Peace Is Patriotic
Mar 15, 2003
by Dr. Robert M. Bowman
I'm here as a member of Veterans For Peace, an organization of thousands of combat veterans. All of us have put our life on the line for this country. And all of us are opposed to a war with Iraq. How many of you are veterans? Wow! We have a lot more veterans here today than they have in the whole Bush Administration.
Let me read you a couple of quotes.
[quote]"This war is a defensive war. It was forced upon us by our enemies, who wish to destroy our nation. The only thing we cannot afford to lose in this war is our freedom, the foundation of our life and our future. No one has the right to complain about limitations on his personal freedom caused by the war." Joseph Goebbels, 1943.[/quote]
[quote]"Why of course the people don't
want war. But it is the leaders who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goerring, Nazi Germany.[/quote]
[quote]" Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor. The citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader. How do I know? For this is what I have done." Julius Caesar.[/quote]
I've been severely criticized for speaking out in opposition to this war. So have you. We're told that we're aiding and abetting the enemy. We're told that we should support the president no matter what. We're told that patriotism demands that we support the war. They say that we're abusing the freedoms that our troops are in the Middle East defe
nding. They say we should be ashamed to be protesting while the troops are in the desert protecting our right to do so. Well I say, "Hogwash!"
I feel an affinity for the troops deployed in Kuwait. They are my comrades in arms. I admire their sense of honor and sacrifice. I understand why they believe they should be there. They have neither the experience nor the wisdom to see past the lies they have been told. The truth is, they are not over there protecting our freedoms. Our freedoms are not under attack from Saddam Hussein. Our freedoms are under attack by John Ashcroft. They are threatened by John Poindexter. They are trampled by Donald Rumsfeld. They are disdained by Dick Cheney. And they are not even understood by George W. Bush. The battle to preserve our freedoms is not taking place in the Persian Gulf. It is taking place in Central Park in New York City, in Lafayette Park in Washington DC, in Ghirardelli Park in San Francisco, and in Front Street Park in Melbourne, Florida. The front lines go r
ight down US 1 and up New Haven Avenue.
You and you and you are the shock troops battling to preserve our cherished freedoms … by exercising them … in spite of opposition and ridicule. You are the foot soldiers protecting our civil rights. You are the Minutemen sounding the alarm against tyranny. You are upholding the spirit of the American revolution. You are preserving the freedoms that the troops in the desert have a right to come back to. The troops surrounding Iraq are not protecting us. We are protecting them … and their honor … and their freedoms. We are about to set off on a forced march through hostile territory to defend their freedoms and ours, and the ideals America was founded on. We are protecting this nation by speaking truth to power. Let us do it loudly and fearlessly and courageously and joyfully, for we are the true patriots!
Here is the truth that we proclaim. This war has nothing to do with national security or freedom or democracy or human rights or protecting our allies or
weapons of mass destruction or defeating terrorism or disarming Iraq. It has to do with money. It has to do with oil. And it has to do with raw imperial power. It is based on a pack of lies. And it is wrong. Are we going to let it happen? I say, "NO!" What do you say?
This illegal, immoral war would fracture NATO, split the United Nations, separate us from our allies, and destroy the great nation we inherited from our fathers who died in World War II. It would complete the transition from America being the most loved, admired, respected, and envied nation in the world … to the most feared and hated country, an outcast from the world community, a pariah among the peoples, and the number one rogue nation on earth. Is that what we want for our country? I say "NO!" What do you say?
This sadistic corporate war would incense the Arab world, provide thousands of new Osama bin Ladens, and enormously increase the terrorist threat. It would further endanger the American people and destroy our national se
curity. Are we going to stand for that? I say "NO!" What do you say?
As a combat veteran, I will not stand idly by and watch our security destroyed by a president who went AWOL rather than fight in Vietnam. Do you trust that son of a Bush? I say, "NO!" What do you say?
As one who has devoted his life to the security of this country, I will not stand by and watch an appointed president send our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs for the oil companies. Do we enjoy being the target of terrorists? I say, "NO!" What do you say?
I joined the Air Force to protect our borders and our people, not the financial interests of Folgers, Chiquita Banana, and Exxon. We've had enough corporate wars. Do we want another one? I say, "NO!" What do you say?
As a pilot who flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam, I can tell you that the best thing our government can do for its combat veterans is to quit making more of them. Do you want your children used as hired killers in this war? I say "N
O!" What do you say?
Peace is patriotic; a preemptive war is immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, a war crime, and treason. I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies -- foreign and domestic. That includes a renegade president. If this war happens, I will call for the impeachment of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the whole oil mafia. War against Iraq? I say "NO!" What do you say?
We are the people. We are sovereign. The whole world is with us. And we say, "NO!" "NO" to war! "NO" to preemptive war. "NO" to wars of aggression. "NO" to war against Iraq. "NO!" "NO!" "NO!" Are we going to sit down and shut up? I say "NO!" What do you say?
Now I'm finished saying "no." You, my sisters and brothers, are the patriots. Who are the patriots? We are! Who are the real patriots? We are! Our nation is in trouble, and only we can save it. I say let's do it! Are you with me? Now, let's go speak truth to power. God bless America! Thank you!
This text and others from Dr. Robert Bowman can be found at http://rmbowman.com
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