Speech given at the No New Wars Rally, Minneapolis MN June 26, 2012
Here we are once again in front of the Federal Building calling for an end to war and the threats of war, calling on our government to stop the “madness,” to consider the costs and the consequences of our current foreign policy; a policy which calls for unending war against an invisible enemy, a policy that results in our leaders violating international rules of war and the International Declaration of Human Rights, a policy that results in talk of cyber wars, and the assassination of suspected terrorists and scientists in other countries . . . as through this is normal behavior.
In the last ten years we have witnessed our government’s involvement in pre-emptive, immoral and illegal wars against both Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries that posed no real threat to the United States. We bombed Iraq back to the “stone age,” and left the people of that country without the basic necessities of life, a corrupt government, and little hope for the future. Now we are doing the same thing in Afghanistan – spending $2 billion a week on that war – with nothing to show for it and no end in sight.
At the same time, we are witnessing continuing threats of war against Iran and growing threats of war against Syria, two other countries which are no real threat to the United States. And the corporate media, as usual, is their cheerleader with their repetition of the claim that Iran’s nuclear industry is a potential stepping stone to a weapons program even though there is no evidence of that. . . And their calls for a “humanitarian war” against Syria.
Let us not be confused by slogans like “the responsibility to protect” or “humanitarian war.” A humanitarian war is an oxymoron. War is an abomination. War is about destruction, death and overwhelming pain. There is no such thing as a “good war.” If we want peace, we must always oppose U.S. wars and threats of war unequivocally.
And we must oppose the weapons of war. The new weapon of choice of U.S. policy makers appears to be drones . . . drones which can bomb unsuspecting targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia or anywhere else in the world. A weapon that our president says he has a right to use to assassinate people in other countries if he believes they are terrorists or suspects that they might be “up to no good.”
We all know that none of this makes us safe; instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of the sovereignty of other nations and international human rights aides our enemies and alienates our friends.”
So we have a lot to do; the struggle for justice and peace is never ending . . . And our willing to participate in this struggle must also be never ending.
Even though sometimes the task before us may seem overwhelming, it is imperative that we not give up, that we continue speak out; that we tell our government “You may not do this in our name; not in my name.”
Marie Braun is a member of Women Against Military Madness.