Friday, October 19, 2007

The Call

In a column this week, Laura Flanders reprints "Resist: A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority", which was written during the Vietnam war but is troublingly relevant today.

The Call

Forty years ago, a handful of smart Americans had an idea how to end a war. They published a call for moral, political and financial support for those refusing to serve. Initially signed by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Grace Paley, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Marcus Raskin, and the Reverend William Sloane Coffin among others, eventually, 20,000 signed on and the indispensable RESIST foundation was formed.

Forty years later, the first few paragraphs are again meaningful.
An ever growing number of young American men are finding that the American war in Vietnam so outrages their deepest moral and religious sense that they cannot contribute to it in any way. We share their moral outrage.

We further believe that the war is unconstitutional and illegal. Congress has not declared a war as required by the Constitution. Moreover, under the Constitution, treaties signed by the President and ratified by the Senate have the same force as the Constitution itself. The Charter of the United Nations is such a treaty. The Charter specifically obligates the United States to refrain from force or threat of force in international relations. It requires member states to exhaust every peaceful means of settling disputes and to submit disputes which cannot be settled peacefully to the Security Council. The United States has systematically violated all of these Charter provisions for thirteen years.

Moreover, this war violates international agreements, treaties and principles of law which the United States Government has solemnly endorsed. The combat role of the United States troops in Vietnam violates the Geneva Accords of 1954 which our government pledged to support but has since subverted.

The shape of resistance, may be different now than it was during Vietnam, but again we will resist. Resist the unprincipled priorities of the Bush administration. Resist attempts to silence, and cripple the work of peaceful anti-war activists. Resist the urge to be rocked to sleep, so we can stand up and raise our voices against the immoral actions of those who are supposed to represent the American people.

If you're in San Diego on Saturday Oct 27, you will have an opportunity to show that you resist the current occupation of Iraq by joining the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice in a rally and march at Horton Plaza at noon.

We will highlight the cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, by identifying the corrupted priorities of a president who can spend billions on an illegal, immoral, counter-productive war, but says we can't afford health insurance for children, not to mention healthcare coverage for all.

After the protest, we will march to Pantoja Park for a rally to demand a change in our national priorities.

At the current pace, I'm certain our foreign policy will financially bankrupt our country. The actions of our government are already morally bankrupt. Join us on October 27. Stand up and resist.


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