Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Million Doors For War

Diary Entry by Mark E. Smith


How do you get people who are opposed to war, to vote for war?

Easy! You just convince them that if they vote for war now, the war might end at some future date.


Imagine that a torturer has your hand in a vise and they're squeezing it. It hurts really bad and you're screaming for them to stop.

Now imagine that they are only doing it because they are employed by a government that lets them torture innocent people and that government is up for election. How can they convince you to use your free hand to vote for the government that is allowing them to torture you?

Easy! They just tell you that if you don't vote for the government, they will never stop torturing you, but that if you vote for the government, they might stop torturing you at some future date.

Of course once you've voted for the government, they are authorized to keep torturing you -- but you are allowed to keep screaming for them to stop. You are even allowed to believe that if you scream long and hard enough, they might risk their job and their paycheck by stopping, unlikely as that may be.

But if you don't vote for the government, the government might be discredited, delegitimized, and no longer recognized as a democratically elected government. Unless people vote for it, a government has no claim to legitimacy. So if you don't vote for the government, it could lose power, your torturer would lose their job, and you would no longer be tortured.

If you vote for the government, on the other hand, it retains power, can even claim that you yourself voted to give it the authority to torture you, and it can renege on its promise to stop torturing you at some future date because you have no way to hold them to that promise. They might never agree on a date. Or, being torturers, they can just laugh at you and admit that they lied in order to get you to vote for them, but since you've already voted for them, that's just too bad.

Million Doors For Peace is going around asking people to sign a petition to their "elected" representatives to support and pass legislation to withdraw troops from Iraq within a year. They are fully aware that the Bush/Cheney plan for Iraq was to privatize the war by withdrawing American troops and using private mercenary companies like Blackwater, Triple Canopy, Aegis, etc., to maintain a permanent U.S. presence (and thus permanent war) in Iraq. They know that that both major party presidential candidates are committed to pursuing the Bush/Cheney plan to privatize the war, so it is actually very likely that the troops may be withdrawn, but since the war would continue to be fought using private military corporations (mercenaries), the war would not end. And they are perfectly aware that both candidates voted to fund the war until 2010, so that even if they wanted to end the war or Congress enacted legislation to end the war, the war could not end because the contracts for the war have already been signed, sealed, and delivered, and the money has already been allocated.

Moreover, those who are old enough to remember Iran-Contra, know that just because Congress declares a war to be illegal and prohibits funds for it, doesn't mean that the government will stop that war. Besides, private military contractors don't answer to Congress, or to anyone else but whoever is paying them, for that matter.

So what is the real purpose of Million Doors for Peace? Think of the torturer who has your hand in a vise, telling you that if you want them to stop hurting you, even though they won't let up the pressure on the vise, you should use your free hand to vote for them in hopes that if you do, at some future date they might stop torturing you. Just give them the authorization to keep torturing you, and hope that even though they won't stop torturing you now, they might someday. Millions Doors for Peace is focusing on newly registered and infrequent voters, trying to convince those who oppose the war, that there is some hope to end the war within the current system, so that they won't boycott the election and refuse to vote for one of the two candidates committed to war.

The choice on the ballot is war or war. But both candidates want to privatize the war, so both are open to withdrawing U.S. troops (as long as they can replace them with mercenaries), even though neither one is open to stopping the war.

This is just another petition to Congress. Congress is a bureaucracy. It is a top-down, not a bottom-up system. Nothing happens in Congress without orders from above. Congress copes with constituents in the same way that any bureaucracy does, by avoiding them, stalling them, attempting to placate them, or with other time-honored bureaucratic tricks, but it doesn't take orders from them because our Constitution did not give citizens any way in which to hold Congress accountable. You can try to vote them out AFTER the damage is done, but while they are doing the damage there is nothing you can do to stop them.

If you don't like what Congress is doing, and right now it has a lower approval rating than Bush does, it isn't really a good idea to vote in an election that Congress made sure could be easily rigged when it passed HAVA. Not only does Congress have the sole Constitutional right to remove Members of Congress for violating the Constitution or for other crimes, now Congress can make sure, through the easily hacked voting machines it foisted on the American public, that Congress itself will be the sole determiner of who becomes a Member of Congress. They hire and fire themselves these days, and your vote is likely to go uncounted, be miscounted, or simply be disregarded when one candidate concedes to the other or the Supreme Court intervenes. In both 2000 and 2004 the President of the United States was installed BEFORE the votes were counted. Since our Constitution does not grant citizens the right to vote for President and Vice-President, it really doesn't matter how you vote or who you vote for. What matters is that you vote so that the government can continue to claim to be a democratically elected government with the consent of its citizens to pursue war crimes and torture. If you insist on having your vote counted, that might be permitted, but only AFTER the President has been sworn in and can no longer be removed from office except by Congress.

In circulating a petition to Congress, Million Doors for Peace is attempting to reinforce the lie that Members of Congress are our representatives. In a democracy or a republic that would be true. But this is not a democracy or a republic. Members of Congress are under no obligation whatsoever to represent their constituents. When Rep. John Olver was presented with petitions from 80% of his constituents asking him to support impeachment, he said, "Spare me! I'm fully aware that the overwhelming majority of my constituents support impeachment. I will not." The fact is that when you vote, you are voting for which person you trust to rule over you, not for somebody who is obligated to represent you. And since politicians really have been known to lie in order to get elected, it isn't easy to know if they should be trusted. Nor should free citizens of a free country be ruled by people who do not represent them and have no obligation to represent them. If they have no obligation to represent you, why do you think you have any obligation to vote for them?

I'm an anti-civilizationist and election boycott advocate in San Diego. For reasons not to vote in faith-based elections with secret vote counts for candidates you cannot hold accountable if they fail to represent you, check out the discussions, articles, and videos on my website http://noinnovember.ning.com/

Source: http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=9386

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