Moratorium Marathon Is Done: Fight for Peace Continues….
September 18, 2007
“War, it ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker War, it’s got one friend That’s the undertaker…” –Edwin Starr’s No. 1 Hit, “WAR,” 1970
Dear family & friends,
George Bush’s promise to wage endless war in Iraq was a big motivator as I stood on a Utah mountainside at 5:30 a.m. last Saturday. A few minutes later I started my “Moratorium Marathon for Peace,” finishing four hours, nine minutes and 18 seconds later (9 minutes/31 seconds per mile pace). Big thanks to all of you who gave this effort so much encouragement and support – and who have so far added over $2,000 to War Times/Tiempo de Guerras’ barebones bank account. (Additional donations would be most welcome – see below for details.)
This marathon (my 23rd) took 15 minutes longer than last year’s Marathon for Peace. Mile-high altitude and entering the 60-64 year-old-age group tell the tale. But even a long race with a few difficult moments is nowhere near as long and difficult – not to mention nowhere near as important – as the fight for peace.
Each day the U.S. military (and thousands of mercenaries) continues to occupy Iraq means more death and suffering. Each day heightens the threat of a wider war in the Middle East. And the fear-mongering, militarism and racism which accompany this occupation are bludgeons used daily against every progressive movement and human need here in the U.S.
But public opinion has turned. And as the Vietnam War era proved, every act of protest makes a difference, no matter how hard the powers-that-be work to persuade us otherwise.
The coming weeks provide many opportunities to raise your voice. The Iraq Moratorium will kick off Friday September 21 – go to http://iraqmoratorium.org for details. Or check out http://unitedforpeace.org for information about coordinated regional protests on October 27 and other local and national antiwar efforts.
The all-volunteer staff of War Times/Tiempo de Guerras is working hard to build these and other actions and to spread educational materials and information via our website and e-mail announcement list. Please consider donating a dollar (or more) for each mile I ran on Saturday: you can make your tax-deductible donation on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to War Times, c/o P.O. Box 99096, Emeryville, CA 94662.
Edwin Starr’s musical declaration that war was good for “absolutely nothing” was a smash hit just a few months after the historic October 1969 Vietnam Moratorium brought millions into the streets. Nothing about war has improved in the years since. It’s a crucial time to raise our voices in protest once again.
Thanks and peace,
“WAR…huh…yeah What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” –Edwin Starr’s No. 1 Hit, “WAR,” 1970
Dear family & friends,
Edwin Starr’s antiwar blockbuster hit Number 1 less than a year after the Vietnam Moratorium brought millions of us into the streets in October 1969.
Nearly forty years later, we are again challenged to stop a racist colonial war. And once again a Moratorium is being organized to provide a vehicle for protest. The Iraq Moratorium will kick off Friday September 21 – go to http://iraqmoratorium.org for full information.
It’s apparent the fight for peace is a long haul. So I’m planning to start Moratorium week 2007 with my own long haul – a Moratorium Marathon for Peace Saturday, September 15. I’ll be running those 26.2 miles as a fundraiser for the antiwar project I’ve worked on since just after 9/11, War Times/Tiempo de Guerras. I’m writing to ask for your support, and to encourage you to find your own way to raise your voice for peace and justice at this urgent moment.
This will be my 23rd marathon and my first in the 60-64 year-old age group. I’m not certain I can match my sub-4 hour time (3:54:47) in the Marathon for Peace I ran last fall. This race (the Top of Utah Marathon) is at mile-high altitude, and the years are beginning to take their toll on my pace. But I’d love to raise more money for peace than the $1,500-plus I did last year! And the more support I have from you, the stronger my motivation will be to keep moving during those final tough miles. You can help me along if you:
*Donate a dollar (or more) for each mile of the race; you can make your tax-deductible donation on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to War Times, c/o P.O. Box 99096, Emeryville, CA 94662.)
*March, rally, wear an armband, or register your protest against war and injustice in whatever way you see fit on Iraq Moratorium Day, or help build the October 27 coordinated nationwide antiwar actions being organized by United for Peace and Justice – full information at http://www.unitedforpeace.org
Also, if you aren’t already on the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras e-mail list (2-3 messages/articles/resource-announcements per month), you can sign on at http://www.war-times.org Below is a sample of the material you will receive.
It is a privilege and source of hope to be connected to so many wonderful people in these difficult times. “WAR’s” lyrics (written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong) target what’s at stake better than I can:
“WAR! I despise, ’cause it means destruction of innocent lives, War means tears to thousands of mother’s eyes, When their sons gone to fight and lose their lives.”
Thanks and Peace,
Today’s Antiwar Dilemmas in Historical Perspective
By Max Elbaum, March 29, 2007
In March 1965, before ordering the first deployment of U.S. ground troops to Vietnam (U.S. “advisers” had been there for years) President Lyndon Johnson told Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara: “I don’t think anything is gonna be as bad as losing, and I don’t see any way of winning.”
Johnson had just received a classified briefing saying that the U.S. client regime in South Vietnam was about to collapse. Military experts informed the President that only a huge U.S. military commitment could avert defeat in the short run. They said that looking ahead even “warfare of any design, scale or duration” could not assure lasting success. Maxwell Taylor, then the country’s most famous active-duty general and Ambassador to South Vietnam, warned against sending U.S troops, arguing that Vietnamese civilians would turn to patriotic resistance against the “white-faced soldier, armed, equipped and trained as he is” as a successor to the hated French colonialists.
A few days later Johnson commiserated about Vietnam with his old friend Richard Russell of Georgia, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I guess we got no choice, but it scares the death out of me,” Johnson said. “Those marines, they’ll be killing a whole lot of friendly Vietnamese,” Russell responded.
“Airplanes ain’t worth as damn, Dick,” Johnson continued. Bombing only “lets you get your hopes up…. A man can fight if he can see daylight down the road somewhere, but there ain’t no daylight in Vietnam.”