jaromil on Thu, 20 Dec 2001 12:54:24 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> notowar@telerama.com: WAR IS OVER

----- Forwarded message -----

From: vincent scotti eirene <notowar@telerama.com>
Subject: [IMC-Audio] WAR IS OVER
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 22:01:11 -0500 (EST)


     >>> tune-in >>> http://www.notowar.com/blast.m3u  
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          link to the audio file of this essay forthcoming



by Vincent Scotti Eirene'

It was the spring of 1975. I was finishing up my undergraduate work at
Ohio State University and was part of an intentional community. As we sat
around the dinner table, we could not believe that the Vietnam war was
over. The draft had been over since 1972 and a generation perceiving
themselves out of harmıs way disappeared. Now, with the war over, we
promised each other we would rebuild Vietnam, starting with a ruined
hospital in Vietnam, Bach Mai. Bach Mai was bigger than the Mao Clinic. At
the time, the Secretary of State claimed that it was probably hit by a
meteorite. Not funny. In spite of our solemn vow, within a year my friends
were gone, gone to start out on their brilliant careers.

But my focus will not be on middle class children and their lapsed
consciousness. It will be about Vietnam and the Vietnamese. While the 60's
generation went to grad school, the people of Vietnam were being bled to
death, slowly starved by 25 years of sanctions. The sense of urgency that
filled our chest from 1966 was gone. Now the US could punish this little
country, unbridled, and cut them off from the world. By 1995, you could
not even send a fax to Vietnam. Their infrastructure had been destroyed.
The revolution that used our constitution as its cornerstone lay in ruins.
3.2 million people died fighting the Americans for its freedom, 25 short
years later, Vietnam was begging the US for a "Marshall Plan." The heady
conversation about rebuilding Vietnam was light years away, and a
generation forever young was entering middle age.

Here in Pittsburgh, in 1992, we raised several thousand dollars to send a
CMU student to Vietnam for the lifting of the sanctions. He was shocked to
find Exxon, BP, Shell oil, etc. were primed to turn on their "open for
business" signs. Yes, another war for oil. South East Asia has one of the
worldıs most untapped oil resource s. Then, to add insult to injury, we
opened Nike factories so our aging feet could walk in comfort while their
makers were paid and are paid 28 dollars a month. Nikeıs owner still has
not visited his factories in the country that defeated the worlds
mightiest military.

Why bring all this up now? Because, once again, folk are whispering that the
war is over. After the end of the war against Iraq a few of us fasted for
thirty days in front of CMU's School of Computer Science knowing full well
that the suffering of the Iraqi children had just begun. Those at the center
of the resistance to the military action against Iraq have gone on to make
more money in one year than a small town outside Baghdad does in a lifetime.
It is an embarrassment. This is not a way of berating others, it is a way of
saying I expect more, that we are capable of better.

>From 1975 till 1995, I spent years in jail for Civil Disobedience against
the Cold War. But nothing but nothing could prepare me for the wars against
Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

At first there was an inane debate among Anti-Globilization people about
whether we should focus on the war or anti-globaliztion activism. This false
conflict quickly dissipated and Anti-Capitalist groups took the lead against
the revenge for 9-11. Instead of a few thousand, 7,000 showed up to protest
the School of the Americas, the first Non-Globilization gathering. The
Atlanta IMC put together an Emergency Broadcast System for
this event gave me a front row seat.

Unlike those of my generation who went on to sell out and live a lie,
perhaps we will find ourselves with an inability to walk away from the
people of Baghdad, Belgrade and Kabul. To go the extra mile, to relinquish
our privilege so others can live. For if you think the war is over you do
not know when it began. Let us commit ourselves to a life of resistance and
rebuilding that which the American empire has declared enemy.

vincent scotti eirene'
duncan porter house
december 2001

----- End forwarded message -----

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