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Rage Against The War

I created the silkscreen print No Más Guerra (No More War) in 1983. It was a statement against the wars then raging in Central America and around the globe during the Cold War, including the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Later, in the 2000s, I distributed the poster at antiwar protests against the US war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now unbelievably, WW3 looms before us in 2023.

“No Mas Guerra” (No More War). Mark Vallen. Silkscreen print. 1983.

The first national protest against the war in Ukraine—Rage Against The War, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023. Organized by a broad coalition of groups from across the political spectrum, 14 demonstrations from coast to coast are planned. The big one is slated for Washington, DC. with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial at 12:30 pm, and then a peaceful march to the White House to demand “Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine.”

On Jan. 24, 2023, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, moved their Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global apocalypse it has ever been. It’s 90 seconds to midnight, the Atomic Scientists say, because:

“Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict-by accident, intention, or miscalculation-is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.”

I think that is good enough reason to attend the Rage Against The War protest.

I make these comments during Black History Month, so I would like to remind readers of the stance Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took regarding the war in Vietnam. In 1967 he gave a speech in Beverly Hills, California titled The Casualties of the War in Vietnam. For his words King was rebuked by the media and members of Congress—just as critics of the Ukraine conflict are shamed  and harangued.

King said of the Vietnam war: “The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Viet Nam explode at home: they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.”

While the circumstances detailed in King’s words have changed, the essence of his critique continues to be relevant in the here and now; King went on to say:

“Poverty, urban problems and social progress generally are ignored when the guns of war become a national obsession. When it is not our security that is at stake, but questionable and vague commitments to reactionary regimes, values disintegrate into foolish and adolescent slogans.”

While I have the greatest respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and personally uphold him as a hero, I am not a pacifist. I believe in the concept of a “just war.” For instance, my convictions have led me to accept that the US Civil war to abolish slavery and preserve the Union was a vital necessity, despite the bloody carnage. I have the same feelings regarding WWII, the struggle to defeat fascism in Europe was worth the cost. However, my conscious has always been guided by the conviction that war must always be avoided if possible—in that I stand with King. I simply cannot see how prosecuting a bloody war in Ukraine is in the best interests of America.

Joe Biden has so far appropriated some $130 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine. What could $130 billion do to better the quality of life for the American people? If used for war that $130 billion will only expand, deepen, and prolong the grisly conflict in Ukraine, a hellish running battle that must ultimately end in peace negotiations… unless of course you prefer global catastrophe.

On March 11, 2022, Biden said: “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews—just understand, don’t kid yourself, no matter what y’all say, that’s called World War 3.” Honestly, if you send hi-tech war planes and tanks without American crews, it’s still WW3. No one is fooled. On Jan. 25, 2023, Biden announced he was sending Ukraine the most advanced combat tanks in the world, thirty one M1 Abrams tanks, enough to equip an entire tank battalion.

My question is, since the Abrams can fire depleted uranium or DU shells, will the tanks be armed with DU in Ukraine? In 1991 the US used DU munitions in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, and also in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, where around 2,000 tons of DU were used. The Harvard International Review reported in 2021: “When ammunition made from depleted uranium strikes a target, the uranium turns into dust that is inhaled by soldiers near the explosion site. The wind then carries dust to surrounding areas, polluting local water and agriculture.”

Aside from the harm depleted uranium can cause to combatants, the environment, and the civilian population—all documented by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, there is a much bigger dilemma. The Russians will no doubt view the US supplying the Ukrainians with depleted uranium munitions as a major escalation, and they will reply in kind. Can you hear that Doomsday Clock ticking closer to midnight?

Here is a question for Joe Biden, the Democrat Party hierarchy, the Chicken Hawk corporate media, and the liberals supporting them—don’t you remember the Vietnam War? Have you forgotten our fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq for decades, and how the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq ended for the US? Have you forgotten Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan that left $85 billion worth of sophisticated weaponry in the hands of the medieval Taliban?

Now you want Americans to fight yet another war. You say it is a conflict we won’t personally have to fight… just pay for. But war doesn’t work that way, once the dogs of war are unleashed, their savagery metastasizes and draws everyone in. Today you’re sending advanced missiles and tanks to Ukraine, then you’ll send fighter jets. Tomorrow you’ll send soldiers. The war will continue to grow out of control. Perhaps the nukes will fly, that’s the blood-soaked path we trod upon.

“I Want Out.” Committee to Unsell the War. Offset lithograph poster. 1970. This anti-Vietnam war poster was designed by advertising professionals and artists. It became one of the most popular antiwar images of the period.

I’m old enough to remember when liberals in the 1960s considered themselves and the Democrat Party as apostles of peace and non-violence. Liberals filled the ranks of the antiwar movement—from the 1960s to the protests against George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. Liberals, what happened to you?

How does it feel to stand with warmongers like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)? These men not only support the war in Ukraine, they never met a war they didn’t like. Liberals, how do you like your new buddies?

On Feb. 16, 2023 McConnell said “defeating the Russians in Ukraine is the single most important event going on in the world right now.”

I’ll tell you what the single most important event is to most Americans; inflationary prices for necessities like food and gas, an open southern border where hundreds of thousands come into the US illegally, Chinese fentanyl being the leading cause of death for American adults.

In 2021 64,178 Americans died from overdosing on fentanyl—a death toll higher than the 58,220 fatalities suffered by US soldiers in Vietnam during twenty years of combat.

How about this as a “single most important event.” On Feb. 3, 2023, a freight train derailed in the town of East Palestine, Ohio. It was transporting toxic chemicals; vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate and ethylene glycol monobutyl. Thinking the chemicals might explode, city officials agreed with Biden’s “Environmental Protection Agency” to conduct “a controlled burn” of the toxicants. The result was a huge fiery explosion that sent a mushroom cloud of deadly chemicals into the heavens. As it turns out, burning vinyl chloride turns into phosphene gas—one of the most terrifying weapons used in WWI.

The debacle in East Palestine became a full blown ecological crisis… and yet, some two weeks into the tragedy, Biden hadn’t personally addressed the nation regarding the emergency. His Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rejected Ohio’s request for federal aid in helping the terrified people of Palestine, saying the state was “ineligible.” Funny thing though, on Feb. 17, 2023 former President Trump announced he would visit East Palestine, and presto, hours later FEMA announced it would send federal resources to the town.

Just prior to the tragedy in East Palestine, Biden announced a $2 billion military aid package for Ukraine that includes Patriot air defense systems (made by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing), precision-guided munitions like the GLSDB-Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (made by Boeing), Javelin anti-tank weapons (made by Boeing), and long-range HIMARS—High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (made by Lockheed Martin). If given the choice, Americans would rather see that $2 billion go to East Palestine, not Ukraine.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman are the big five producers of lethal military equipment. I remember when the left condemned corporate power and referred to arms dealers as “merchants of death.” The US has been the main provider of lethal military aid to Ukraine; while the European Union has contributed $18 billion, the US has supplied $58 billion worth of armaments to Ukraine. Shouldn’t that be reversed? With Ukraine on the Eastern border of Europe, the EU should be the largest provider of weapons to Ukraine. But no, let the stupid Americans take care of it.

On Feb. 16, 2023 the New York Times published “The World’s Largest Construction Site: The Race Is On to Rebuild Ukraine.” The report bluntly stated that companies from around the world will make up to $750 billion in rebuilding the “hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, hospitals and factories have been obliterated” in the yearlong war, which includes the construction of war damaged “critical energy facilities and miles of roads, rail tracks and seaports.” It’s the flip side of the arms industry; first tear ‘em down, then build ‘em up. Why not entirely bypass the war and go directly to reconstruction?

Remember when the Democrats, liberals, progressives, and leftists all screamed that Donald Trump would start WW3? Well, as Biden presses the war in Ukraine and lurches towards a wider war with the nuclear armed Russian Bear, their voices have fallen silent. The Rage Against The War protests may break that deafening speechlessness.


UPDATE: On President’s Day Feb. 20, 2023, instead of visiting East Palestine, Ohio, and delivering much needed financial and humanitarian aid to the American citizens suffering through a catastrophic ecological disaster, Joe Biden instead made an undercover trip to Kiev, Ukraine. Adding insult to injury, Biden announced he would give an additional $500 million in military aid to Zelensky and crew. Can you say “America Last“?

Biden’s gift includes long-range weapons like Howitzers and HIMARS. I’m sure the good people of East Palestine will be thrilled to hear the news. Their mayor Trent Conway is outraged; he said this about Biden’s visit to Ukraine: “That was the biggest slap in the face. That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning that he was in Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not to us…on President’s Day in our country, so I’m furious.”


On Rumble or YouTube, you can watch the live stream of the Rage Against The War Machine Anti War Rally in Washington, DC. Hear the speeches of Former US Congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, Former Democrat Representative and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, Ex Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters, Former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, Former Republican Representative for Texas and presidential candidate Ron Paul, comedian/left activist Jimmy Dore, and many others.

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