Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2007

What Methods?

by Rowan

War preparations with Iran appear to be progressing in a hurry. The article says "end of February" at the earliest, while Tony Blair's departure later in the spring would appear to be a deadline. Four years ago, those opposed to the war had nothing but an idyllic remembrance of the 60's and contained peaceful marches attempting to change Bush's mind as a strategy.

It didn't work. Turns out chanting at Bush to not do it from 500 yards away is ineffective.

Now we have an impending war. The propaganda has been working on and off for a good two years. Iran's leader has been demonized, their role in Iraq accented, and Bush topped it off with what amounted to a causus belli a week ago. So what can we do? I'm tossing this out for the experienced activists. What are methods, other than peaceful demonstrations or writing representatives, that could conceivable stop or at least slow the rush to war?

Posted by b on February 1, 2007 at 14:48 UTC | Permalink


Just to enforce the need I agree that this path as painted by Brzezinski is likely:

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Posted by: b | Feb 1 2007 14:55 utc | 1

What was quite successful in raising media attention in Europe against the War on Iraq was the massive use of symbols hung from windows - mostly the Pace flag but other signs too.

I'll have one up again on my streetfront balcony later today ...

Posted by: b | Feb 1 2007 15:00 utc | 2

Iran's leader has been demonized, their role in Iraq accented, and Bush topped it off with what amounted to a causus belli a week ago.
Yes, but no one believes WH propaganda any more...not even humble intellects in USA (let alone anywhere else)...World seems to be helpless in front of this madness so what actually Americans can do at all, I wouldn't know. Except to do what Serbs did...

Posted by: vbo | Feb 1 2007 15:09 utc | 3

I should note that I felt similarly last year at this time, or perhaps even more depressed about it potentially being a nuclear confrontation. Sy Hersh's article about the subject seemed to push the White House into a corner where they had to deny it, and forced people and politicians to put much more pressure.

So I guess one facetious answer would be "Buy lots of New Yorkers."

Also, Israel's dismal failure to defeat Hezbollah in the proxy war last summer seems to have dented the military ideals behind the war on Iran.

It's also entirely possible that they were waiting for the election to end.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 15:26 utc | 4

@Rowan - great post. And the article you linked to made my blood run cold. One thing we can all do is forward it to everyone we know and ask them to forward it.

I like your suggestion b. has organized a massive virtual march on Washington for this Saturday. Check it out and participate.

And here is another thought:

International and US law gives us the right to make a citizen's arrest. It is a fairly outrageous proposal, but the circumstances certainly merit it. One would have to research it very very carefully and go into it en masse with a lot of others, and expect to be perhaps arrested and charged, but it could send a powerful message. Note that you don't have to physically show up and arrest the person but can request the police to do so, I believe. Whether you can make such a charge against a sitting President in the US or not I have no idea. Someone would have to take this on as a full time research and organization project. More at these links (I don't have time today to research beyond providing links):

A lawyer's comment

An imagined scenario

Wikipedia ">Police Dept of Oklahoma - form to make a citizen's arrest

Previous Attempt to instigate this vs. Bush?

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 15:26 utc | 5


Interesting and positive thought - "citizen's arrest"

Haven't read your links...

Other thoughts (brainstorming) on this by the Moon crowd would be appreciated

Who in the Justice Dept. to address the arrest to? A paid open letter in the media coridinated with many groups??

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 15:55 utc | 6

Good point, Rowan. The Lyndon Johnson nasty trick of "I know it's bullshit, but I want him to have to deny it" may be helpful this time again.

That said, I think we're coming close to a time where the US military will have to decide if it's here to protect the US Constitution and people or just to obey the president in office.

And if I was in a bad mood, I'd quote Thomas Jefferson here, as to what could be done. But that's not exactly the kind of constructive posts you're looking for, and I'd probably have some FBI goons coming pay me a visit later today.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Feb 1 2007 16:00 utc | 7

Bea, the article was one of five disturbing articles linked to on the front page of yesterday's Cursor. It'll be the top paragraph for a few more hours, then will be pushed to the January 31st section.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 16:02 utc | 8


Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 16:07 utc | 9

I guess I could stop.

Posted by: bush's heart | Feb 1 2007 16:12 utc | 10

I believe that a tension threathening to lead to war was resolved when the french socialists organised with their comrades on the german side a serious threath of general strike. I do not remember the year but it was in the early 20th century.

An attempt at repeting the performance in 1914 was cut short by the murder of socialists leader Jean Jaurès.

Prospects for a general strike might however be dim in America today. Critical sectors (energy, transportation, food) could also manage it by shutting down a sector, but I guess this is not likely either.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Feb 1 2007 16:13 utc | 11

"I'd quote Thomas Jefferson ... but ... I'd probably have some FBI goons coming pay me a visit later today"

Interesting times.

Posted by: DM | Feb 1 2007 16:18 utc | 12

paid open letter in the media coridinated with many groups??

This is very good thinking. Except you would, I believe, also address the letter to the appropriate arresting authority... the police? Again, as I said, someone would need to dedicate themselves to research and vetting this thoroughly with the appropriate legal experts.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 16:23 utc | 13

Without real insider information it's very hard to tell.

I'd reckon it still a 50-50 - might happen - might not. The US military has never opted to prevent a war and I have not read of anything to indicate that this is even a remote possibility.

Whatever forces have been unleashed are already off the chain - and as we know - a million people in DC ain't no match for America's free press.

Either way - the die is cast.

I think I might just sit back and enjoy the show.

Posted by: DM | Feb 1 2007 16:33 utc | 14


Not likely that energy sector would cooperate, considering today’s news:
Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $39.5 billion

Exxon Mobil's record annual earnings followed a year of extraordinarily high energy prices as crude oil topped $78 a barrel in the summer — driving up average gasoline prices in the United States to more than $3 a gallon. Prices retreated later in the year.

War – What is it good for? I guess we all know the answer to that.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 16:33 utc | 15


Yeah a letter would have to be presented to a Federal authority along with the paid advertising announcement. Of course free advertising as on Huffington Post,, Keith Olbermann, 'Countdown',, Firedog, Lake, DKos, etc.

It probably could be done.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 16:42 utc | 16

Prospects for a general strike might however be dim in America today.

Very, very dim I would say.

re: citizen's arrest: Note that this tactic can also be levied against the CEOs/responsible parties of companies that make the many and varied killing machines that we are using in Iraq and potentially in Iran.

I recall one such action I believe by ISM (International Solidarity Movement) who does very interesting things on behalf of Palestinians. They attempted a citizen's arrest of a high-level official of Caterpillar, the company that makes the bulldozers that destroy Palestinians' homes.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 16:44 utc | 17

PS to #17

Then they videotaped it. This however was before the days of You Tube... Wow, there is potential there in fact, thinking about it.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 16:47 utc | 18

Yeah again - I would like a citizen’s arrest against the mercenaries and their corporations like Blackwater here in NC. Hey, pretty brave of me posting this and using my name eh? – say, if you don’t here from me for awhile, please investigate.

I had a whole post written up but never sent about helping the Palestinians. Not much in the media for this decades old struggle. I was going to ask Bernhard to have a link of the week on Moon’s Home Page highlighting articles on Palestinian troubles. The problem is Biblical in proportion. So many refugees living all over like Jordan, Iraq, Syria, etc. The media is so silent and how many poor Palestinians in Israeli controlled areas have a voice, or Internet to even convey us their troubles to the world?

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 16:59 utc | 19


Sounds like an excellent post... why don't you send it?

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 17:04 utc | 20

Sometimes, in the investment world, when a company gets in really bad shape, investors (sometimes called vultures) swoop in to make short calls, borrowing shares to sell at a lower price. Their aim is to drive the company either into liquidation, or until new, better management comes in. This new management will find a new direction for the company, eventually bringing it back to profitability.

I used to think that this rule should not apply to nations. After all, nations had citizens, and the citizens should not be held accountable for the actions of their leaders.

I have come to the conclusion that American exceptionalism, the belief that America is somehow superior because of its morals and values, is an intrinsically evil philosophy. It has been used by politicians on the left and right, conservatives and liberals, to justify military intervention all over the world, and the mass murder of innocents (called collateral damage by the US military).

This belief needs to be replaced by a new philosophy, which most other countries have, which is that the country has interests. On certain rare occasions, these interests need to be defended by military means, but only when diplomacy and all other means have been exhausted.

As a belief, American exceptionalism must be squeezed out of the system. And I believe that it will be squeezed out only when it destroys and bankrupts America as we know it today. Only when this philosophy destroys America will it reveal itself for the true evil it is to all Americans.

In this way, America is like the Germans after WWII, who did not believe that the Nazis had concentration camps. It was only when the Allied soldiers forced them to visit the camps and see the victims were they aware of the true evil nature of fascism.

American exceptionalism is stuck just as deeply in the American soul.

For this reason, I support an attack on Iran. I realize that many innocent people on all sides will be killed, but I see no other way out. Even if Bush/Cheney wanted to invade Pakistan, Russia, China and all the Muslim countries, I would support them if it brought about the bankruptcy and end of American exceptionalism.

The sooner that day comes, the sooner we can rise again, like a phoenix, out of the ashes. This new America should look completely different from the current one. It should be more open and willing to listen, more accomodating, and walk around without a swagger. Instead of trying to talk down to other nations from a position of moral superiority and arrogance, it would treat them as equals, with their own interests. Americans would realize that the government sometimes lied to them, and it is necessary to check out what the government says through its corporate media outlets.

For more on this, I'd recommend an article by Chalmers Johnson on the perils of Empire:

Posted by: Chris Marlowe | Feb 1 2007 18:01 utc | 21

Bea. MoveOn called me last night and I just called my senators.

I also just got an email about a rally in Williamsburg, Va. this Saturday where little boots will be addressing the House Democrats at Kingsmill. 9:30-11:30 at the gate. Since I missed last Saturday I will make this one.

Good on you for the banner b. Post a picture for us. Please?

Posted by: beq | Feb 1 2007 18:30 utc | 22

I think what we need to do is hire one of those high powered ad agencies to get the word out, the ones that can sell pet rocks or turn ugly daughters of hollywood producers into movie stars (or at least a TV personality). We need a producer like the character Dustin Hoffmann played in "Wag the Dog"

how much could it cost? certainly a lot less than what we give to the DNC or Green Party or any other major party.

dammit, if the government can do it, why can't we? I am deadly serious. what would be the long pole in the tent for this?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 18:30 utc | 23

chris, what your asking is for potentially millions of people dying in a gamble to prevent an even further number of people dying at a later date.

that's a mighty big gamble, and if we lose (or the 'win' i should say) the beast gets stronger.

Posted by: | Feb 1 2007 18:36 utc | 24

DM writes - The US military has never opted to prevent a war and I have not read of anything to indicate that this is even a remote possibility.

Some signs are there ... at least some don't really like the idea ...

Within the Pentagon, many active-duty officers are wary of an aggressive military response to Iran, arguing that there is no need to risk starting another war.

Some Pentagon officials worry that an escalation of military pressure that included strikes on Iranian territory could prompt Iran to go after targets it could easily hit, such as oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

"We need to be very careful about getting into one-to-one trades," the senior Pentagon official said. "That can very quickly get out of control."


Posted by: b | Feb 1 2007 18:37 utc | 25

Good idea d o s. I was thinking also, just do something, anything every chance you get.

I got a survey from a local politician last week and he wanted to know my opinion on crap. He wanted to know my "concerns". I printed a color picture of soldiers recently killed in Iraq (including two from my state) and I taped it to his survey and sent it back.

And I still believe in bumper stickers.

Posted by: beq | Feb 1 2007 18:39 utc | 26

d o s, you and i are thinking similarly, except my thoughts were more towards public relations than advertising because public relations is more affordable. it seems like this is what it would take to crack the corporate media. this has to happen.

Posted by: conchita | Feb 1 2007 18:39 utc | 27


Yeah good thinking. Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 18:51 utc | 28

Re: A post about the Palestinian situation...
Well, there was a very defeatist attitude in response to your great post, Cauldrons of Malcontent, implying that there wasn’t much that could be done (like that never happens, eh?), and I was trying to take an opposite view. Sort of worried I would step on toes, though. Things have been sort of quiet in the fights here lately, except for maybe slothrup, (again not unusual) and I didn’t want to offend (not that offending would stop me) but it has been sort of nice that things have been congenial here. Mainly, I just never finished the post (again, not unusual). Of course, there is an old saying, ”A job 80% done is better than not done at all.” Hmmm, that’s not always true either. I would hate to be 80% done with open-heart surgery and then not have the surgeon “sew me up”. But then again, maybe the “sewing up” is part of the 80%, and the natural healing is the 20% of the job! (Gee, I even argue with myself!) And also, the post seemed to ramble just as this paragraph has. Anyway, I may work on the post tonight after work.

Speaking of stepping on toes, a disagreement with Chris in what follows.

As others have pointed out in other threads, this type of talk (i.e. supporting U.S. war with Iran) just gives credence to those whose influence many here, including yourself, wish to diminish. Not to mention the immorality of killing innocent people in large numbers. And for what reason exactly – to rid Americans of “exceptionalism”? Such a debate here reminds me of a thread by Monolycus that became very argumentative; Bernhard finally shut down the thread entirely.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 19:08 utc | 29

I don't think that there's anything that can be done in the short term to halt or even slow the US' rush to war. It's not that there aren't any number of ways to scare the nation's leadership into slamming on the brakes, It's just that they all require far more from the American populace than it appears willing to give. Quite frankly, until the possible future costs of inaction very obviously outweigh the definite costs of action (i.e. jailtime, fines, loss of income) they will sit, fingers crossed, and hope for the best. Obviously, not everyone is content to do nothing but, the more peaceful the action, the more massive it needs to be.
With regards to marches not working these days, they have to be large, continual and disruptive. They also need to be targetted correctly. 100,000 people marching through the streets of Peoria has got to be worth 500,000 in Washington DC. For a start it would be a surprise, and I'm willing to bet the media coverage would better away from the cynical and co-opted Beltway press corps. All hypothetical of course, as there aren't 100,000 Americans that will march continually against the current war, let alone one that has yet to start.
As for e-mail campaigns and the like, they have a tendency to keep everyone exactly where the government wants them; at home and in their comfort zone. Send as many angry missives as you will, it can't hurt, just don't confuse doing so with concrete action.

Posted by: aubanel | Feb 1 2007 19:10 utc | 30

What would be a good bumper sticker?
Something like:
Aagh! -pretty lame - see what you all can come up with...

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 19:14 utc | 31

aubanel They also need to be targetted correctly. 100,000 people marching through the streets of Peoria has got to be worth 500,000 in Washington DC

Good Point

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 19:18 utc | 32

Good bumper sticker: MAKE LOVE, FUCK WAR
(read somewhere)

Posted by: beq | Feb 1 2007 19:43 utc | 33

In the concept of using the media to fight fire with should be remembered that the first popularizers of the television sound bite were Martin Luther King and the SCLC.

I'll try to synthesize the thoughts here and come up with a plan of action in a bit.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 19:45 utc | 34

I personally don't think we necessarily need a fancy ad agency (nor, if mid-Feb is really the date, do we have time to collect money, etc etc). I think innovative teams can do this on their own in fairly short order. For example, think of the brilliant Mac and PC ads. Couldn't we do something along those lines, and videotape it on a home video, upload to You Tube, and then do a massive linking to everyone campaign?

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 20:09 utc | 35

Your bumber sticker makes the right point, but I doubt Nancy, my wife, would feel comfortable with that on our car.

Seriously, maybe something a little more inclusive would be better. I'll pitch in for a trial printing run if we get coordinated. Perhaps starting a domain name for this project and referencing that on the bumber sticker. Just thinking out loud today.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 20:09 utc | 36

Ooo here is another idea -- how about a virtual bumper sticker campaign? We could design a Desktop message or screen saver and EVERYONE could display it on a given day/time.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 20:12 utc | 37

simple brainstorm here: Presumably, we would want a website domain, and an organization title. What's simple, catchy, inclusive, and available?

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 20:15 utc | 38


just kidding (kinda)

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 20:17 utc | 39

wouldn't recommend wasting too much money on tv promos

TV is unique in the EEG activity it summons in the human brain, and unique as well in that it drastically reduces the metabolic rate of the human organism. When you sleep, you use more energy than when you watch TV. When you stare at a painting or read a book or knit or fart in bed, you use more energy. EEG activity during television-watching is marked by alpha waves, those dreamy, spacey waves that also exist between sleeping and waking--a passive state in which sustained intense critical thought is pretty much impossible. Alpha waves are also associated with coma. [Die, TV!]

door-to-door, face-to-face, feet-in-the-street are the most effective tactics for real results

Posted by: b real | Feb 1 2007 20:18 utc | 40


The desktop message idea is great!! The message could even upload in real time with the latest news release concerning an upcoming Iranian war. Stories like "trumped up" intelligence claims, or that story today about the Retired Airforce General who wants "a bomb dropped in Iran for every Iraqi IED".

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 20:21 utc | 41

boring i know but....

congressman defazio once again introduced legislation to require authorization from congress to attack iran. he tried last year. it died. this latest legislation HCR33 was introduced 1/16, just a couple weeks ago. so far it has 30 co sponsors.

Title: Expressing the sense of Congress that the President should not initiate military action against Iran without first obtaining authorization from Congress.

it's in committee. the link leads to members of the foriegn affairs committe. one of the members of the foriegn affairs committee is from washington state, i called his office.the person i spoke w/ said that sounded like legislation rep adam smith would support. i mentioned i didn't see his name thus far as a co sponsor to the bill, but then i didn't see mc dermott's (my fiercely anti war rep) name yet either. murtha is a co sponsor, along w/conyers and others.

i suggest calling members of the committee along w/ your local reps.

there are 50 members of the committee from varios states. the chairman is tom lantos 202 225 3531 from calif. it is helpful having a local zip code when calling the offices. lantos's is 94401,02.. thru 09.

a massive call in in may be effective.

Posted by: annie | Feb 1 2007 20:24 utc | 42

I am glad conchita is here, I think she probably has some insight into how to get things like this done.

we have a product that needs to be sold, there are many people who are very good at this. we need to engage them and if they need money to make it happen then so be it.

if things are indeed as grave as most of us think they are, then it is probably not the best time for amateur hour. bring in the big guns and let them blast away.

for pete's sake, the republicans sold gw bush to the US public! are we looking at something more difficult than that?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 20:30 utc | 43

appealing to netizens is minimally effective. your market is largely a middle --> upper class educated technically-savy group who are likely already part of the choir or workerbees, media-addicts, or socialites already heavily indoctrinated/invested w/i the business or/and entertainment worldview. yes, you will reach some new eyes & minds, but, c'mon guys, d'ya think that that much of the population in the united states is online?

Posted by: b real | Feb 1 2007 20:32 utc | 44

I tend to agree with b real - call it the Myspace revolution. Social networking. Unlike Iraq, I suspect that a pretty clear majority of Americans oppose war against Iran - anyone have poll numbers?

So let's consider things that we need:

1) a name and web presence

2) an information piece indicating the very real, imminent potential of an attack. The Vanity Fair piece b linked to could be used. That kind of thing.

3) a planned campaign to make this as widely known as possible. Word-of-mouth preferable, or subversion of traditional media.

4) a statement of principles for the organization. Something as specific and inclusive as possible. (I've been kicking things around in my head and may write something this evening.)

5) a specific set of goals to reach, i.e., disseminating the concept of a citizen's arrest, or demanding impeachment.

6) a specific methodology to reach those goals. Viral marketing, civil disobedience, a PR blitz.

This is kind of an easiest-to-hardest list. I'll try to go into how to achieve these things later.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 20:46 utc | 45

(social networking need not be done on social networking websites, of course. Talk to people!)

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 20:48 utc | 46

in terms of naming, I like the word "refuse." not "No War on Iran" but "I REFUSE War With Iran." It's much more active.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 20:55 utc | 47

Evil is like a shadow - it has no real substance of its own, it is
simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.

-Shakti Gawain, teacher and author (1948- )

Shine on, Moon of Alabama.

Posted by: catlady | Feb 1 2007 21:09 utc | 48

We should definitely involve kids. They are so much more linked up electronically with one another.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 21:20 utc | 49

mini pamphleteering or microleafletting is a method w/in the reach of anyone with access to a copy machine.

way way way back in the late 70s, when the Toxic Shock Syndrome scandal broke (involving certain Usian manufacturers of "feminine hygiene products," to use the sickly euphemistic lingo of marketeers), I remember some young feminist friends of mine -- just two or three women, not some large collective -- quickly responded by micropamphleteering. one was a calligrapher; she lettered a couple of informative grafs on the topic, which were then reduced and duplicated into 4 dbl sided microleaflets per 1 sheet of office paper (i.e. an "info card" 1/4 of an A sheet).

these were xeroxed in various colours and cut up on an office guillotine. the women carried them in their purses or backpacks and left them... tucked among the underwear in ladies' clothing departments, on the sinks in women's restrooms, in among the products in the "tampons and pads" section of the drugstore, and so on. this was pre internet, pre computer... they were just trying to reach as many affected customers of these products as possible as fast as possible.

micropamphleteering wastes relatively little paper.

these days it would be best not to leave any contact info on the microleaflets,>maybe not even any fingerprints as increasingly the corporadoes who run our govt want to define as "terrorism" any activity that intefereres with profiteering. but you can fit quite a lot of info onto two sizes of a quarter A sheet... including, these days, URLs to more information (didn't have that option back then).

I'm beginning to think that microleafletting is perhaps an old idea whose time has come back, a way for the technogentry to communicate with the disconnected in both private and public spaces. anonymous pamphleteering has a long an honourable tradition in the history of resistance to oppressive regimes, from the scurrilous broadsheets of antimonarchists in olden times, to Tom Paine, samisdat, the soldiers' antiwar movement during the Viet Nam occupation (cf the good doco "Sir No Sir")...

just a thought

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 1 2007 21:42 utc | 50

One micropamphlet can be distributed both ways -- by hand and electronically. For the widest possible distribution. You know, send it to your entire address list and ask them to send to theirs. Then go around your whole neighborhood for a 10 block radius and leave at every house and on every car. Ask everyone on your address list to do the same.

It could spread fast.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 22:13 utc | 51

Also I always like the idea of hanging big handmade signs in strategic places on major highways. There was a guy a while back who would do that as a form of political protest routinely. Does anyone remember his name?

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 22:14 utc | 52

Also of course such a pamphlet can be posted on many blogs in downloadable form.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 22:16 utc | 53

the freeway blogger

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 22:21 utc | 54

Posted by: beq | Feb 1 2007 22:23 utc | 55

My SO suggests "Truth Revolution"

Posted by: beq | Feb 1 2007 22:24 utc | 56

it is bittersweet to come back to the moon and find enthusiasm to somehow make a difference in this world. bitter because i feel like we are fighting such an enormous battle. sweet because we are fighting.

i see three areas where i think we could make a difference:

1) person to person as b real suggested, as in just talking with people rather than looking at a computer screen. as much as we as a community communicate via the internet it does not feed the soul like in the flesh human interaction. not the same as going door to door nor handing out fliers, but i spent an hour or so last night making calls for moveon asking moveon members to call their senators today about opposing an escalation of the war in iranq. it was a good exercise for me and for those i called - there is something about hearing someone agree with your point of view and even bouncing ideas off that person. however, what an enormous disappointment to read about the biden warner levin non binding compromise resolution. so fuck the 64% of the country who are looking for congress to show a little spine. at least russ feingold is out there trying to do the right thing. but i digress...

2) i like deanander's idea about micropamphleteering. seems simple, direct, and intimate. we did this when we protested the 2004 election results and people did take our mini pamphlets with them to read. also, these days in new york i see IMPEACH stickers all over. what once might have looked radical now just looks like it a no brainer. i made a promise to myself today to find them on line and order some or print out a bunch and join those forces.

3) i also like bernhard's banner action. i have had a united for peace and justice banner flying off my fire escape since 2004 that says "we the people say no to the bush agenda." in 2004 you saw them posted in people's windows throughout the city and it gave you a warm and fuzzy but powerful feeling because it made you think that the people could actually make a difference. can't tell you how reassuring it was to walk down the street and see them all.

4) on sunday i was forwarded a piece from danny schechter's news dissector blog about the march the day before - the march meets the media - which amplified what had been going through my mind. to me the most important snippets from it were:

I support marches as PART of a bigger strategy, not as THE strategy. And at least this time, many activists were planning to lobby Congress.

As readers know by now, I think its kind of important to get this message out to the people through the media, and not just the message that there’s opposition to the war but that there’s a movement opposing it. We need to show activism in action as a way for citizens to try to hold politicians accountable and participate in the process. Did that double message get through?

This approach requires a media strategy--and a challenge to the media— beyond sending out press releases and getting on Pacifica radio outlets.

It also requires a commitment to forging a stronger movement by ON GOING organizing and efforts to democratize and INVOLVE member groups and individuals in independent action outside of the Democratic Party. There needs to be some discipline too and a better presentation. Personally I think Dennis Kucinich has a strong message--but he shouldn't be given time on the program just to hype his campaign. That shows no respect for the movement. We need some independent journalists to really analyze this movement's strengths and weknesses, a former peace movement organizer told me. In that sense the numbers issue is not necessarily the only issue even if it does deserve comment. Another criticism I heard was that indy media was not represented with no blogger speaking.


Don’t the anti-war organizers see this as a problem? Don’t they think they should try to do something about it and take it as a challenge, and protest this ritualistic treatment? Shouldn’t they make the media coverage a issue? Are they only listening to themselves?

I was on Air America in LA on Saturday afternoon and host Bree Walker, a feisty former TV anchor agreed. But the anti-war movement continues to pay lipservice to this problem, perhaps for fear of “alienating” the press. Give me a break! Back in 2003, the Washington Posts own omsbudsman Michael Getler indicted his own newspaper for “downplaying protests.” He now works for Public Television.

This coverage is deplorable but worse: the anti-war movement had not made it an issue. With more than half the country opposing the war, the movement is still being under reported and marginalized! And, naively, not doing anything about it.

We still need a march on the media. Anyone with me?

i hear his challenge on this and think he is right on point. advertising is outrageously expensive - everything from making a spot to the media buy. organizations like moveon and truemajority are producing ads that will air on national television and could use your support. others have made videos which have been aired on youtube - but you have to a media campaign to back these up so that people will actually see them. i believe mike stark from dkos did something very effective during the webb/allen contest.

mike stark has also done some amazing work in radio - organizing people to call in to wingnut shows and expose the truth. on behalf of another blogger he recently organized an effort to convince advertisers to pull their ads from a right wing talk show in san francisco on a station owned by disney. it is a complicated and long story, but he managed to not only get advertisers to pull ads, but the station began to rein its talk show hosts, and more importantly the action was covered by major news outlets like the nyt, etc.

essentially, i feel like there needs to be greater, more consistent, and more widespread visibility of the opposition point of view. not to be negative, but i do wonder how much we can accomplish on our own? does it make sense to join forces with other organizers whose ideals and goals we share? to be honest, i have been hard-pressed to find one yet that speaks for me, but i also think the key word for me is becoming IMPEACH and i need to spend more time getting directly involved in that effort.

lastly, while this morning's headline about the biden warner levin compromise made me question whether calling senators made a whit of a difference, i don't feel that we can stop. my hope is that pressure on our legislative and executive branches backed up by visible dissent - signs, banners, marches, bumper stickers, etc. - and media coverage should build a movement with momentum. i agree with danny schecter - we do need to analyze what is/not working and adjust how we do things. in case anyone else is interested, his email is [email protected].

Posted by: conchita | Feb 1 2007 23:39 utc | 57

also, the freewayblogger rocks.

Posted by: conchita | Feb 1 2007 23:43 utc | 58

DeAnander” | "Micro pamphleteering" -Sounds like a good idea too.

Conchita: It is limited for me to go person to person here - this is a rural, military base area and things aren't so easy for me. However, I would be happy to submit a letter to the editor to our local paper - every letter I have ever submitted has been published, and I have no qualms about signing my name. Unfortunately, the readership is only about 5 to 10 thousand. Of course, I (and others) could reference a Website for further action and info. Actually, I need further info myself – I don’t have a place for reference about the truths, trumped up charges, current plans etc. Pat Buchanan last night on cable TV said the plans are for six days of continuous bombing but he would not name his source. In short, I need some info before I can write a letter to the editor.

It is hard to beat mass news media. Mass Media will only come about if something happens (or someone) attracts the news media. Catlady's point is right on target, evil is darkness - In this case, we need to shine the light on the untruths and myths. The neocons have already made this Iranian leader into a Hitler, just like they did with Saddam Hussein.

I don't think the task of shinning a light on the Iran situation is hopeless, nor is any attack going to happen tomorrow (for one reason, the stock market hit a new record high today). Of course, Israel is part of the equation, and maybe they will make the first move or somehow cause the chain of events.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 0:18 utc | 59

Chalmers Johnson has a well-thought reply to some of his views at:

Posted by: Chris Marlowe | Feb 2 2007 1:21 utc | 60

"I REFUSE War With Iran." It's much more active.

i like the idea of one word that sends the message. but, it should be an acronym, preferably w/the letter I in it. (for iran of course).

i like deananders idea. what if the leaflet a postcard. once they were passed out people could place stamps on them and have target dates to mail them to designated recipients whether it be the local media,local businesses, radio stations, politcal figures,corporations, or anyone. slam mailing. one could also place them next to cash registers, stacks of them.

an awesome graffic

i also like the idea of getting kids involved. high school students, they are going to be the ones getting recruited.

LISTEN light iran solutions take energy now

of course that sounds totally dumb but my point is i like something positive, dealing w/diplomacy and open mindedness. catlady's #48 resonated w/me.

strategic thinking requires open...

i'm thinking an acrony for strong.. i'm terrible w/words. whats the message, beside don't attack iran. what's the creative positive action? not the don't do. who said, don't think outside the box, think there is no box.

Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2007 2:49 utc | 61

We still need a march on the media. Anyone with me?
That’s what we in Belgrade did prior to any war in ex-YU. We rightly sensed where the core of the problem lie. We even managed to remove head of state media that preached hatred at the time. They put another one…even worse, haha. We had a lot of opposition parties marching with us. We had similar percentage of public on our side…We did try to organize general, strike, public disobedience, all that stuff but it was not working. We had TV station ( visible only in Belgrade and around it) that Milosevic tried to close or retake, or bribe it’s directors and editors many times.
Now when I think about it all that stuff that went on for ages crumbled his power slowly but certainly. In the end it still took to have certain figures from DB (alike CIA and FBI etc. and the Army and /or mafia on our side) to get rid of Milosevic. All though at that time Milosevic already lost all of his wars…
The sad Serbian story goes on to this day cause now they can’t get rid of those guys who helped , haha , but it still is a step in right direction.

Posted by: vbo | Feb 2 2007 2:55 utc | 62

so, the statement of purpose should be:

To disseminate information about the Bush administration's plan to attack Iran to as many people as possible, via as organic a methodology as possible.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 2 2007 3:16 utc | 63

In the olden days there was something known as 'Chain Mail'. A letter is composed stating your purpose and asking each recipient to mail the same letter to 10 others. In this case it is to stop the continuing conquest of Islamic countries because they don't allow credit. It would be important to mention that failure to pass on the message would result in the horrible death or dismemberment of a child with bombs payed for with their taxes.

The modern name for such mail is also known as 'Snail Mail' so expediency is necessary.

Posted by: pb | Feb 2 2007 3:49 utc | 64

"All though at that time Milosevic already lost all of his wars…


US has never won a war on it's own....Ever.

Oops! Sorry,...I forgot Greneda.

And. Brush has failed at everything he ever tried. Yet he is foaming at the mouth about Iran and we are sitting here worrying the new congress may give him 'one more chance'. Gees.

Posted by: pb | Feb 2 2007 4:05 utc | 65

If you want to get college students etc. to pay attention, you need to be on facebook. A student could start a facebook "event." --something simple like beq's slogan "make love, fuck war."

students could link up by this and someone could develop some sort of sign, etc. to upload as a .jpg that would identify who is part of the "friends" group. that's just the beginning, of course. after that, students need to gather resources from reporters, etc. (like Hersh...his recent comment was too depressing...he seems to have given up that anything will stop this fiasco) as a way to disseminate information.

students could organize a nation-wide walkout at school on the same day...from middle school to grad school. each school would have a designated blogger to post pictures. These students, if they cared this much, could then go to their representatives offices in the cities where they are located and sit in until they hear from the representative about what they are going to do NOW to enact the will of the people.

the students can call out parents and teachers to join them. the movement can't just be among those who are working and less likely to be called to fight if Bush is allowed to proceed.

If media coverage represents the corporate/lying their ass off pov, then people need to go demonstate in front of the tv station offices and demand they tell the truth. demand a fair hearing. no more bullshit.

student peace-action has a great poster that I had the honor to carry in 03.

hip hop not war is a good organization to reach students to get out of the room and into the streets.. the internet can be the problem but can also help create a solution. just who is the pr for? the issue is that Bush, et al are determined to do what they want, and fuck you and me and our children. so people have to put their attention on the reps who are supposed to --hey-- represent them. hold a voter registration drive outside of the reps. office -- if that rep. won't stop them, won't charge them with crimes and have them stand trial (for war profiteering if nothing else) then those new voters can help get rid of the rep.

Soldiers against the war, from across generations, should demonstrate in front of recruiting offices. Students could form networks to refuse to register and if someone comes after them, they'll have a network of students who insist that they go to jail with that person.... of course, this hasn't stopped school of the americas either.

if there is no general unrest, and maybe even if there is, no one will stop what's happening now.

move-on has done far as I understand americans just want Bush's prez to be over anyway, so who will you convince? the issue is that congress needs to act. I am so fucking sick of democrats who will not fight back. that's what's so refreshing about Webb...he's not afraid to say fuck you to bush, and to say stop this bullshit.

oh, and you cannot make up this shit... Kissinger said Bush has a "secret plan" to end the war?!? I just love it that these folks are trying to serve up warmed over nixon era bullshit and call it caviar.
sorry if I missed posts on all these.

the hersh article is esp. demoralizing. he's basically saying that his military sources will carry out order given to them by the prez, even if the prez is certifiable and those actions would lead to the unnecessary deaths of soldier and civilians.

Posted by: fauxreal | Feb 2 2007 4:11 utc | 66

Chain letters are also sent via email, greatly magnifying the rapidity with which they spread and their potential impact.

I really like the idea of a massive school walkout. How about a march to the offices of someone - a local media outlet or politician?

I think someone creative could take all these ideas and put them together in a simple but powerful way and start a campaign. But it might be best to link up and do it in conjunction with existing organizations that already have their huge mailing lists. Such as Moveon.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 2 2007 4:26 utc | 67

Here is another idea. At a certain moment, ask everyone everywhere in the country to stop what they are doing for a moment of silence. Something that everyone can do very simply, but it sends a message. And creates a bond. At the designated time, stop and freeze for 5 minutes and hold your hand up in a peace sign. Wherever you are. And it could happen every day for a week at the same time, so that more and more people could catch on and join in. A groundswell of support...

Posted by: Bea | Feb 2 2007 4:35 utc | 68

Part of the information disseminated and emphasized should be the probable outcomes of an attack. Usually logical arguments for self-interest will register before an appeal to morality does. Bluntly, many Americans may care less about the loss of Iranian lives, but may care about $6.00 per gallon gas. The precarious position of American soldiers in Iraq must be highlighted; use of the term “hostages” is putting it too mildly, many American deaths most likely. The obvious and worst possibility is, again most likely, instant regional escalation. What would be Israel’s fate? And if the Iranian government is militarily defeated (Bush’s famous “mission accomplished”), what scenario would remain? Another disaster like Iraq would be too optimistic to hope for.

All this is obvious and has been posted before, but maybe it will be helpful to repeat for this endeavor. Someone more articulate than I could maybe expand on all this.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 4:38 utc | 69

Students are always the bravest. I remember after horrific March 9 protest prior to wars when Milosevic’s police eye-gassed and watered and bitted and even killed young protester (he was 17) in Belgrade and that night he ordered Army tanks on the streets of Belgrade and proclaimed on TV that no one should go out on the streets we were horrified sitting in front of TVs helplessly, anxiously a big silence. Tomorrow it was the most silent day in Belgrade and I could cry how helpless we all felt. Then that evening we have heard on radio that students started their march back at the city from their campus in New Belgrade. In matter of minutes we people were back on the streets waiting for them in the centre of the Belgrade. Police waited for them on the bridge bitted them harshly and when we were trying to help students by taking police attention on our side we were bitten and gassed by police. That night I managed to jump over 2m brick wall running in front of the police...unbelievable...We managed to change Director of state TV station in next few days. I thought at the time that anything is possible. But war went on anyway. Because it was decided on "higher place" locally and internationally...Anyway I am surprised that I don't see students in USA doing much more of protesting.
No matter how one may feel it may be useless but it's something decent person has to do no matter what. It's not about them it's about you/us feeling human...

Posted by: vbo | Feb 2 2007 4:45 utc | 70



Makes me think of another idea that is not practical or particularly useful now, but perhaps for the longer term. It would be nice to have a web site celebrating the accomplishments of political protests in history. With first-hand testimonials such as you have just provided. Very moving. And imagine teaching a high school course on that. Wouldn't that be cool? "Popular protest 101."

Posted by: Bea | Feb 2 2007 5:34 utc | 71

Yes! The freewayblogger does rock. Just make a magnetic sign and put it on the back of your car while your driving around. It's a start.

Posted by: Ben | Feb 2 2007 6:54 utc | 72

something my wife has taught me over the years is to simply ask for help. being the kind of person I am, the thought never occured to me before...I want to do everything by myself.

most of us go to other web sites, two that I visit are FDL and GlennGreenwald. lawyers hang out in both places, lawyers can be helpful even when you are not in trouble so it would behoove us to enlist their suppport as well.

listening to Jim Hightower this morning he mentioned a website called Random Kids who have raised over 10 million for Katrina relief. seems to be something we could emulate.

I am ecstatic that others have joined in. I remember the excitement of watching a bunch of bloggers discover/uncover Jim Guckert in that whole Jeff Gannon thing. It was fascinating watching the PTB try to hide their missteps in real time while smart techies knew where to look to find the proof. Unfortunately I am sure the PTB learned a lot during that episode and it will be much more difficult to find the roaches in the future. but I digress.

the heart wrenching stories of vbo, and they are especially hard on me as I was a part (not active but there all the same) of the organization that dropped bombs on his/her country should serve to show us just how urgent this is. Even though vbo and others "failed" to stop the destruction they can hold their heads up and say that they tried. I can imagine no greater same than having to tell my grandchildren that I couldn't be bothered to do something about what is happening now.


Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 2 2007 7:23 utc | 73

vbo -
Thank you for coming out and telling your story.

Posted by: beq | Feb 2 2007 12:20 utc | 74

Saw this good link from a Yahoo News/Huffington Post opinion article
linked to from Juan Cole's site this morning. Haven't been keeping up with all the posts and threads lately here at Moon –maybe this site is known to many here – but just thought it might be helpful to this discussion and any action we might partake as a group. - Iran

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 13:53 utc | 75

This morning's black humor:

I followed the link to provided by Rick and was happy to see the following link there: Yes, it is still possible to stop a war with Iran. I clicked on it and got this:

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

Somehow I wasn't surprised...

Posted by: Bea | Feb 2 2007 15:07 utc | 76

Bea #76

I have no idea why they pulled the story but you can find it here

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 2 2007 15:41 utc | 77

Could Cheney’s demise be the nail in the coffin for any attack/war on Iran? The whole concept is not so far fetched.

Regardless of what one thinks of LaRouche, this article by Jeffrey Steinberg is worth reading. Steinberg’s listing of resolutions being introduced to stop any war with Iran is impressive also.

Of great import is a second bipartisan Senate concurrent resolution against the surge (see Documentation), this issue), introduced by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a former Secretary of the Navy, and one of the most senior Republicans in the Congress. The Warner resolution is co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).
On Jan. 22, in announcing the resolution, Warner said that he would not act on a vote until after the Biden-Hagel-Levin resolution comes to the Senate floor—which is expected during the week of Jan. 29. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.) said that, in some respects, the Warner resolution is tougher than theirs, and he would be open to working out a common resolution with Warner. However, it appears, for now, that Warner will keep the two separate.
But these two bills are just the tip of the iceberg. There are already four additional resolutions that have been introduced to block a war on Iran:
· House Concurrent Resolution 43, introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), with ten co-sponsors, calls for implementation of the Baker-Hamilton Commission's recommendation on diplomacy with Iran and Syria;
· Senate Resolution 39, introduced by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), addresses the need for Congressional approval before the White House can take offensive military action against any other nation;
· House Concurrent Resolution 33, introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), with 30 co-sponsors, says the President should not take military action against Iran without Congressional authorization;
· House Joint Resolution 13, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), with 18 co-sponsors, attempts to block offensive miltiary action against Iran.
However, there are serious concerns that these actions do not go far enough, and are not fast enough. Many observers believe that only immediate steps to remove the Vice President by impeachment could protect the nation from the disaster of a war with Iran.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 15:57 utc | 78

Bea/Dan of Steele,

A quick look at the Board Members of 'Just Foreign Policy' tells me that this is a top class outfit. Mark Weisbrot is on the Board and also co-author of the two articles –Huffington Post of Jan.31 2007 (that I referred to), and the Common Dreams article that Dan referred to of Oct. 11, 2006. Maybe pulled because of out of date and getting updated. Just thinking out loud. – don’t know either for sure.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 16:22 utc | 79

Police waited for them on the bridge bitted them harshly and when we were trying to help students by taking police attention on our side we were bitten and gassed by police. That night I managed to jump over 2m brick wall running in front of the police...unbelievable...We managed to change Director of state TV station in next few days.


Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2007 16:31 utc | 80

May....Could....If......Sources say......Any speaches or utterences using these weasel words need to be red tagged immediately as fork-tongued coersion.

Posted by: pb | Feb 2 2007 17:30 utc | 81

Scott Ritter has an article in The Nation about the coming war with Iran:

Posted by: Chris Marlowe | Feb 2 2007 17:31 utc | 82

If the Persian Gulf is set a-blaze, gas may climb to $10.00 a gallon.

Put that on the front page NYT.

Posted by: pb | Feb 2 2007 17:37 utc | 83


Nothing serious here, and no offense meant, but compare your post #81 to your post #83. Are you being sarcastic? In other words, is my thick skull missing your point?

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 17:48 utc | 84

"Are you being sarcastic?"

No, just fear mongering to demonstrate that it works if you read it quickly. If you stop to analyze it you are already ahead of most people.

Posted by: pb | Feb 2 2007 18:46 utc | 85

The ephemeral nature of the blog will eventually push this thread to peter out, so I'm putting my e-mail address so that people who are interested in brainstorming and organizing can get in touch.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 2 2007 21:57 utc | 86

rowan, let us know what your 'team' comes up with once you solidify a plan will you please?

Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2007 22:00 utc | 87

A friend of mine also recommended that we piggy-back onto Valentines Day. Depending on how it's done, that could be amusing and worthwhile.

p.s. still waiting on emails. If you don't send to me, I'll recruit you.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 3 2007 2:59 utc | 88


Just sent you an email. I am at your service if I can help.


Posted by: Rick | Feb 3 2007 3:57 utc | 89

">"> Iran: A War Is Coming
by John Pilger

[Rick: - The whole article is good, but I liked the paragraph below the best.]
Unlike its two nemeses, the US and Israel, Iran has attacked no other countries. It last went to war in 1980 when invaded by Saddam Hussein, who was backed and equipped by the US, which supplied chemical and biological weapons produced at a factory in Maryland. Unlike Israel, the world's fifth military power with thermonuclear weapons aimed at Middle East targets, an unmatched record of defying UN resolutions and the enforcer of the world's longest illegal occupation, Iran has a history of obeying international law and occupies no territory other than its own.
[me again: the above seems worthwhile to quote or paraphrase in an upcoming letter to the editor I’m planning on writing this weekend.]

Posted by: Rick | Feb 3 2007 8:13 utc | 90

Next on Bush's 'Hit List' by Gordon Prather
Gordon Prather: “…while most Congresspersons busy themselves debating Bush’s intended escalation of the war in Iraq, Senator Byrd has once again risen to the occasion
’In the State of the Union Address last night, the President called out Iran no less than seven times.
‘Was this speech the first step in an effort to blame all that has gone wrong in the Middle East on Iran? Was the focus on Iran during the President’s address an attempt to link Iran to the war on terrorism, and by extension, start building a case that our response to the 9/11 attacks must include dealing with Iran?
‘I fear that the machinery may have already been set in motion which may ultimately lead to a military attack inside Iran, or perhaps Syria, despite the opposition of the American people, many in Congress, and even some within his Administration.
‘Today I am introducing a resolution that clearly states that it is Congress, not the President, that is vested with the ultimate decision on whether to take this country to war against another country. This resolution is a rejection of the bankrupt, dangerous, and unconstitutional doctrine of preemption, which proposes that the President may strike another country before it threatens us.
‘If there exists a reckless determination for a new war in the Middle East, I fear that the attorneys of the Executive Branch are already seeking ways to tie this war to the use of force resolution for Iraq, or the resolution passed in response to 9/11.
‘But the American people need only be reminded about the untruths of Iraq’s supposed ties to the 9/11 attacks so see how far the truth can be stretched in order to achieve the desired outcome.
‘If the Executive Branch were to try to prod, stretch, or rewrite the 9/11 or the Iraq use of force resolutions in an outrageous attempt to apply them to an attack on Iran, Syria, or anywhere else, this resolution is clear: the Constitution says that Congress, not the President, must make the decision for war or peace.
‘The power to declare war resides in Congress, and it is we – the elected representatives of the people – who are the "deciders.’”

[Rick here: Hard to say it any better than this. And no need for partisan labels here either. (…of course, ‘to me’ these words of Byrd sound ‘conservative’.)]

Posted by: Rick | Feb 3 2007 8:55 utc | 91

Here's hoping that you have contacted Rowan. Your previous posts here and actual work in demonstrations are inspiring.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 3 2007 9:19 utc | 92

Bea, can you e-mail me? You seemed to have a lot of energy I'd like you in from the start.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 4 2007 1:28 utc | 93

As a practitioner of Tai Chi, I really have some doubts about the causal nexus implied here:

Set Your Intention to Stop an Attack on Iran

In Tai Chi, as well as in other martial arts and spiritual disciplines I am sure, they teach that energy follows mind, so that by setting your intention, your creative energy will follow, helping to manifest your intention. So if we sit around all day mentally projecting a war with Iran, painting grim mental pictures of it in our heads, then we are helping to create this scenario with our own energies, in effect helping Dick Cheney and George Bush manifest their intention. How self-defeating! Our negative mindsets thus become an exercise in masochism.

On the other hand, if we visualize peace and reconciliation with Iran, then we are helping to manifest a totally different reality with our energies. This is a challenge to all the talented writers and authors at OpEdNews right now, as well as to all of the other progressive websites out there that read this. Use your powers of the word and your influence creatively to stop this potential attack and war with Iran and create the opposite, a peaceful solution.

There's a grain of truth to it... I protested against the invasion of Iraq, but encountered the general attitude amongst my fellows that it was already a done deal so why bother? But what the author of the above describes and what I encountered is simply fatalism, and not a mystical process at all. Besides, December's Orgasmathon For Peace™ was a lot more fun to participate in.

I have implored this community and others for ideas about effective activism on many, many occasions. I am burnt-out on the subject after having discovered that fighting the Powers-That-Be is nowhere nearly as exhausting as fighting those who ostensibly agree with you.

If you wanted my input... and experience tells me you don't... you'd be better off fighting the head of the beast at home rather than expending your efforts fighting symptoms of the empire as presented by its insane foreign invasions. That was my major complaint with Billmon and a few others... they could brilliantly dissect the consequences of symptoms and rarely, if ever, discussed how the empire consolidated its seat of power in their very homes. Things like the 2005's bankruptcy bill, domestic US surveillance programs disguised as commercial enterprises, et cetera, ad nauseum fuel this thing. Attack the head, and the stop wasting energy fighting the tentacles.

That's my advice, for what its worth. Have fun storming the castle.

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 4 2007 4:34 utc | 94

When your up to your neck in alligators, its hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp

Monolycus; "If you wanted my input... and experience tells me you don't... you'd be better off fighting the head of the beast at home rather than expending your efforts fighting symptoms of the empire as presented by its insane foreign invasions.”

Who(m) do you mean here by "you"? My thought is that most of us, including myself, are all but begging for your ideas. I agree that attacking the head is more important than attacking the symptoms, but should an immediate concern be for the many lives that would be instantly destroyed in such an attack on Iran?

In any case, any of your ideas towards ‘draining the swamp’ or ‘killing the alligators’ would be welcomed for sure.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 4 2007 5:07 utc | 95

I'm not saying you're wrong, Mono, but it seems to me that the entrenchment of the problem is in so many different areas which are interconnected, with symptoms becoming causes becoming symptoms again, that attacking any one head of the beast might get at root causes. And that "might" seems a worthy risk to take.

In a more pragmatic sense, a project like this, whatever it turns into, may have the side effect of awakening people, or radicalizing, or whatever you want to call it. I wouldn't be here without the absurd runup to the Iraq War pushing me further in this direction (and billmon probably wouldn't have started writing anyway).

Finally, on a fairly personal note, I can sit around an analyze roots of problems with the best of them, but that tends to lead down paths of "it's too big, I don't know what to do!" Whereas now I think there are things that can be done. And I am not an activist-type person, so I feel I should run with this.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 4 2007 7:24 utc | 96

"" but that tends to lead down paths of "it's too big, I don't know what to do!""

That's probably because most of us 'rugged individualists' don't even know our neighbor's name.

I think old JC described 'synergy' when He said: "Whenever two or more of you are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of you."

Posted by: pb | Feb 4 2007 18:06 utc | 97>Cartoon for Molly Ivins and her fighting words for all of us.
(h/t firedoglake)

Posted by: small coke | Feb 4 2007 22:05 utc | 98

Resistance in any way possible. Creating as much drag as possible on the march to more war. Cumulative drag from many actions.

What is possible at state levels?

Does anyone think that in certain states there might be broad popular consensus for refusing to send National Guard units? National Guard troops are becoming increasingly important to filling the troop numbers.

Any lawyers around? Is there a credible Constitutional legal argument that governors and legislatures could make to refuse to send their state natonal guards?

If even two or three states were to announce their refusal to send further national guard troops, people in other states and the press would take notice. Even the possibility of further state refusals, would force Cheney/Bush to reconsider their fighting resources. Or, if they are too far gone in the evil fantasy universe, it would give military leaders (who, by all evidence, are already trying to resist expansion) new arguments to advance for Congress and the press.

Posted by: small coke | Feb 5 2007 2:21 utc | 99

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