Monday, December 31, 2007

What will you do in 2008?

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
Haile Selassi


I'm not sure there are many, including members of the 110th Congress themselves, who are particularly happy with what was accomplished in Washington DC in 2007. There was much hope after the November 2006 election that we would see real changes in the direction our country was headed; there was hope, finally, for a beginning to the end of the occupation in Iraq. Sadly, we are no closer to getting our military out of Iraq now than in November 2006 or even March 2003. We hear that the presidential candidates are either planning to leave troops in Iraq for decades, as we have in Korea, or increase the number of troops there to restore order. Of the three Democratic candidates, Clinton, Obama and Edwards, none was willing to pledge that all combat forces in Iraq would be gone by the end of the next president's term in 2013.

What did you do in 2007 to end the war? Did you act? Did you contact your legislator? Did you write a letter to the editor? Did you pick up the phone? Did you participate in a rally or a protest? Or were your days filled with inaction?

Were you indifferent when you heard of our young men and women's souls were leaving this earth from the sands of Iraq? Were you affected by the death and displacement of so many Iraqi's who never asked that this fight be brought to their land? What did you do to stop the war/occupation? Did you think it isn't your problem? Did you think nothing you did would matter or did you just not care?

Were you silent about the injustice of this pointless and endless war? Were you silent when your voice could have been heard and counted? Were you silent because it was easier that way or did you just not care?

Did you do anything to have your voice heard protesting about the erosion of our privacy rights or did you go shopping? Did the millions of displaced, wounded or dead Iraqi's not bother you or did you think it would all go away if you put a magnetic yellow ribbon on your vehicle? You know better.

What have you done to honor the lives of our military, like my son, Lt Ken Ballard who was killed in Najaf, Iraq on 5.30.2004? 902 US military were killed and 5900 were wounded in 2007- what did you do to stop the casualties? What have you done to prevent one more flag covered casket from coming home?

The media will make a lot of noise about the presidential campaign in 2008. There may be so much noise that we hear no other news. But with a little effort, you can find many websites and news programs that dig deep, as well as skim the surface to make sure you have the news you need to be an informed citizen and voter.

You needn't get your news only from the so-called mainstream media. Try buzzflash.com, truthdig.com, mediamatters.com, thinkprogress.com, truthout.com, commondreams.com, icasualties.org and Project Censored to start (there are dozens of other good sites that are easy enough to find). MSNBC's nightly show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann is another good source for authentic news. Mr Olbermann provides me with a sense of grounding; when I watch the show, I know it's not me who has lost my grasp of reality; the Bush administration has.

I'm not saying this is going to be easy, but your voice is important, and if you don't speak out, Washington can't hear you.

What will you do in 2008?



4 comments:

Marine Mom Out There said...

I will be traveling in the Mid-West, talking to people, encouraging them to speak up, speak out, and participate in charting the course of their country.
I will take the opportunity to practice democracy, knowing that men like your son, gave everything to provide that for us all.
I hope that honors them. I don't really know always.

gigi said...

Dear Gold Star Mom,
There can be no doubt that the antiwar movement need to turn things up a notch.I think one thing that might be useful is a blog devoted to strategy. Meetings etc-if we could get 10 million Americans out to demonstrate- that may sound like a lot, but is not that many given the size of the American population. If we could find 10 million AMERICANS UNHAPPY ENOUGH to do something about this war, that might not facilitate a withdrawl of troops , but it would sure shake things up a bit.

GSMSO said...

MM- Good to see your name here. I hope your holidays were spent with loved ones.

I don't know what honors our troops either, but I listen to my heart as you do.

I like all of your goals and I wish you great success in 2008.

GSMSO said...

gigi-

Thanks for stopping by. According to polls 10 million Americans are unhappy with the way the war is going, but apparently they are not that unhappy to use their voice to end this war. Meanwhile 2007 was the deadliest year in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I recommend the Iraq Moratorium www.iraqmoratorium.org as a way for those 10 million people to get involved.