By David Swanson
On Friday outside the gates of Stratcom, the strategic command center outside of Omaha, Nebraska, that controls U.S. nuclear weapons and military space technology and from which the next war of aggression will be run, a group of activists gathered from all over the world. A number of people gave speeches in the freezing bone-chilling wind and snow. This was mine:
Have you ever watched a sports team on TV win a game and then shouted “We won!” as if you had anything to do with it? Twenty percent of Americans sitting home in comfort still look at the ever worsening disaster in Iraq and exclaim “We’re winning!” as if they are the ones losing limbs and having their brains scrambled by IEDs.
But what those 20 percent of Americans mean (at least some of them) is not that we’re pointlessly slaughtering innocent people in order to enrich Bush and Cheney cronies. They have no particular interest in that and don’t believe it’s going on. They believe that the “we” embodied in the US military is defending us against an attack of some sort.
If an Iranian asked one of these Americans not to attack Iran for oil and power, the American would deny that America ever does such things. Because he or she would never do such a thing, and America is “we.” I think a lot of people around the world would be shocked by the good intentions of the people who live just outside of and even work inside of Stratcom. And I imagine many Nebraskans would be shocked by the fear, terror, and hatred through which so many people view the United States.
When Iran created a democracy over 50 years ago, our CIA overthrew it and installed a dictator. Iranians have feared such actions from the US government ever since. Now our government has labeled Iran evil and criminal, and invaded and occupied the nation to its east and the nation to its west. If I lived in Iran I would be worried.
The people of Iran and the government of Iran had no more to do with the crimes of September 11, 2001, than Iraq did. And Iran, like any other nation on earth, cannot possibly be a threat to the global and extraterrestrial killing machine controlled from Stratcom. There might be a handful of Iranians who would like to commit an act of terrorism, just as there are no doubt a handful of Nebraskans. But bombing, occupying, detaining, torturing, and murdering makes that handful grow, not go away. You can bomb the world to pieces, but you cannot bomb it into peace.
The people of Omaha have a duty to create alternative employment for those who work at Stratcom, and THEY have a duty to stop working there – and to tell what they know about plans for aggressive wars. And we all have one more duty: to collectively force Congress to do the only thing that can guarantee protection for Iran from the murderers running Stratcom. That thing is the immediate impeachment and removal from office of Richard B. Cheney and George W. Bush.