This Monday, January 2, 2012, following the Rose Parade, Cindy Sheehan brings an important message to Occupy Wall Street (and Main Street) from the west steps of Pasadena City Hall: How trillion dollar wars serve the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Specifically – as described in the Occupy LA announcement: Cindy will speak about “the relationship between the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex and the Fortune 500 and Wall Street Banks.”
Good, because up until now that has not been the focus of the OWS movement. While it has been busy targeting the dominance and corruption of the 1% on the domestic side, it has inadvertently given those same people a massive free pass on the foreign policy side. This needs to change. The two cannot be separated, because they control the war economy and the civilian economy.
One obvious example of how these interconnected policies impact us is with funding: austerity measures for the civilian economy are prescribed by the elites and dutifully emphasized by the mainstream media and voted on by politicians as the only remedy for budget shortfalls – that is called sound fiscal policy, while simultaneously funding for the national defense and security apparatus is protected, justified as essential in waging the war on terror.
In short, it will take both movements working together to change these skewed priorities, not to mention stop the next war.
Case in point, entering into another military adventure so soon after ending the Iraq debacle is not an abstract or distant possibility, nor is it insane from our rulers’ point of view. For them, it makes sense, since Iran always was the main target in the Middle East region, nor would such a war pass without some people making out like bandits.
At the very least it will feed the war economy while burying the OWS movement as the focus shifts to rallying behind the troops. Beyond that, if there is a major escalation leading to a full-scale war with Iran, then it is not inconceivable that today’s OWS occupiers will be tomorrow’s draftees.
That said, short of hostilities breaking out with Iran, the overall Bush Doctrine of projecting American dominance globally remains in play for the long term as the Pentagon pursues a long war strategy. Therefore, flare-ups are possible down the road at any time and in any number of regions, each one capable of sucking us into empire support operations. Wherever American interests are deemed vital and there is an uncooperative regime, our leaders are quick to assert our national security interest to justify military action.
Who defines that interest?
I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the same people guiding the crackdown on OWS encampments around the nation.
By the way, do not think for a moment that, in the case of Iran, President Obama is going to save us if there is a sudden escalation. Should military hostilities break out in the Straits of Hormuz, he will behave like all Presidents do: retaliate. And then, we’re really in for it, because Iran is not Iraq. To imagine you can Iraq Iran and get away with that is to live in a dream world, and yet that is the confrontation our government is gearing up for.
So let’s listen to Cindy Sheehan on Monday (and to Marcy Winograd who will also speak to this issue), because when she lays out the centrality of the war economy to foreign policy decisions by the 1% and the consequences the 99% shall suffer, she knows first hand what that means, having lost her son in the last just war. And she also knows something about the courage it takes to stand up to those who expect us to fight and support their noble causes.
Those wishing to march with OLA should gather from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at Singer Park (about 8 blocks south of Norton Simon) — Sign assemblage starts at 7 a.m. and continues to 9 a.m. on-site in Pasadena’s Singer Park (1 block east of Orange Grove (by intersection of St. John’s and California Avenue – about 6 blocks due South of the central Norton Simon location). We will gather for assemblage of Occupy’s 5 part “Human Float” float#44 / #99. We march to join the parade procession at 9:30 am. Organizers will have 500 + flags available to those who arrive on-site first as well as several hundred Occupy T-Shirts. Again, first come get the available flags/t-shirts.
THE 2012 “OCCUPY HUMAN FLOAT” IS OTRP’S MAIN EVENT. WE MARCH PROMPTLY AT 9:30 AM. BRING LARGE SIGNS & BANNERS. Drummers, other musicians, please join us as well! Coordinators – Activist David Cutter firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (626) 260-1615). British Artists Janet & Matt Driggs email@example.com or via phone (213) 300-1421
The rally at Pasadena City Hall after the parade is from 11am to 2 pm. Proceed to the West Side of City Hall for the Occupy LA Media Outreach & Occupy Press Conference. Cindy Sheehan will speak regarding the relationship between the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex and the Fortune 500 & Wall Street Banks. A separate Occupy Music Concert (Michelle Shocked; others) will follow with an end celebratory party at the local Yard House restaurant (2 blocks from Pasadena City Hall).
Viewing from out of town?
Try: Occupy LA video blogger: http://www.ustream.tv/occupyfreedomla
And KPFK, which has been good about covering Occupy events in the LA area. www.kpfk.org They can livestream the audio.
(Disclaimer: There is no guarantee they will cover Cindy Sheehan's speech.)