.

Far right wingnuts started this war fervor by massive showings of false patriotism (flags, bumper stickers and sloganeering) coupled with the inside political arm twisting. The same can be said of almost all of the right wingnut agendas. Anti-peace, anti-choice, anti-Constitution, anti-equality, etc. . Pick any wingnut agenda and it has all been accomplished with inside and outside pressure.

It will only be stopped with an equal or greater showing on the streets coupled with the insider political arm twisting.


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