Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Peace Rally Video and other Peace Things...

Student newspaper, The East Tennessean is having a good conversation about the war in its letters to the editor. This is what the rally was about, to get people talking. Here are a couple of letters with differing views:

Republicans' Record and

Responsibility in Iraq

(To read the East Tennessean on-line you need to register, but it is free).

Sandra at ConcernedTNCitizens has posted a new video of the peace march and rally. Nicely edited. It includes video of the speech I gave at the rally.

Sandra also includes some other announcements:

1) This weekend, beginning Thursday, Oct. 11, The Southern Appalachian International Film Festival takes place in Johnson City and Jonesborough. One of the films to be shown is the powerful documentary " The Ground Truth". Thanks to Concerned TN Citizen Keith for being a part of the SOAPIFF and for passing word on to the group!

2 ) We have a great new video of the END THE WAR March and Rally from September 29. Click here to view it! Thanks to Concerned TN Citizen Bill for the great video!

3 ) Iraq Moratorium events will occur on Friday, October 19, throughout the region. This is a monthly action that takes place on the 3rd Friday of each month. This month we will be helping Congress "Draw the Line" on the war in Iraq. Keep an eye out for details at Concerned TN Citizens. Thanks to Concerned TN Citizen Bonnie H. for the great idea!

4) Depleted Uranium rally in Jonesborough on October 27. Check here for details. It has been suggested that we have an END THE WAR feeder march tie into this event or organize a car-pool or van to the UFPJ End the War Mobilization in DC. Please reply to this email if you would like to be involved in a feeder march or a trip to DC. Thanks to First Tennessee Progressives co-founder and Concerned TN Citizen Linda for working with UFPJ on this event in Jonesborough!

Thanks Sandra!


  1. Good examples.

    "Republicans' Record" is well informed and reality based.
    Th fact that the evidence to go to war was fabricated is reason enough to end it. Not to mention that Republicans simply cannot lead successfully. They never have and never will.

    "Responsibility in Iraq" has no clue.
    He refers to himself as a Hillary Liberal. Hillary Clinton is not a liberal, she's a Right leaning corporate whore.
    Dennis Kucinich has a withdrawal plan that is fool proof. And with people like "Responsibility in Iraq" and Hillary Clinton around fool proof is exactly what we need.

    I hope and pray that the Democratic party is not stupid enough to elect Hillary in the primary.

  2. I can't speak for the writer of the second letter, but Hillary Clinton is hardly a liberal. Yes, she is to the left of Tom Tancredo, but that's not saying much.

    I can empathize with those who are torn on the issue of our responsibility to the Iraqi people. Yes, the "Pottery Barn Rule" applies, but only so far. We broke it, we own it, but all we seem to be accomplishing at this point is breaking more stuff. Just about everyone in Iraq agrees that the American occupation is making things worse, not better. The bloodbath is happening right now. Will there be a spike (surge, if you will) in violence as the American forces leave? Very possibly. However, if the same number of people die, but over a longer period of time, is that more moral? Ironically, the surge in Baghdad, by taking American troops out of places like Al-Anbar actually helped stabilize that province as the Sunni militias stopped killing Americans and started going after al-Qaeda-in-Mesopotamia. As far as the natives were concerned, foreign fighters were foreign fighters.

    The fact is that, Bush and Cheney's dream notwithstanding, we will not be in Iraq forever. If Iraq is truly a sovereign nation, American troops will leave someday. The question is how many more of our troops (and how many extra innocent Iraqis) have to die in the meantime. The sad reality is that there are no longer any good choices in Iraq.

    David Obey (D-WI), chair of the Appropriations Committee, says he will not let one more cent for the war out of his committee until Bush sets a plan to get out. Call or e-mail your Representatives and ask them to support Obey's effort: or 202-224-3121.

  3. Johnson City is an unusual place for a war protest; a more logical locale would be in a place like Washington which has considerably more ties to the federal government. Their principle theme appears to be the majority of Americans want to end the war on terror, and therefore we should leave the job undone.
    A lesson in civics, if you please! The US is not a democracy. Many think so, and even use that terminology. The US is a republic, I think it is mentioned somewhere in the pledge allegiance. Voters send representatives to government offices to vote on the issues. Like our county commissioners who just raised our taxes. In democracies, people vote on issues. If the people voted on issues in the US, we might still have slavery, blacks and women may not have voting rights, schools would be segregated, and homosexuals might be stoned to death.
    This appears to be merely a group of antiwar activists and conscientious objectors, as noted on their web page. Undoubtedly the organizers are not astute in government matters. As I see it, they have two choices, either vote for someone that sees it like you do and I think Ron Paul is your man, if 70% want a change then you can elect someone like Mr. Paul. Or find a country that rules by mob rather than by laws and move there.
    Moreover, I have never met one of the 70% group, everyone I know wants us to kick their derrieres, and then come home.

  4. Ooooh, you picked the wrong fight here.

    The United States of America is a constitutionally-limited, representatively-democratic republic. There is not an inherent difference between a democracy and a republic. The terms are not mutually exclusive. A "republic" comes from the Latin "res publica" or "things of the people". It simply means that the US and France do not have a monarch, unlike Canada or the Netherlands. Similarly on the repressive end, communist China is technically a republic and Saudi Arabia is a monarchy.

    The Pledge of Allegiance is not American law. The Constitution is. It is a brilliant document that realizes the problems of mob mentality and puts in place basic protections against the "tyranny of the majority". Note that these are also subject to change by the (rightly difficult) democratic process of amendment or convention as specified by Article V.

    The Constitution guarantees the right for the people to vote (exercise their democratic right) for their members of Congress in Article I, Section 2; for their Senators in the 17th Amendment; and for the states to pick their Presidential Electors by a democratic vote in Article II, Section 3. The right to vote is further enshrined by the 15th Amendment (guarantees right to vote regardless of race), the 19th Amendment (guarantees right of women to vote), the 24th Amendment (banning poll taxes), and the 26th Amendment (guarantees the right of those 18-years-old and older to vote).

    You bring up an old saw that Rush Limbaugh trotted out in the 1980s about how "well, since we're a republic and not a democracy, you should be a Republican and not a Democrat." It's silly nonsense.

    On the war, has it occurred to you that the reason you haven't met many people who oppose the occupation of Iraq could be that like most people, you tend to associate with those who agree with you?

    The war went great. Saddam's regime collapsed faster than most people anticipated. The occupation has been a disaster. The Iraqis see American troops as the enemy and fair game. They are getting slowly slaughtered in the crossfire of the ongoing civil war there. We are doing no good there, but we are doing a tremendous amount of harm to ourselves and Iraq. John, whose "derrieres" are we kicking exactly? Who is the enemy in Iraq? If it's the Sunni insurgency, then we're on the side of the Iranian-backed Shia majority. If we're against the Iranians and their allies, we're on the side of the Sunni insurgents and their Saudi friends. If we're on the side of the Kurds, we're against the Arab Sunni and Shia AND our NATO ally, Turkey.

    This ridiculous "War on Terr" has been a failure. bin Laden is still loose, Al Qaeda is getting stronger, the Taliban is close to reclaiming Afghanistan, ordinary folks in the Muslim world (the ones we need help from in finding potential terrorists) hate us, the Fourth Amendment is getting shredded, and our military and National Guards are almost at the breaking point (and the NGs are unable to help with natural disasters and terrorist attacks at home).

    Add to that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and it is a giant distraction from what you call "The War on Terror" (and Rumsfeld called "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism" or "The Long War" or whatever Bush's recent ridiculous 15-word string was).

    The occupation must end. Now.

  5. Flycandler

    Thanks for the history lession, must have took a great deal of time to write all that.

    So who are you going to vote for?

    Or should the voters make all decisions?

  6. No one in Washington listens to me, but I have a very simple plan for getting out of Iraq. Tell the leaders of the various warring parties that they have 6 months to solve their differences because after that we will be out of there! Then if they want to fight it out, it's their problem.

    John, you referred to depleted uranium. I understand people are getting sick from the remains of anti tank weapons used in both Gulf Wars. Does anyone know of any plans to clean up the mess? Or am I being too optimistic?

  7. john (not Rev. John), I am a very proud American citizen and am a committed small-d, small-r democratic republican.

    While I don't feel the need to tell you whom I'm voting for in the Presidential primaries, I will mention that (even though we don't have to register a party in Georgia and have open primaries) I will not be voting in the Republican primary and likely wouldn't vote for Ron Paul in a general election (unless his opposition was Joe Lieberman or something). Paul is right on the war, but he's wrong on a lot of other things.

    And yes, as this is a representative democracy, we vote for our members of Congress and (through the bizarre electoral college system) our President and Vice President. I don't know about you, but I frequently let all of them know exactly what I think about the job they're doing and what they should be doing. They work for me.