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by William Hughes
Saturday, May. 05, 2007 at 6:58 AM
As a result of the Bush-Cheney Gang’s insane “Surge” strategy, 1,300 Maryland Nation Guard members will be deployed to the hell hole that is Iraq. On May 3, 2007, in Baltimore, a rally was held to protest that action. Maryland State Del. Jill P. Carter blasted U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin for funding the war and then saying that they wanted to “protect the troops.” She called that bizarre conduct: “politically schizophrenic.”
del._jill_p._carter.jpg, image/jpeg, 240x266
“We must guard against the...unwarranted influence of...the Military-Industrial Complex.” -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Baltimore, MD - At center/city’s Mt. Vernon Square, on May 3, 2007, a rally and march was held to protest the Bush-Cheney Gang’s Iraqi War and the insane “Surge” strategy to perpetuate that conflict. It took place in the shadow of the first monument built in this country to honor the memory of America’s most beloved patriot, George Washington. State Delegate Jill P. Carter, a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, spoke at the event. A rising star in the political arena, the African-American leader said: “It is politically schizophrenic to say that you want to bring the troops home and that you want to end the war, and then to send 1,300 new troops from Maryland to Iraq.” She was referring to the conduct of U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, who have persistently voted to fund the war. “This is especially so,” she added, “when we have so many problems right here in Maryland and in Baltimore City.”
Delegate Carter (D-41st District) said she would urge her fellow Democrats [in all the legislative branches] and Baltimore City’s Mayor, Sheila Dixon, and Maryland’s Governor, Marty O’Malley, “to put their actions where their mouths are, and if they really want to end the war, to take the step necessary to do it.” Activist Maria Allwine, one of the event’s organizers, told me: “We have advised U.S. Senators Mikulski and Cardin, that there is no way that they can possibly believe that they are supporting the troops by funding their continued deaths and woundings...Cardin campaigned as an antiwar candidate [in 2006], which was a farce. He should be ashamed of himself.”
The spirited protest action was hosted by the “Pledge of Resistance” group. It comes four years after the Liar-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, had falsely claimed: “Mission Accomplished!” In vetoing a recent war funding Bill that set “benchmarks for success in Iraq,” the unhinged Bush asserted that he was listening to his “commanders on the ground.” This is yet another bold-faced contemptible whopper by the serial deceiver. Here is Major General Paul D. Eaton, USA, Retired rebutting of Bush’s latest damnable lie: “I could not sit idly by as you told the American people today that your veto was based on the ‘recommendation of military men.’ Your administration ignored the advice of our military’s finest minds before and I see ‘no evidence’ that you are listening to them, now!” (1)
The protesters, numbering around 25, then headed north and west, about 10 blocks, towards the historic Fifth Regiment Armory, located at 219 29th Division St. It’s the Maryland headquarters for its National Guard. 1,300 Army and Air National Guard from the state were recently mobilized by the Pentagon for deployment into the Iraqi quagmire, as part of the “Surge” scheme. Some of them have seen previous service in that blood soaked conflict. On April 27th, 140 Maryland soldiers left for Iraq, more will be called up this summer. The demonstrators carried a “commemorative coffin” with them to the Armory, which symbolized the 3358 U.S. heroes who have died in the Neocon-inspired war, including 64 from Maryland, and also their demand that the National Guard should stay at home. The prime architect of the pre-emptive attack on Iraq was the repulsive Neocon, Paul Wolfowitz. (2)
One of the strongest pushers of the “Stay the Course in Iraq” mentality in the U.S. Congress is “Turncoat Joe” Lieberman, (IND-CT). In a rant in the war-endorsing Washington Post, last Thursday, he wrote: “Although progress is slow, it is visible, but that success will take more time.” Lieberman’s hawkish position was praised by another Neocon, Cal Thomas. A pompous windbag, Thomas, also has ties to the Religious Right in this country. He has yet to explain how the slaughtering of over 655,000 Iraqis and the wasting of .4 billions a month out of our national treasury, are values consistent with the authentic teachings of Christianity, particularly Christ’s seminal Sermon on the Mount. While waiting for Thomas and the gurus of the Religious Right, like the Rev. Billy Graham (3), to face up to the gross immorality of the Iraqi War, I must also note the continuing silence of William “Cardinal” Keeler of Baltimore and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on this issue. Does their unusual muteness have anything to do with the fact that the Bush-Cheney Gang awarded them, “in an unholy bargain,” two Anti-Choice jurists for the U.S. Supreme Court--John Roberts and Samuel Alito? (4)
Background on Baltimore: As underscored by David Simon, the producer of the popular HBO program “The Wire,” the city is now marked by a growing divide between the rich and the poor and the emergence of “separate Americas.” (5) Baltimore, too, has a horrific illegal drugs problem, which is reflected in its alarming homicide rate. There were seven murders in the last four days alone, bringing this year’s total to a shocking 94. Meanwhile, Maryland’s U.S. Senators Mikulski and Cardin have consistently voted to fund the Iraqi War to the tune of 2.8 billion. How can this duo sleep at night? Those funds could have been used to address the serious ills of Baltimore, and the other crime and poverty impacted urban centers of this country. (6)
Activist Cindy Farguhar also talked with me. She said: “It is time for us to beat up the Democratic Party. It is not the time to leave them alone...And when [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi has to walk over fake dead bodies to get out of her office to go meet with [President George W.] Bush, then I know our people are at the right place.” Richard Ochs, an activist, read to me parts of his poem, “A Soldier I Know.” Dr. Lawrence Egbert, another demonstrator, shared his views with me as well. He said: ‘War is bad for your health!” He then held up a poster showing the mangled and bloodied bodies of Iraqi children, who had either been slaughtered and/or wounded in the conflict. His yellowed-colored sign read in bold capital letters: “BUSH: BEHOLD WHAT YOUR LIES HAVE WROUGHT!“ (6-A) The protest action lasted from 5 PM to 7 PM. At the Armory, the demonstrators read off the names of some of the 64 Maryland troops, who have died in Iraq. The activists prefaced their remarks with this proviso: “Killed in Iraq by congressional authorization and continued funding.”
Up at the Armory, I got a chance to chat with activist Max Obuszewski, another of the rally’s organizers, and a longtime worker for Peace and Justice. Earlier in the day, he had been attending a federal court case, in Alexandria, VA, that he was personally involved in, as a defendant. It dealt with a protest action held at the Pentagon, in March, 2006. He said: “It’s a crying shame...The Democratic leadership wants the war to continue...So, that in 2008, they can hang ‘that’ albatross around the Republicans’ neck...It’s a sad, sad situation.” (7)
Finally, it should be obvious that Senators Mikulski and Cardin, and other key Democrats in the Congress, have acted as willing lackeys for the War Party by continuing to fund the Iraqi conflict. (8) Since March 13, 2007, when Sen. Mikulski, in effect, told Peace advocates to take a hike, 161 more U.S. troops have been killed. Those deaths are on her conscience. (9) In my opinion, these politicos have betrayed their duty to uphold the Republic. It is long past the time for an awakened citizenry to condemn them for their baleful complicity with the War Party and to take our country back from this creature of the Military-Industrial Complex. (8) Remember always--The Republic is the property of the people! (10)
8. http://thewarparty.com/ and
10. Res publica est res populi. -- Cicero, the Roman.
© William Hughes 2007.
William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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