Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why I marched on Washington- Jonathan Carroll- OCU

SOURCE PAGE @ Oklahoma Christian University Talon


Why I marched on Washington

By Jonathan Carroll

Last Thursday I began the journey to Washington D.C. in my car with four friends. We were going to protest the war in Iraq and George W. Bush. I was surprised at the overwhelming number of people who wanted to come; in fact I had to tell some would be protesters that my car was full. Not only was I surprised by the large number of people who wanted to come with me, but also at the support we received from other people. Someone who I have only met a few times came up to me and offered me a large stash of quarters that he had been saving in his room to help us pay tolls. I was rather confused and told him that we had money and I didn’t want to take his quarter stash. He explained to me that he really wished he could go but the best he could do was try to help us get there in some way to support the cause. I had all kinds of delicious baked goods offered to me to bring on the trip; all by people who told me thanks for doing what I was doing and that they supported me. As if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by the amount of support we received someone offered to pay for a hotel room downtown. I was shocked at the support we received. I really wasn’t expecting it. It felt great to know that so many people are paying attention and are upset about the actions of our government.

I am not exactly sure when I decided I needed to march on our nations’ capitol in protest. I read the news online on a daily basis and this is probably what started it. I have never supported the war with Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with the events of September 11th despite what the mainstream media and the Bush administration would have you believe. It makes me sick at my stomach to read surveys showing that large portions of America still believe that Iraq or Sadam had something to do with it. It is a war of aggression against a country that someone didn’t like. That someone is your president. It made me sick to sit there and watch your president twist the truth in order to gain support for this war. Notice that I say your president because I really don’t want to claim the man or his administration. I am ashamed of his actions and what he has done to the reputation of my country in the international community.

It was when I heard suggestions that the administration now thought we needed to wage another war of aggression with the country of Iran that I was pushed over the edge. I just couldn’t take it anymore. The Bush administration was talking about Iran just like they were talking about Iraq before the war. It was like history was repeating itself right before my eyes and I had to do something about it. I read about the protest a few months ago and knew I had to go. I couldn’t sit around any longer and watch my country spiral further downward. I started writing my senators on almost a weekly basis sharing my opinion with them, but despite how many letters I got back from Inhofe and Coburn talking down to me I kept writing.

The other thing that gets me upset is the Bush administration’s insistence on taking away civil rights to fight the vague “war on terror”. Legislation has been passed that essentially made habeas corpus go away. Did you know that the government can call you an enemy combatant and detain you without trial for as long as they want? This is something you should know and it should bother you. Thursday the senate voted to restore this important right, but republicans blocked it, again. Did you know that if you make an international phone call the government can listen to your conversation without a warrant? I am going to end my list of rights that you no longer have here, but I encourage you to research it online because I could go on for awhile. These are all important rights that are the foundation of our country. They are slowly being taken away and no one seems to care.

I would love for you to share your comments or thoughts with me, but if you are going to send me an e-mail telling me that I should leave the country if I don’t like it, you can save it. You aren’t being original or clever. I have heard it plenty of times before. This is my country too and I will work tirelessly to change it for the better.

“As we all know now, we were lied into this war and it is lies that are keeping us there,” said Sergeant Adam Kokesh, a former marine and Iraq veteran who spoke on stage before the protest. “They lied about weapons of mass destruction, they lied about Jessica Lynch, they lied about Pat Tillman, they lied about al Qaida and Saddam — and those are just the lies we know about. But, I’m not so mad that I was lied to, as I am that I cannot trust my government any longer. It astounds me that yet so many Americans want desperately, more than anything, to believe the government. When will we wake up and realize that the power of truth is greater than any force brought to bear by any army ever fielded.”


Photos by Jonathan Carroll

By Jonathan Carroll on 09/21/07 at 11:00 AM
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Scott Starr said...

Some would say that marching like this goes against the scriptural mandate to "honor" the government as given in the New Testament. This dilemma has been discussed at length in this blog. I don't see that something like this march was necessarily dishonoring the government. No laws were broken. At any rate the consensus about the N.T. mandate to honor the government is that this only applies as long as the Government is in accordance with the greater laws of God. So, even if a march like this were illegal, which it isn't, it would still be within scriptural liscence to express one's opinions of government foreign policy with regards to Godly conduct.

As for this young man's opinions I am not sure if our government lied, engaged in truth engineering for use in propaganda operations to sell their agenda or was simply carried away by its own groupthink and just made grave mistakes. Either way, they should be held accountable for their actions. I respect this young man's desire to march, I believe that desire is not propelled by hatred, rebellion or a lack of patriotism as some would have you believe. I consider him as a hero in his own right.

I think its worth noting that many of the people that would accuse that young man or myself of sinning by his protest are likely the ones who are deeply critical of the people they don't agree with in the congress and senate whom they may disagree with on the war(s). Like I pointed out in the previous post- the biblical literalists that would cite this protest march as an act of sin and unscriptural activity are in many cases the same folks do not pay much attention to the beatitudes. I believe the protest- at least this young man's participation in it, was peaceful and humble.

ren ren said...

"I am not sure if our government lied, engaged in truth engineering for use in propaganda operations to sell their agenda or was simply carried away by its own groupthink and just made grave mistakes."

I'm pretty sure it is a consensus that they lied and mislead the public.

For example
April 15th, 1994, Dick Cheney reveals the reasons why invading Baghdad and toppling Saddam Hussein wouldn't be a great idea. He also stipulates that "not very many" American soldiers' lives were worth losing to take out Saddam during the Gulf War.

Look into Scott Ritter's statements regarding the possibility of weapons of mass destruction, which he had pointed out prior to the administration's push for war.

Also what Douglas J Feith did to promote the idea that there were links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, which was not the case.

The government may not have wanted to mislead the citizens, but it had so many people crying out in protest against what they were doing (because it was wrong) that they had to downplay the truth.

I do not know whether you are seeking to have a more humble sounding standpoint (that whole "he who exalts himself before man" thing) but if you believe they mislead the public, there is a lot of evidence to back you up.

Scott Starr said...

Well... I am indeed trying to sqelch some of the angst I have over the whole deal. Its a real struggle in this situation. I went and found a place in this blog where I covered this fasirly well back on Sunday, December 03, 2006 in a post entitled:

Take A Walk On The Dark Side- W/ Hombre Secreto (Dick Cheney)

There is a video link there if you'd like to see a pretty good presentation that also supports the
your statements. Also these quotes of mine can be found:

"Here is Richard Bruce Cheney (AKA Dick Cheney, the Vice President) talking to NBC's Tim Russert on Sept. 16, 2001. The U.S. military has "a broad range of capabilities. And they may well be given missions in connection with this overall task and strategy," Cheney said.

"We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful. That's the world these folks operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective."

Hmm, would these means include manipulation, truth engineering, torture, violence, intimidation, fear engineering, coercion...basically everything dark but no diplomacy and negotiation? I think the record will show that the answer is YES."

"Can this be squared with the teachings of Jesus?

"Ye shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you FREE" - John 8:32

Many people have sometimes referred to those that question whether the presiding administration's motivations for invading Iraq were all driven by nothing but pure, moral instinct as conspiracy theorists. Often in the spin campaign- those that have even dared to suggest anything other than absolute nobility and honesty regarding the invasion have been castigated as Anti- Americans and crybabies and mental defectives.

Well, this documentary suggests otherwise.

I would welcome a presentation of evidence (like the testimony of insiders that were actually involved- as in this documentary) that gives counter testimony. I'm not particularly interested in the bios of the people that made this documentary, about PBS as propagandists or about some "left-wing-media" conspiracy theory.

p.s. othwerwise there's some folks out there that owe the Dixie Chicks a fruit basket and a card of apology from Hallmark."

"have been up and down on this. I had recently told a friend that I did not think that our leaders had misled us about the reasons for invading Iraq...that they just misjudged things and made some errors. I think there is, however, a case for the notion that they were aware that some of the things they gave as selling points for the invasion were incorrect....i.e., not true....i.e.,... lies. Is there another way to percieve it- or another, nicer- more PC way to say it? What would be the correct, moral, response to this as a Christian? Silence? Collusion?

What sayeth thee?"

"I think it is worth noting that the body of work - the resume' of Mr. Cheney includes not only the questionable pre-war intel for the war in Iraq, but also some "alleged" and some known associations from history to things like the Viet Nam war and its shadowy complexities, the full range of the Cold War and nuclear arms race, Iran- Contra (covertly selling arms to one group that perportedly wants to kill us and using the proceeds to fund another group that used the backing to spread a reign of terror attacks and atrcities), the backing of death squads in El Salvador, enabling Saddam Hussein via arms supplies to Iraq during the Iran Iraq war, backing the Mujahideen (the former outfit of Bin Laden) as "freedom fighters" against the Soviet Union, being part of an administration that may have supplied Saddam with the gas that he used to gas the kurds at Halabja (a crime Saddam was recently sentenced to die for), manipulating environmental data and using it to pimp the plan to drill Alaska, knowledge of the California energy crisis via meetings with Enron and "Kenny Boy" Lay (R.I.P) that no-one is privy to the records of, the torture scandal from Abu Gharaib, the complexities and anomalies of many things about the Iraq... war...clusterbombs...depleted uranium...secret prisons, surveillance, hunting accidents that don't get reported promptly....

Ya know? When the guy has an approval rating that is less than 20%- along with a long career playing on the "Dark side" as he described in his own words, just how is it that people that question this gentleman's characteristic veracity and overall integrity can be brushed off as conspiracy theorists?

It would be reasonable to assume -just based in his own words- notwithstanding the resume'- that the gent is in no way averse to manipulating or engineeering truth.

Will some talk show guy think I am a wimp if I dare to go out on a limb and say that although I may respect his instinct to protect "our interests"...and I love him as my neighbor or my enemy...what ever God judges him to be...
I am not morally comfortable with his methods or overall approach to government. Like my friend Mr.K. said,

"I tell ya, that Cheney's real piece of Work."

I would welcome seeing a well done presentation- a body of work- to show me what a paladin he has been."

There are a few other quotes and tidbits as well.

Its worth mentioning that these remarks pretty well pissed off a few of my friends... close ones at that. Hence the diplomatic language I have been employing of late. The feelings about all of this that I struggle with and hold inside, in the interest of trying to be Christ like, would not be printable or at least nothing I would want my mother to read.

Then again... I also said this back in Dec. of 2006:

"The Bible said that the truth shall make you free. It also says that friendship with the world (read as comfort with the infernal techniques and moral compromises employed by worldly governments to maintain their interests) is hatred towards God."

ren ren said...

I would suggest you strengthen the filter on what you consider noteworthy versus not.

I feel no need to address in my statements things which I think are erroneous, because it takes away from my discussion. "PBS as propagandists" ought not be given time-of-day, because it is clearly bred in anti-intellectual grounds.

I am very strongly in support of separation of church and state, and so will not likely agree with most of your statements (method), but I appreciate your addressing my commentary.

Scott Starr said...

I am also a strong believer in that separation. Not only does it prevent people from making ponderous decisions based upon their own personal, often skewed, interpreations of theology- but it also protects the virtue and purpose of the Church which is to BE the Church... not to run or fix the world... because it can't.