My Turn: Council should resolve to pass resolution against the war
Albert Einstein said many years ago of efforts to control nuclear weapons, “Our representatives in New York, in Paris, or in Moscow depend ultimately on decisions made in the village square.” The cornerstone of our own village square in Truckee rests with our local elected officials or Town Council, who have the power to amplify individual voices when a certain critical mass is reached, to actually influence policy at the federal level. A critical mass has been reached, my friends, about the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. I ask you now, how much more evidence do you need or does our nation need, to have our collective consciences pricked out of complacency. It is time to speak out as a community, and speak out loudly to end these lawless war policies.Our town should consider a resolution which voices formal opposition to this war. Some will say it is not the council’s business to comment on global issues, and that opinions on these matters have no precedent, and we must stick to potholes and parking meters. And somehow we know that resolutions alone will not end the occupation of Iraq, but this should not stop us from organizing locally to pass them. We need to collectively announce our dismay to our local, state and national leaders that we disagree with spending borrowed money on an illegal and immoral war. And as this process fuels discussion, people will learn about the costs of war in both monetary and moral terms. This essence of grassroots democracy is a chance to empower our citizenry who know on many levels that our government’s current course is deeply flawed.The calculated steps in long term military plans for American world hegemony have been well documented (www.newamericancentury.org – see Statement of Principles and who signed them). The pre-Bush administration think tank plans include controlling areas that are rich in precious resources like oil; setting up strategic military control of nations surrounding China; and enforcing America’s will anywhere in the world, with little or no provocation.In the conduct of military operations, certain corporations that have direct ties to the Bush administration, by granting of exclusive contracts to rebuild infrastructure, have profited beyond any reason and comprehension with the money borrowed on our future and our children’s backs. Why not a policy of free and open international bidding process in the award of all contracts for reconstruction?Federal funds should be prioritized for full benefits and the support for our veterans when they return, not spent on wildly corrupt overseas forays into stealing from ourselves to pay these pirates.And that the subject of legal ‘torture’ is discussed at our highest levels of government and is tacitly condoned in certain situations astonishes this citizen, along with our brazen disregard of international law including the UN Charter, the Geneva Accords and the Nuremburg Principles and therefore are in violation of the U.S. Constitutional provision for treaties as equal to the highest law of the land. We are in direct violation of international law, and have increased the likelihood of further attacks, rather than making us safer. Over 2,000 U.S. soldiers, whose hearts and minds were brave, have died for a cause that our federal government articulates constantly as the Bush administration’s propagandist mantra: “They hate us for our freedom.” Folks, our country is engaged in a war with a country that most U.S. citizens cannot find on a map. This fight is founded on abject lies and deliberate obfuscation of overseas intelligence. Our country is also in violation of the process required to declare war, under the U.S. Constitution.In reasoned response, hundreds of cities and municipalities across the country have passed civic resolutions calling on the federal government to take immediate steps to end the occupation of Iraq, withdraw our troops, and bring them home safely.Speaking out as a community, via a resolution from our Town Council strengthens the power of our individual voices and shows courage in the face of the unspeakable arrogance of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. How about it council members? Empower our community by speaking out together as a community. And when the resolution is passed, send it to Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein and to President George W. Bush. We are better than this, and past sacrifices are defiled by silence, so we must take the opportunity to speak out, right here in our own village square – if you can find a place to park.MaryLou Sullivan is a Truckee resident.