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Ride on the peace train: protest war

Why are Nevada County residents hearing and reading news that the rest of the nation does not seem to be getting? Could it be that we’re blessed with community-access radio and television and a local newspaper that (for these last 15 years) is committed to providing a voice for all citizens of its community?

I’d like to elaborate on that, and invite The Union readers to participate in an historic opportunity (last paragraph):

What they don’t know won’t hurt ’em … much:



On Oct. 6, 67,000 people converged on major U.S. cities to protest president-appointee George Dubya’s heinous pursuit of his blood-for-oil campaign against Iraq. It may not be surprising that a nationwide peace rally was mostly ignored (again) by our major “news” sources. After all, Americans weren’t let in on the fact that, in the week before, 400,000 folks went into the streets of London to protest this insane disregard for world relations (and economies). It was a busy weekend abroad, as well. United Press International reports that more than 1.5 million Italians took to the streets in dozens of cities Oct. 6 to protest U.S. military action against Iraq. The stance is significant because up to this point, Rome and London have been King George’s strongest allies in Europe. Shall we observe that U.S. citizens have barely heard a whisper that the Vatican has taken a stand opposing this so-called “war,” not to mention the consistently conservative Mormon church (and Michael Jordan … now surely THAT’S newsworthy)?

“We bring good things to life”:




How many of us are aware that NBC is owned by General Electric (the U.S’s third-largest military contractor). Likewise, CBS is owned by Viacom, ABC by Disney, and CNN by AOL/Time/Warner. The directors of these powerful corporations also sit on the boards of weapons manufacturers and other companies that have vested interests around the world: Citibank, JPMorgan, Chase, Xerox, etc. Lawrence Grossman, who was in charge of PBS and NBC news for many years, described the role of the press this way: “The job of the president is to set the agenda, and the job of the press is to follow the agenda that the leadership sets.” Unfortunately, the most real agenda of this “administration” is to reinvent a war on Iraq. (It kept Daddy in office, after all).

Devil with a blue dress on:

Will we demand accountability from corporate media moguls who would relentlessly belabor the semen stain on a soiled blue dress, while relevant investigative reportage is left on the Associated Press editing-room floor? To whit: Where might we come across the intelligence that Prescott Bush, Dubya’s grandaddy, along with great-grandpappy George Herbert Walker, were avid financial supporters of the Third Reich? In the autumn of 1942, the U.S. government seized four Bush family firms under the Trading With The Enemy Act: Union Banking Corp., the Holland-American Trading Corp., the Seamless Steel Equipment Corp. and Nazi interests in the Silesian-American Corp. (all run by Walker and Prescott Bush.)

I like Ike:

The word “war” gives an unconscious patina of honorable conflict to this proposed travesty on Iraq. “War” implies an engagement between equals … superpowers even. The Bush boys’ ongoing slaughter in Iraq is nothing more than the continuation of an unholy massacre. And this inbred Texas mafia will try to accomplish this carnage by the hand and heart of my sons. This will not come to pass … not on this mother’s watch. President Eisenhower warned that the greatest challenge facing our nation post-WWII would be the imperative gearing down of the war machine. In that endeavor, do we fail? Do we fall to the mercy of profit-driven war mongers and the fear and prejudice that is their legacy?

And, who are “they?”

Ivy League white men:

Shall we ask who might profit from a “war without end”? We might observe that real national “news” would reveal the Carlyle Group (described by the Industry Standard as “the world’s largest private equity firm”). Carlyle invests in the defense sector and makes its money from military conflicts and weapons spending, and is run by men with impeccable credentials: Frank Carlucci (college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III and Fred Malek (Bush Sr.’s campaign manager). Bill Moyers and Molly Ivins report that Papa Bush is paid not-inconsiderable sums of money to make “presentations” for the Carlyle Group to potential “government-clients.” The Wall Street Journal reminds us that the Carlyle Group is distinguished in having, as one of its oldest and most stable clients, the bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia. 

And may we not forget that other allied branch of the Bush/Cheney traditional family business – oil.

Economic analysts around the globe are cautioning against the devastating worldwide ramifications of U.S. aggression. We, the people, may end up eating nothing but crow, but do we believe that these self-crowned kings of Finance will miss a meal?

“And the desert and the parched lands will exult … the steppe will rejoice and bloom” …

The horrors that have been inflicted on the Iraqi countryside and the lovely cities of Baghdad and Basra include the most intensive bombing campaign in history, using cluster bombs (to rip bodies apart), napalm and white phosphorus (to cling to and burn flesh), and fuel/air explosives (like cute “mini” nuclear bombs). UNICEF reports the agonizing deaths of over 1 million Iraqis, most of them children, since the most severe economic sanctions in history were imposed more than a decade ago. The reports we may (someday) be allowed to receive from “the front” (numbers of those killed) will not tell us of this people’s suffering … of the starved silence of children, the anguish of fathers, the fouling of waters, the screaming of horses.    

“What then shall we do?”

The Union readers are invited to join several hundred neighbors in boarding chartered buses to San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 26, for the mother-of-all-anti-war rallies. In an attempt to have a show of concentrated numbers, only two U.S. cities are designated for this action: Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

We’ll depart from Nevada City at 7a.m. and return at 9-10 p.m. Local musicians, donated food and regional ale (for the return trip) will lead us in a merry ride, as the Peace Center motto is: “If political activism isn’t fun, it won’t work.” We’re also helping to coordinate carpools. As time is pressing, please contact PCNC by Friday. Stay tuned to our contact phone line and Web site for logistics/cost updates. And if you are able to sponsor a seat(s) (@ $30 per person), please call PCNC at (530) 470-9797, or go to http://www.ncpeace.org.

Loraine Webb is empress and poet roseate of Nevada County, a 22-year resident/denizen and a member of the Peace Center of Nevada County.


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