Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore joins Kissinger, wins Nobel.

Three pieces, sans commentary.

"This is a war against the children of Iraq on two fronts: bombing, which in the last year cost the British taxpayer £60 million. And the most ruthless embargo in modern history. According to Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, the death rate of children under five is more than 4,000 a month - that is 4,000 more than would have died before sanctions. That is half a million children dead in eight years. If this statistic is difficult to grasp, consider, on the day you read this, up to 200 Iraqi children may die needlessly."

- from Squeezed to death (The Guardian, Saturday March 4, 2000)

Transcript from 60 Minutes (5/12/96):
U.S. Journalist Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State, under Clinton and Gore, Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

August 1, 1999

Dear Vice President Gore,

We are writing to express opposition to trade pressures you are bringing against the people of South Africa over their struggle to obtain access to essential medicines.

The White House dispute with South Africa concerns three basic points.

1. The South Africa government has indicated it wants to use compulsory licensing of medical patents to produce cheaper copies of HIV drugs and other essential medicines. This is of course legal under the WTO/TRIPS agreement, subject to Article 31 safeguards.
2. The South Africa government wants to authorize "parallel imports" of pharmaceuticals, so that it can buy drugs in the United States, Europe or elsewhere, in order to get the best world price. As you know, parallel importing of pharmaceuticals is legal under Article 6 of the WTO/TRIPS agreement, and is a common practice in Europe.
3. The South African government has approved generic versions of Taxol, a US government invention for treating cancer.

As co-chairman of the US/South Africa Binational Commission (BNC) you have authorized a wide range of trade pressures against South Africa, much of which is documented in a February 5, 1999 report to the Congress by the US Department of State. Despite increasing criticism of the US bilateral pressures on South Africa, here and internationally, your office has authorized new trade pressures against South Africa on April 30, 1999."

The USTR April 30, 1999 announcement of a Special 301 out-of-cycle review of trade pressures against South Africa ignored every shred of information that has been provided to your office by public health groups. Indeed, this most recent announcement is basically a recycled version of the February 16, 1999 submissions by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures Association (PhRMA), the trade association that represents giant drug companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Glaxo, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson that are trying to stop South Africa from implementing policies to cut costs for pharmaceuticals in South Africa.

It is shocking that the US government is adopting such an aggressive trade policy on behalf of US pharmaceutical companies, when all of sub-Saharan Africa is confronted with a public health crisis of historical dimensions. The US Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, recently wrote in the Journal of the America Medical Association that "HIV/AIDS can be likened to the plague that decimated the population of Europe in the 14th century." Dr. Satcher says that "in many southern African countries, HIV/AIDS has become an unprecedented emergency, with 20% to 26% of people between the ages of 15 and 49 infected." This is a here-and-now emergency. It is not a hypothetical or potential emergency. These people will die without access to pharmaceutical drugs.

Your response to this emergency should be to find ways to save lives. But look what you are doing.

-You are aggressively seeking the repeal of legislation in South Africa that would permit that country to do what nations in Europe do, use parallel imports to buy drugs at the best world price. South Africa wants to use market forces to cut drug costs. You are pushing to protect pharmaceutical companies from global competition, thereby forcing the South Africa people to pay premiums to buy drugs.

-You are punishing South Africa for even speaking out in favor of compulsory licensing of HIV/AIDS and other essential medicines. The April 30, 1999 report on South Africa complains that:

During the past year, South African representatives have led a faction of nations in the World Health Organization (WHO) in calling for a reduction in the level of protection provided for pharmaceuticals in TRIPS.

In fact, everything South Africa is seeking to do is legal under the WTO/TRIPS agreement, so this and countless other statements by US government officials are bald lies. But regardless, the exercise of free speech in international forums is an astonishing basis for trade sanctions. As an elected official, indeed, as a human, how would you act if 20 percent of all sexually active young people in the United States were infected with a fatal disease, and a foreign country was trying to prevent you from purchasing drugs on the global market to save money, and was preventing you from licensing firms to manufacture life saving medicines? Would you simply show up at the World Health Assembly and docilely applaud the actions of that country? Even if that foreign country was engaged in a relentless public relations campaign to label every legal action as a form of piracy or lawlessness? At what point would you have the guts to tell the world the truth, and to speak out on behalf of millions of infected young men and women?

-You are punishing South Africa for giving approval to generic versions of Taxol, a cancer drug that was invented by the US government. There are aspects of the US government complaint about Taxol that are absurd, on technical grounds, such as the insistence that South Africa extend longer periods of data exclusivity than are required in the United States. But the larger issue is more basic. Why on earth should Vice President Al Gore or any other US government employee seek to prevent global competition for Taxol, a life saving cancer drug that was invented and developed by the US National Institutes of Health? Taxol was in NIH sponsored Phase III trials before the Bush Administration gave BMS exclusive rights to use NIH research for drug approvals. What is the moral basis for extending the BMS monopoly on Taxol in a country that is so poor?

As the Vice President of the United States you are in a position to do much good or much harm in the world. US voters will soon be asked to determine if you should be the next President of the United States. Please explain why they should choose you.


James Love
Consumer Project on Technology
Washington, DC

Dr. Bernard Pécoul
Project Director
Access to Essential Drugs
Médecins Sans Frontières
Geneva, Switerland

Joelle Tanguy
Executive Director
Doctors Without
Borders/Medecins Sans
Frontieres USA

Eric Sawyer
Executive Director
HIV/AIDS Human Rights Project

Kim Nichols
Development Director
African Services Committee,

Bas van der Heide
Health Action International

Beryl Leach
Africa Program Coordinator
Health Action International

Lori Wallach
Global Trade Watch
Washington, DC

Professor Richard Laing
Associate Professor,
Department of International
Health, Boston University

Robert Weissman
Co-Director, Essential Action
Washington, DC

Bob Lederer
Senior Editor
POZ Magazine

Steve Suppan, PhD
Director of Research
Institute for Agriculture and

Axel Delmotte
Act Up - Paris

Professor Patrick Bond
University of the
Graduate School of Public and
Development Management
Johannesburg, South Africa

Clarence Mini, MD
Treatment Action Campaign
Johannesburg, Gauteng
Province, South Africa

Ellen 't Hoen
International Drug Policy
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mike Scherer
Aetna Professor of Public
John F. Kennedy School of
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass

John S. James
Editor and publisher
AIDS Treatment News
San Francisco, CA

David Scondras
President, Search for a Cure

Dr.Mira Shiva
All India Drug Action Network
New Delhi, India

Dr. Amir Attaran, LL.B.
The Malaria Project, CSRL
Washington, DC USA

Andrew Herxheimer
Emeritus Fellow
UK Cochrane Centre
London, UK

Anna Ponte
AVVA Frontera Gran Sabana
Caracas, Venezuela

Alejandro Argumedo
Indigenous Peoples'
Biodiversity Network
Cusco, PERU

Ian Stevens
Cornwall, UK

Alex LoCascio
United Food and Commercial
Lynchburg, VA, USA

David C. Korten
The People-Centered
Development Forum

Parshu Ram Tamang
Tribhuvan University
Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr. Dale A. Hathaway
Professor of Political Science
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN U.S.A.

Mr. Wiert P. Wiertsema
Policy Coordinator
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Oystein Tveter
Human Rights Lawyer
Vinderen, Oslo, Norway

John Y. Jones
DiS - Diakonhjemmet
internasjonale Senter

Country Director
Swiss Interchurch Aid Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Christopher T. Arata
Cayucos, California, USA

Vlady Rivera
Information Officer
Partnership for Development

Robert Anderson
New Zealand

Debal Deb
Centre for Interdisciplinary
Barrackpore, West Bengal,

May Waddington
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tim Luckett
University of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire, England.

Dr. David Fig
University of the
Johannesburg, South Africa

Peter McLaverty
Senior Lecturer
University of Luton
Luton, England

Toine Pieters
Medical Historian, School of
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Daniel Querol
Managua, Nicaragua

Dr. Ernst von Weizsaecker
Member of the Federal
Parliament (Bundestag), for
the ruling SPD

Daniel J. Koenig, Ph.D.
University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia,

Ms. Diana Smith
Paris, France

Dashiell Love
Olympia WA, USA

Joe Goozeff
Randwick, N.S.W. Australia

Cherrel Africa
Cape Town Democracy Centre
Institute for Democracy in SA
South Africa

Arnold Ward
GeneEthics Network and South
Australian Genetic Food
Information Network
Adelaide, South Australia,

Pierre Chirac

Michael R. Pitula
Ames, Iowa, U.S.A.

Etienne Vernet
Campaign Coordinator on
genetic engineering
Paris, France

Richard Levins
Harvard School of Public

Val Dusek
Associate Prof. of Philosophy
University of NH
Durham, NH

Rev. Douglas B. Hunt
Washington & UN Representative
United Church of Christ
Network for Environmental and
Economic Responsibility
Wheaton, MD USA

George Salzman
Physics Dept
Univ of Massachusetts
Boston, MA USA

Phoebe Barnard (PhD)
National Coordinator
Namibian Biodiversity Program
Windhoek, Namibia

Mara Bird
Center for International
Studies, University of
Southern California
Los Angeles, CA United States
of America

Sid Shniad
Research Director
Telecommunications Workers
Vancouver, British Columbia,

Uri Strauss
Neil Young Institute
Vancouver, British Columbia,

Jesse Vorst
Professor of Economics
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Canada

Michael Ash
PhD Candidate
Dept. of Economics, UC
Berkeley, California, USA

Gladys Schmitz
SSND (School Sister of Notre
Mankato, MN, USA

Yash Tandon
International South Group
Harare, Zimbabwe

Angus Kerr
Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South
Jaroen Compeerapap
Resident fellow
International Economic Law and
Dispute Settlement, Erasmus
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Elaine Bernard
Executive Director
Harvard Trade Union Program
Cambridge, MA, USA

Daniel Querol

Ann C. Davidson
Davidson Library Services
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Stephen Morey
Monash University
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Roy J. Kaye
Lynnwood, WA U.S.A.

Ken Orzel
Pompano Beach, Fl USA

David Hoos, M.D. M.P.H.
AIDS Institute, NY State
Department of Health
New York, NY

Mark Raijmakers
Programme coordinator
Wemos Foundation
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Kate O'Connell

Patrice Newell
The Elmswood Press

Jef Keighley,
National Representative
Canadian Auto Workers
New Westminster, B.C., Canada

John Lamperti
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH, USA

David Banta
Senior Researcher
Netherlands Organization for
Applied Scientific Research
Leiden, The Netherlands

Sarah Sexton/Larry
Hildyard/Tracey Clunies Ross
Sturminster Newton, Dorset

P Marc Schwartz
Waumandee, Wisc, USA

Francisco Arroyo G.D.
Coordinador de Programas
Centro de Investigación y
Capacitación Rural A.C.
Cd. de México, México

Gabriela C. Flora
Program Associate in
Agricultural Biotechnologies
Institute for Agriculture and
Trade Policy
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Rev. Des McGillicuddy
Justice & Peace Officer
Mill Hill Missionaries
London, England

Margarita Florez
Executive Director
Centro Debate y Acción

Laura Maxwell Stuart
Programme Officer
South African NGO Coalition
Johannesburg, South Africa

Kerry Irish
South African National NGO
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South

Martin Rall
Johannesburg, South Africa

Ryan Hunter
Center for Environmental
Public Advocacy
Ponicka Huta, Slovakia

Juraj Zamkovsky
Friends of the Earth Slovakia
Ponicka Huta, Slovakia

Michael Niemann
Associate Professor of
International Studies
Trinity College
Hartford, CT

Norberto A. Stuart
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Geoffrey Schniewind
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Victoria S. Cashman
Middletown, Ohio, USA

Clive Swan
Kagiso GIS & IT Solutions
Johannesburg, South Africa

Damian McKeon
Co. Wicklow, Republic of

Paul McCartin
Society of St Columban
(Columban Fathers)
Kanagawa, Japan

Al Stern
Senior Art Director
Common Health/Adient
(Pharmaceutical Advertising
Nutley, NJ, USA

C. A. Hilgartner, MD
Hilgartner & Associates
Kirksville, MO, United
States of America

Annamarie Gervais
SA citizen living in Texas
San Marcos, TX

Anton Prenneis
Highland, N.Y.

Amy Ferber
Highland, N.Y.

Alexander Rau
Cornell University, University
of Oxford (England)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Dr. Ayesha Imam
Baobab for Women's Human
Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria

Stephen Ball
Seattle, Washington, USA

Brian Cowan
Alameda, CA, USA

Michael Pease
Seattle, Washington, USA

Susan Rodriguez & Petra
S.M.A.R.T. University
(Sisterhood Mobilized for
AIDS/HIV Resources &
New York, NY, USA

Ed Schehl
Raindancer Film & Video
Santa Cruz, CA

Katherine Knight
Editor, "Epicenter"
Santa Cruz, CA

Brian Ashley
The Alternative
Information & Development
Centre (AIDC)
Woodstock, Cape Town, South

Brian P. Flaherty
The Pennsylvania State
State College, PA, USA

Brian Schroeder
Okemos, MI USA

Robert Riedel
Dansville, NY, USA

Stephan Eric Schoenfield
Director of Software
Keyspan Inc
Berkeley, CA

Carl Shoolman
Rochester, NY USA

Mary Moretti & Family
Pawtucket, RI U.S.A.

Christopher Daniel Foust
Beaumont, Texas, USA

Clionadh O' Keeffe
Cork, Ireland

Corynne McSherry
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Communication,
UC San Diego
San Francisco, CA USA

Dale T. McKinley
South African Communist Party
Head Office
Braamfontein, Republic of
South Africa

David Longjohn Stanton
Boalt-Harvard Law School
Exchange, '99

David Morris
Vice President
Institute for Local Self-
Minneapolis, MN

David Young
Mahomet, Illinois, USA

David E. Long
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

David Gofstein
Phoenix, AZ USA

Dina Lozofsky
Los Angeles, CA USA

Byron Dolan
Hoboken, NJ, USA

Alan Berkman, MD
Medical Specialist
HIV Center for Clinical and
Behavioral Studies, Columbia
New York, NY

Elina Hemminki
Helsinki, Finland

Eric F. Miller
San Jose, CA, USA

Ernst Mayer
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Mechanical &
Aerospace Engineering
Case Western Reserve
Cleveland, OH

Everett L. Williams, II
Canyon Lake, TX USA

Faye Powell
Professor, Social Sciences
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon U.S.A.

Edgar F. Starr
Tampa, Florida, USA

Fred Turner
Ph.D. Candidate
University of California, San
La Jolla, CA

Liz Hosken
Gaia Foundation
London, UK

Mr. Jody Gatwood
Associate Professor
The Catholic University of
Washington, DC USA

Geraldine Gomez
Goleta, CA, U.S.A.

Gordon Irlam
San Francisco, CA, USA
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Harriet Harmon
Los Angeles, CA U.S.A.

Ismael Galve-Roperh
Dept. of Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology I
School of Biology, Complutense
Madrid, SPAIN

James M Wright, MD, PhD,
Associate Professor
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Jean Grossholtz
South Hadley, MA

James W. Sanders
Chief Technical Officer
Steppingstones Designs
Tucson, AZ US

Jim Strichartz
Law Offices of James L.
Seattle, WA

Prof. Joan P. Mencher
Lehman College of CUNY.

Joel Lexchin MD
Emergency Physician
Toronto General Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Joey Sum
Lexington, KY, USA

John Andrew
Professor and chair of History
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA USA

Johndan Johnson-Eilola, PhD
Director of Professional
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN, USA

Jonathan A. Zylstra
Arlington, WA USA

Jonathan Silverstone
Washington, DC

Kamal Suffoletta
San Francisco, CA. 94115

Katherine Sarah Lysons
GIS Technical Specialist
Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Kim Nichols
Development Director
African Services Committee,
New York, NY

Kuzuha Mutsumi
Nakahashi kanazawa, JAPAN

C.C. Latshaw
Lakewood, WA, USA

Avram Rips
Maplewood, NJ

Tina Teong
Subang Jaya, Selangor,

Luis Kemnitzer
Professor Emeritus
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA, USA

Cheri Stafford
BBA, M.S.Th., MSEd

Marie Smoes
Silver Spring, MD USA

Marjorie Power
Newsletter editor
Older Women's League- Green
Mountain Chapter
Montpelier, VT, USA

Mark Williams
Portland, OR USA

Dr. Mary C. Carras
Professor Emerita,Rutgers
Camden, NJ - USA

Matthew Fitt
Student of Law
San Francisco, CA, USA

Melvin J. Roseman
Encino, CA, USA

Melinda Johnston
Vancouver, BC Canada

A. Michael Froomkin
Professor of Law
U. Miami School of Law
Coral Gables, FL USA

Michael McGuire
Maryland Cooperative Extension
Washington DC

Michail Rassool,
Idasa Publishing,
Cape Town, South Africa

Michael Seifert
Roman Catholic priest
Washington Province of the
Society of Mary
Brownsville, Texas, USA

Tewolde & Sue
Institute for Sustainable
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Eric George
New Orleans, LA

Nathan Ford
Medecins Sans Frontieres
United Kingdon

Nicholas Sammond
University of California, San
San Francisco, CA, USA

Pam Raby
Albany, OR, US

Perry Papka
Institute of Social and
Economic Research, University
of Alaska-Anchorage
Anchorage, AK

Peter Schachte
The University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Philip Heede
Alleroed, Denmark

J. G. Krishnayya
Executive Director
Systems Research Institute

Richard Crawford
Lecturer in Information Age
Univ. of Calif, Davis
Davis, CA, USA

Richard Gerace
Falmouth, Massachusetts

Robert M. Akscyn
Knowledge Systems
Export, PA, USA

Robert Braunwart
Seattle, Wash., U.S.A.

Robert E. van Patten, Ph.D.,
Bellbrook, OH USA

Anne-Sophie Robilliard
Research Analyst
Washington, DC, USA

Roland D. Kelso
Catholic Church
Ninomiya, Kanagawa-ken Japan

Ron Regan Jr
Somerville, MA, 02145 USA

Russell Hoover
American Book Review

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Liberal Challenge

Some days it feels like the United States is driving top speed into its own demise. And then we read the news and listen to another spineless democrat politician make another empty promise about reining the whole thing. Like clockwork, ten minutes later, another blog post comes up from another liberal, frustrated and angry, try to articulate the cognitive dissonance of asking for stronger support of the Democrats for just one more cycle while acknowledging that the party isn't doing anything other than talking tough and caving quick.

Forget the devil and his administration, forget the critiques, let's zero in on the substance. Bush has no interest in "benchmarks" for success in Iraq because success means war (got it), hegemonic control (maintaining it, but losing grip by the minute), and the oil pump (got it). Ending the war means surrendering his fortunes. But the Liberals, who seem like a nice group of people caught up in a group hallucination, need to begin copping some benchmarks. No revolutionary alternative can be explored because they "just aren't realistic." Instead, we're told to stay within the two party system, register voters, write letters, contribute, and occasionally march. They get mad at Pelosi for saying that impeachment is off the table and then take everything but Pelosi off the table.

What has to happen for them to say enough is enough? Do children have to be raped, or threatened, in front of their parents as part of policy? Does the war need to continue to its fifth year? Does, for the second election in a row, the power brokers of the loyal opposition (sic) have to mount a candidate that talks about more war instead of less (e.g., Kerry's promise to fight the war better and this season's crop of fools blustering nonsense about Iran)? Does any sense of justice have to be respected on any level or does it have to just be a return to the illusions of habeas corpus? Is there a standard liberals can demand that is more than "better than cheney?"

Whatever the standards are, can we get the liberals to just agree to what those standards are with a date attached? If Giuliani or Obama gets elected and keeps the war on, can we expect a new strategy? Not that the rest of us should stop what we're doing, but there is something ridiculous about the liberal's anger at the path we're on and their steadfast refusal to consider more radical options, often dismissing them as "unrealistic."

Kerry got the nomination largely because he sold himself as the "electable" candidate. Lefties get lectured about not achieving anything by working outside the system. And all the while, the most technologically insane war machine chews up country after country. We're told to grow up and be realistic by kids in their twenties with Obama buttons for saying that we need much more than a candidate with a stump speech. For years, we've listened to this. Kos, and Atrios, and all the big libral bloggers need to listen to their own advice for Bush on Iraq: quantifiable benchmarks, clear schedules, objective analysis, and a clear and attainable goal.

I know, I know. There are a lot of people out there who aren't liberals and who are pissed. Instead of whining about the short bus, we should acknowledge the great unrepresented many. Of course, many of these liberal machines, from the Daily Kos community to Moveon, didn't exist mere years ago, and so why can't we build a similar machine? Why can't we lose the petty infighting and the eighty year old debates and get to work on building a new kind of machine? Why can't we?

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Sharon Jones for War Tax Resistance

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings on War Tax Resistance.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. So good. The book that goes along with it, from what I read, is as good as you'd expect.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Neither scientifically proven or impossible

In the last 24 hours, our last post generated some discussion from interesting corners, so we thought we'd add a few extra notes. First, a few years ago, I remember reading an interview with one of the founders of 2600, the hacker magazine, on CNN. He was asked some preposterous question or another about what evils hackers could do and his reply stuck with me:
CNN: What percentage would you say are destructive as opposed to those in it out of intellectual curiosity or to test their skills?
Goldstein: This raises several points that I feel strongly about. For one thing, hacking is the only field where the media believes anyone who says they're a hacker. Would you believe someone who said they were a cop? Or a doctor? Or an airline pilot? Odds are they'd have to prove their ability at some point or say something that obviously makes some degree of sense. But you can walk up to any reporter and say you're a hacker and they will write a story about you telling the world that you're exactly what you say you are without any real proof.
So every time a movie like "Hackers" comes out, 10 million people from AOL send us e-mail saying they want to be hackers, too, and suddenly, every 12-year-old with this sentiment instantly becomes a hacker in the eyes of the media and hence, the rest of society. You don't become a hacker by snapping your fingers...
...The main problem is that when you make up such a word, no further definition is required. When you label someone with a word that says they're evil, you never really find out what the evil was to begin with. Murderer, that's easy. Burglar, embezzler, rapist, kidnapper, all pretty clear. Now along comes cracker and you don't even know what the crime was. It could be crashing every computer system in Botswana. Or it could be copying a single file. We need to avoid the labeling and start looking at what we're actually talking about. But at the same time, we have to remember that you don't become a hacker simply because you say you are.

There is a similar phenomenon with the word activist and the concept of activism. This has been written about before, but it bears repeating. We're caught up in the scene and signifiers of activism, but we're not actually contesting power. And this doesn't just extend to the individual, but also to a number of these big anti-war groups. Yet it's not over just because we've lost our way. And just because groups and people identify as antiwar, it doesn't mean that they are doing anything to really stop the war and especially does not mean that they should be looked at as indicators for how the antiwar movement is doing.
This isn't intended to sound like a "group A is a real anti-war group and group B is a traitor/enemy/whatever." This is a case of good people with good intentions trying to figure out how to end the war.

And here's where we go off the idealistic deep end. We can end the war period full stop. Social agency is a wonderful thing and as long as we're not combating nature itself (c.f. AIDS, volcanoes, lightning, impending mortality), We've done more than we thought possible (often not as well as we'd like) when it was still in future tense: ending slavery, overthrowing the empires, ending civil death for women, getting children out of the factory, et cetera. Now, I'm sure there's a little whiner in most of the people reading this who'll quickly point out that the slaves just became sharecroppers and leased convicts, the empires went through a revolving door into neo-colonialism, the patriarchy is still alive and well, and that there are millions upon millions of child laborers all around the world today because of this wretched mess we're in.
True. But we've still gotten a lot done that was thought impossible at the time and we're just not finished yet. At a Chris Day talk I saw years ago, he asked everyone to recite "I am the products of 500 years of resistance." We are the products of five hundred years of resistance and it isn't over and it probably won't be over for a little while (I'm thinking early February, but maybe March?). This is important. And we need to remind ourselves of this when we start saying things like "Maybe we need to seriously consider the possibility that, as of our current place in history right now, it's simply not possible for anti-war activist organizations to end this war." and "it is impossible at this point in history to stop these wars." Maybe, if we want to be specific, it IS impossible for "anti-war activist organizations" as they are currently conceived to stop the war, but nothing that is made by people cannot be stopped by people.
So, to sum up, we shouldn't conflate the possibilities of stopping the war with the results from today's antiwar groups and strategies and saying that we can't stop the war is a cop out. Just as disorganized as yesterday's post, but that's what you get when you write at midnight.

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