April 8, 2007
To the editor:
At the polls last November the people of this country spoke clearly, telling the federal government: "End the War Now."
Nearly half a year later, Congress agrees to spend over $100 billion more to continue the carnage while calling for an end to the war in a year or so, while Mr. Bush insists it must continue indefinitely. Both remain out of touch with public sentiment.
It is heartening that the Democrats and a few Republicans aren't bowing to Bush's threats and lies (remember there was no connection between September 11, 2001 and Iraq). Nonetheless, the question for people of conscience remains, "how do we stop the war?"
We can and must speak up, protest, make demands of our federal representatives, march and engage in nonviolent direct action. If we had done so in sufficient numbers US troops would already be home. That is clear from any reasonable reading of history. Unfortunately, too many people feel powerless to make a difference. Others are simply so overwhelmed by the daily responsibilities of our jobs and families that we have little left to engage in the democratic process.
One option before us, which is particularly timely at the moment, is our power as taxpayers. If one million people redirected a portion of their income taxes away from the War in Iraq to support desperately needed social and environmental programs, the Bush administration would quickly take notice. If the people will lead, the government will follow.
For many years, I have chosen to redirect my federal income tax money away from warmaking to support work which is sorely neglected. Instead of feeding the Pentagon, my money goes to help feed hungry people in our community, to assist people in jail and people with AIDS, to support community organizing and independent media and to aid the victims of US military aggression.
Until we as citizens take back our innate power to direct the actions of our government the war and all the misplaced priorities it represents will continue.
559 Buckingham Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210