1. You can't have it both ways. Stop supporting pro-war candidates, while pretending to be anti-war. That would have been like opposing the invasion of Poland, while voting for Hitler. If you continue to field pro-war candidates, you will continue to loose elections. You can't outwar the other Party, though you have made a good try at it. Pro-war voters vote the other way, and you have already lost the votes of all who are truly opposed to war.
2. The campaign for Impeachment has some merit, but it also has a down side. Working toward Impeachment not only trivializes the crimes, but it also places the judgment in the hands of Congress. Congress was complicit in the commission of some of the crimes. Article 1, Section 3 (U.S. Constitution) states, "...Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office...". The offenses were not just minor indiscretions. The slaughter of many thousands of civilians is the most serious of all crimes. Impeachment is just a slap on the wrist. Nuremberg style War Crimes trials are needed. War criminals, at the very least, should be behind bars for life. There have been several unofficial trials. Every town, school, web site, and activist group should be holding war crimes trials. Yard signs and T-shirts should call for War Crimes Trials, not Impeachment.
3. Where are the discussions about citizen arrests of the war criminals? To actually pull off a citizen arrest of a high-ranking official would be difficult, if not impossible, but that is not the point. There would be some value in having public discussions on the topic. It would help to open the eyes of the sleeping citizens.
4. Stop the partisan political bashing of individuals...Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, Bolton, et al. Even if you got rid of the whole cabal, would it really make a difference? No. The problem is inherent within the system. It is the system that needs to be replaced. When you focus in on the flaws of corrupted individuals, you exonerate the "system". The focus should be on creating fundamental change. Here is just one example... changing how the flow of public information is controlled would have a much greater impact than replacing everyone in Washington. Efforts would be better spent on working toward stopping the flow of mis-information to the populace. Remember the planted story about the babies being thrown from the incubators? Remember the April Glaspie affair? It led to the "bait-and-switch war" against Iraq. A Truth-in-War-Mongering Law is needed.
5. Stop feeling so good about the vigils, marches, protests, etc. They accomplish less than zero because they give the false impression of achieving change. Those feel-good activities must be replaced with real action. If marching and protesting accomplished anything, they would not permit it.
6. The efforts of counter-recruiting are doomed. The U.S. is now getting disadvantaged recruits from non-industrialized nations. There will always be those who are desperate enough to fall for the recruiters false promises. Cannon fodder is easy to come by, these days. The U.S. Foreign Legion is already here. The truth-in-recruiting effort will have to go global, if it is to be effective.
7. If you are expecting change to come about through the voting booth, forget it. As stated before, if voting would really bring about change, they wouldn't let you do it. Put your efforts where they will have a greater chance of success. Decide whether you want real change, or just want to have friends in high places. If you want real change, forget partisan politics. It wastes precious time that should be used in a more effective way. Face it, we have two war parties and a gaggle of other parties that will not get off the ground until something big happens. In the meantime, people are dying.
8. Be creative. Think of actions that will bring about real change. Some effective actions are even legal and non-violent.
Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She was arrested, tried, and convicted for having participated in a peaceful protest of the war. Her conviction is under appeal in the Vermont State Supreme Court. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Articles by Rosemarie Jackowski