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March 16, 2008

Iraq Fax-In has set up a "Fax-In" on Iraq:

March 19 marks the 5th Anniversary of Bush's disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq - yet there is no end in sight.

The costs so far are staggering: 4,000 young Americans killed, tens of thousands maimed... 1 million Iraqis killed, millions maimed... $562 billion in tax dollars stolen from our children... $3 trillion cost to our economy through veterans care, weapons replacement, higher oil prices, and the collapsing dollar. All that in just 5 years!

We elected a Democratic Congress in 2006 to bring our troops home, but they keep giving Bush blank checks. Incredibly, Congress will soon vote on another $102 billion blank check.

On this 5th Anniversary, it is time for everyone who hates this occupation to do something about it. And we're making it as simple and effective as we can.

We're calling it a Fax-In. It's like a sit-in, only you can do it from home.

For more, visit

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 16, 2008 03:00 PM

Hey, I'll bet THAT will be effective!!!
Wish I'd thought of it.
All those razor-sharp pieces of paper flying all around Congress and the WHite House? The fuckers will be TERRIFIED!.

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at March 16, 2008 03:21 PM

It actually is the case that Congressional offices pay much more attention to individualized faxes than they do to mass faxes or emails. Not an end-the-war type of attention, perhaps, but more.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at March 16, 2008 04:03 PM

I'll damn sure SEND one, or more.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 16, 2008 04:46 PM

A Fax-In? Totally absurd and really fits the bill for today's form of "protest": let them stay in power and continue their terrible deeds, while we sit in the safe confines of our homes knowing that our guilt can be assuaged through little acts of do-it-yourself radicalism.

Posted by: Bryan Klausmeyer at March 16, 2008 04:48 PM

Bryan Klausmeyer: What else have YOU got going? Storm the castle? Do nothing?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 16, 2008 05:03 PM

At least it's something we can do.

Posted by: cemmcs at March 16, 2008 07:26 PM

There's no harm in faxing, emailing, writing letters AND telling Nancy "Vichy Nan" Pelosi that's it's well past time to impeach. It's a bit like attacking a boulder with a saw file, but saw files by the millions may do some good. It's only ridiculous and absurd if the calls, faxes, whatever are the only form of direct pressure they get. I assume most readers here have made it clear that they'll stay home rather than vote for a war supporter. That's a small help too. War tax resistance and support for the precious few politicians who refuse to enable the war are also small, and also fine. There's not going to be any one big thing that gets through.

A Fax-In? Totally absurd and really fits the bill for today's form of "protest": let them stay in power and continue their terrible deeds, while we sit in the safe confines of our homes knowing that our guilt can be assuaged through little acts of do-it-yourself radicalism.

How. . . embarrassing. Unclench a little.

Posted by: Sandy at March 16, 2008 08:18 PM

I'm sorry but this is really lame. How pathetic is our nation that we can only work up enough outrage to stage a fucking fax-in? Who's idea was this?

Posted by: Steam Powered at March 16, 2008 11:38 PM

One million Iarqi's dead, millions maimed?
3 trillion US dollars?

Start the fax machines rolling.
Unless Bryan has some better ideas...

Posted by: at March 16, 2008 11:49 PM

a fax-in?

how early '90s of them!

Posted by: almostinfamous at March 17, 2008 12:09 AM

Mass protests -- that foundered well shy of inflicting economic costs and petered out altogether when the protest leaders endorsed pro-war Democrats.

Really? Which protest leaders? Got any evidence to back up this piece of slander?

Posted by: SteveB at March 17, 2008 09:21 AM

oh the US can't be forced out of Iraq for financial reasons, and the war provides me with much needed entertainment. Can't you see the humor in Red state hicks coming back in body bags to families who voted overwhelmingly for Churchillian war president W? I think it's hysterical : )

Posted by: xyz at March 17, 2008 11:27 AM
There is no greater political imperative this year than to retire the Bush regime, one of the most dangerous and extremist in U.S. history. As people dedicated to peace, economic justice, equality, sustainability and constitutional freedoms, we are committed to defeating Bush.

The only candidate who can win instead of Bush in November is John Kerry. We want Kerry to replace Bush, because a Kerry administration would be less dangerous in many crucial areas, including militarism, civil liberties, civil rights, judicial appointments, reproductive rights and environmental protection.


Really? Which protest leaders? Got any evidence to back up this piece of slander?

Yes, really. Those leaders. Are you playing stupid? If you are, you could try to restart the safe state arguments and hold forth on the difference between formally vested leaders and people who just happen to be prominent antiwar spokescritters, highly influential and marketed as leaders, often enough by themselves.

Posted by: Sandy at March 17, 2008 11:56 AM

A fax-in. Really?

Could there be any emptier or sillier enterprise?

Do we not realize how dumb we look when we do stuff like this?

Posted by: Jack at March 17, 2008 12:41 PM

WHAT'S YOUR PLAN, Jack? Just look like a bump on a log? Saying nothing is what got us here.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 17, 2008 01:16 PM

AIN'T gotta dollar to spare to send a fax, or just plain not enough time in YOUR busy, busy day to send one?
xyz: I just can't see the humor of ANYONE in a body bag, not even YOU.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 17, 2008 01:31 PM

One individual letter, phone call, or visit to a congressional or senatorial office has more effect than any 100 gimmicky "fax-in" messages. Those messages will be thrown away, and those legislators in favor of the war will laugh at "those silly liberals and their nutty ideas."

I don't sit there like a bump on a log; I am an involved and vocal critic of the war. To say that either I join the juvenile "fax-in" or else I "do nothing" is artificial bipolar thinking.

I want this war over. My nephew has been sent over there three times alread and, thank God, has come home safely. I want it over before the odds are against him, before he becomes another statistic in TweedleDumb the Wonder President's "War on Terrah".

You see, I don't find anything funny about a body bag either, especially since my brother-in-law came home from the first President Bush's Mideast Madcap Adventure alive, and my brother was in combat zones several times when he was in the Army.

Posted by: Jack at March 17, 2008 02:57 PM

Want to do more than sending faxes?

How about this:

Ten people shut down the US Senate, at least temporarily. What could be done with a hundred people, acting a bit more strategically? In this protest all ten of the protesters were shouting at once, but what if they acted to draw the process out? Imagine if, just as soon as protester #1 is hauled out of the Senate gallery, and the Senate resumes business, protester #2 starts shouting, and they have to do the whole thing all over again. And again. And again. Could we shut the Senate down for an hour, or a day?

Of course, eventually they would respond by closing the Senate gallery to visitors. But even that would be a victory, because it would demonstrate that our government has to hide from the public, because they don't represent us.

Posted by: SteveB at March 17, 2008 04:42 PM


Posted by: therhinocard at March 17, 2008 06:47 PM

SteveB: You asked Sandy about which "protest leaders endorsed pro-war Democrats" (your emphasis), got the answer in spades, but instead of acknowledging that you shifted to a different question. I call foul. It isn't slander, it's just a statement of fact.

And protests in 2007 aren't evidence that the movement didn't peter out in 2004. Sandy is absolutely right—the choice by antiwar activists to back a pro-war Democrat in 2004 led to the collapse of the antiwar movement, and the loss of most of the momentum that had been gained up to then...and all at a time when the Iraqis were under the most ferocious assault by the US. The anti-war movement has been regaining steam since then, but there'd have been no need for that if so many anti-war activists hadn't decided to shill for Kerry in 2004.

Posted by: John Caruso at March 17, 2008 10:21 PM

Jack: so I guess YOU make calls, write letters, and make congressional visits? I make calls everyday so I'm only doing 1/3 of YOUR effort, but THANK YOU for the inspiration, I shall try the other 2 also, if possible. (I'll STILL fax)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 18, 2008 12:15 AM

I have called, wrote letters and postcards (I like to decorate them with pictures of dead Iraqi children) and visited DC - and every single Senator's office - seven times in the last three years. Sometimes I have bumped into them in person in the hallways. They are a bunch of assholes.

Next project - get a severely injured Iraqi kid with some dead siblings, and their parent, into a face-to-face meeting with my local Representative.

I might even take the legless child and her father to the Representative's church one Sunday, in hopes of running into him.

I will still call and write and visit.... but I don't have a fax (if I did, I would do that too).

Posted by: Susan at March 18, 2008 02:15 AM

Susan - I deeply admire your absolute indefagitability.

good luck though finding a senator who'll even pretend to care more about an Iraqi child who we've maimed whose family we've murdered than their war profiteer/AIPAC campaign contributions.

Posted by: ran at March 18, 2008 02:32 AM

Go back to Sandy's original post, where she wrote this:

Mass protests -- that foundered well shy of inflicting economic costs and petered out altogether when the protest leaders endorsed pro-war Democrats.

Yes, I agree with you about the shameful endorsement of Kerry by many who claimed to be leaders in the antiwar movement (though not by UFPJ, the organization that has been responsible for all the major "mass protests" since the war began). But Susan was clearly attempting to explain why we don't have mass protests today. As well she should, since the question we're discussing here is why we're presented with lame alternatives like a "mass fax-in" in 2008.

Obviously, mass protests didn't "peter out" if there were four hundred thousand people surrounding the capital at a UFPJ-sponsored protest on Feb. 27, 2007. Somehow, mass protest survived the shameful endorsement (by some) of Kerry in 2004, so maybe it's time to start looking for another explanation?

And who's "shifting the question"? It was Sandy's choice (and yours) to take us on a trip back to 2004. Again, I agree with you and Sandy about 2004. But anyone who read her post would be left with the impression that certain unnamed "antiwar leaders" have endorsed unnamed "pro-war democrats", now, in 2008. Since neither you nor Sandy could come up with an example that's less than four years old, I guess we can assume that's not true.

Posted by: SteveB at March 18, 2008 06:09 AM

"But Susan was clearly attempting to explain why we don't have mass protests today."

I believe that was SANDY.....

but I would contend that the 2008 candidates are all pretty pro-war, with Obama being the least pro-war. Even he is not going to end this hideous evil we started in Iraq.

I went to a event this morning (at 5:30 AM - that's when the TV news was there) where we are reading the names of US military killed in Iraq. We expect it to take all day, so I will go back in a few hours. One women (from Australia) showed up and said that she totally supported the war in Iraq because those soldiers are fighting to keep us safe.....

apparently, no comprehension that Iraq did not attack us, had no connection to those that attacked us and had no means to attack us. She just thinks all the bad guys are hanging out in Iraq and our good guys are taking care of a problem that will end up in America if they leave.

I pointed out that over a million Iraqis were killed and she said that she was not concerned about that.

The local Vets for Peace are doing this - and this Australian lady is going to read some of the names, she thought the whole event was pro-war until she showed up. A local radio station promoted it that way, and picked up the reading of names and they are playing the names in between dumb ass country songs that promote war and hyper nationalism.

What do you do with such overwhelming stupidity? tell them they are dumb as rocks and evil besides?

Everywhere I look, I see stupid people.

Posted by: Susan at March 18, 2008 09:00 AM

I believe that was SANDY.....

Sorry about that.

Posted by: SteveB at March 18, 2008 10:11 AM

If, "to this day it doesn't feel anything like it did in the first year of the war," then why is that?

Is it because Medea Benjamin asked people to vote for Kerry four years ago? Or is there some other reason?

Here's my answer: It doesn't feel anything like it did five years ago because, in the past five years the people of this country have seen, time and again, that the politicians in Washington, Democrat and Republican, don't give a shit what they think.

You try to persuade a few hundred thousand people to come out for a march when they can't see any positive consequences from previous marches, and both the Dems in Congress and Bush in the White House have made it very clear that they're going to continue the war, regardless of how many people are marching. That would tend to suppress turnout, don't you think?

I remember, back in 2003, when there was hope - after the massive worldwide protests against the war, after the UN security council refused to rubber-stamp Bush's war plans. And then the US went in anyway, and that hope was crushed.

My point here is that our time is better spent thinking about the millions of people who might march, but choose not to, and trying to understand why they choose not to, rather than stepping into the way-back machine to beat up on Medea Benjamin and Leslie Cagan. That route is just a dead end, which, unfortunately, a lot of people seem intent on taking.

Posted by: SteveB at March 18, 2008 01:38 PM

SteveB: John Carsuo is absolutly correct, until Bush and Cheney are gone, nothing will improve. IMPEACHMENT IS THE ANSWER. The next President will not be able to change this present distaster by him or her self. The population at large MUST have the knowledge of what has happened, how it all occured, and WHO DID WHAT, to be able to tool up for that necessary change. AMERICA IS ALL the people, not just a leader or a political party.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 18, 2008 02:12 PM

Yes, as I think I said earlier, the endorsement (or near-endorsement) of Kerry by "antiwar" leaders was shameful and very damaging to the movement. What I object to is an "analysis" that focuses on these "leaders" without understanding how deep the problem goes. Recently I saw the results of a poll taken of people who attended the two UFPJ marches last year - the Feb. 2007 march in D.C., and the regional marches in October. According to that survey, roughly 90% of the people attending those marches identified themselves as Democrats. See the problem? It isn't that Leslie Cagan decides to turn the big switch in her office labeled "antiwar movement" to "off", but that the rank and file of the movement, because they consider themselves Democrats, decides not to protest against Democrats.

So we get nearly a million people marching against the RNC in New York in 2004, and a tenth as many (or less) marching against the DNC in Boston. To explain that difference, do you look to the "leadership", or to the rank and file?

Yes, I know, if Leslie Cagan and Medea Benjamin had come out strongly against Kerry, more people in the movement would have opposed Kerry. I think that's true, to an extent, but what percentage of the rank and file Democrats who attend UFPJ marches would have been turned by this?

Let's try to remember the atmosphere in 2004: millions and millions of people were sick to death of Bush, and desperately wanted to be rid of him. They seized on Kerry, not because they were unaware of his flaws, but because they saw no good alternative. To think that dynamic would have been altered in the slightest by the statements of people who are completely blacked out from media coverage and are only known to perhaps a few percent of the population seems unrealistic, to say the least.

Posted by: SteveB at March 18, 2008 04:36 PM

Steve: I'm talking about the entire anti-war movement, not just the leaders; the mistake is the same, and it's just as serious.

I'm sure true that the bulk of the protesters are Democrats, which is a major reason why I think Democrats (like Kerry, but also Obama) are so dangerous in the first place. I've been cobbling on a posting about that over the past few weeks that I'll eventually put up on my site.

Regardless, though, I knew dedicated activists who wouldn't in a million years consider themselves "Democrats" but who voluntarily shut off their criticisms in 2004 anyway, and who ended up saying unbelievably sad things like "Kerry HEARS us!" (an actual email I received from a very radical friend who'd been blinded by the ABB philosophy). So it wasn't just Democrats, and it wasn't done with eyes open. It's human nature to paper over the failings of my team, whoever that may be and for whatever reason they may currently be my team.

Posted by: John Caruso at March 18, 2008 05:58 PM

after talking with many people on the subject i decided the only way to change the war policy was to change the energy policy, which we need to do anyway to survive. while oil=money, deaf ears are all we get, i think.

Posted by: hapa at March 19, 2008 04:03 AM