Finally, at the 11th hour, people are waking up and realizing that the only way to kill The War Machine is to choke it of its blood:
I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran–which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election–will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d’état that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.
Let us hope sanity prevails. But sanity is a rare commodity in a White House that has twisted Trotsky’s concept of permanent revolution into a policy of permanent war with nefarious aims–to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to strip citizens of their constitutional rights.
A war with Iran is doomed. It will be no more successful than the Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon in 2006, which failed to break Hezbollah and united most Lebanese behind that militant group. The Israeli bombing did not pacify 4 million Lebanese. What will happen when we begin to pound a country of 65 million people whose land mass is three times the size of France?
Once you begin an air campaign it is only a matter of time before you have to put troops on the ground or accept defeat, as the Israelis had to do in Lebanon. And if we begin dropping bunker busters and cruise missiles on Iran, this is the choice that must be faced: either send US forces into Iran to fight a protracted and futile guerrilla war, or walk away in humiliation.
But more ominous, an attack on Iran will ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with possible Silkworm missile attacks by Iran against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, could send the price of oil soaring to somewhere around $200 a barrel. The effect on the domestic and world economy will be devastating, very possibly triggering a global depression. The Middle East has two-thirds of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and nearly half its natural gas. A disruption in the supply will be felt immediately.
This attack will be interpreted by many Shiites in the Middle East as a religious war. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia (heavily concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province), the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey could turn in rage on us and our dwindling allies. We could see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for US troops. The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has so far not joined the insurgency, has strong ties to Iran. It could begin full-scale guerrilla resistance, possibly uniting for the first time with Sunnis against the occupation. Iran, in retaliation, will fire its missiles, some with a range of 1,100 miles, at US installations, including Baghdad’s Green Zone. Expect substantial casualties, especially with Iranian agents and their Iraqi allies calling in precise coordinates. Iranian missiles could be launched at Israel. The Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, will become treacherous, perhaps unnavigable. Chinese-supplied antiship missiles, mines and coastal artillery, along with speedboats packed with explosives and suicide bombers, will target US shipping, along with Saudi oil production and oil export centers.
A country that exists in a state of permanent war cannot exist as a democracy. Our long row of candles is being snuffed out. We may soon be in darkness. Any resistance, however symbolic, is essential. There are ways to resist without being jailed. If you owe money on your federal tax return, refuse to pay some or all of it, should Bush attack Iran. If you have a telephone, do not pay the 3 percent excise tax. If you do not owe federal taxes, reduce what is withheld by claiming at least one additional allowance on your W-4 form–and write to the IRS to explain the reasons for your protest. Many of the details and their legal ramifications are available on the War Resisters League’s website (www.warresisters.org/wtr.htm).
I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know. But I do know this: I have friends in Tehran, Gaza, Beirut, Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cairo. They will endure far greater suffering and deprivation. I want to be able, once the slaughter is over, to at least earn the right to ask for their forgiveness.
And there you have it.
Like I have said before if only the half of the american populatoin that are against this insanity refuse to support and finance it, everything will grind to a halt.
MoveOn, and its UK equivalent StopWar and all other groups that have tens of millions of members combined, but which do not have either singly nor collectively a plan or strategy to achieve their aims other than to write letters, march in the streets like lemmings and hold candle lit vigils outside No.10 Downing Street; all of these groups, all of these people, collectively, have always had the power to stop this insanity in its tracks.
Chris Hedges is right to be doing this, but he is dead wrong that it is, “a desperate and perhaps futile gesture”. It is in no way futile, any more than the existence of a single snowflake in a blizzard is futile. Collectively, a blizzard of snow can paralyze a country in a single night. A blizzard of individual disobedience can do the same. That is not futility, that is RAW POWER, and now, thanks to the internets, it is trivial to organize such a blizzard.
I have said this over and over, and in many different ways. Ron Paul becoming President of the United States of America will put a stop to the madness; this cannot happen for over a year, so in the interim, some form of positive, effective, logical mass action has to be taken so that hell is not unleashed in advance of the Ron Paul Presidency.
Imagine the nightmare of having just the right man in the White House and him being handed Iran in flames, Iraq in ruins (this is already the case of course) and a world in 10 times more chaos than it is today. Not a pretty picture is it? Something needs to be done RIGHT NOW, at the very minimum, pledges of real, appropriate and logically correct action of the type that Chris Hedges is making.
Take a look at this comment attached to his piece:
[…] God damn right. And why do journalists on TV, where 90% of Americans get 100% of their political and policy information, keep behaving as though there is anything at all to talk about except stopping this insane plan to destroy Iran?
Even Keith Olbermann, supposedly the greatest liberal in prime time TV political commentary, doesn’t seem to get it. He should be devoting 80 to 95% of his show every single night to this subject.
This is an absolutely out and out, hair on fire emergency. And everyone is sleepwalking right into it. It isn’t even THERE for “normal” people. […]
This commenter is correct. And I have said before, all the special comments in the world will not do anything in the end; an action is required to put out this ‘hair on fire’ emergency and FINALLY people are starting to wake up to this, and when I say ‘people’ I mean writers of the type who would normally not put themselvs ‘out on a limb’. That is how serious this is.
Note also in the comments the number of people who are saying, “sign me up I’m with you”, “where do I sign up?”. This idea is going to spread until it is out of control…right where it needs to be.