Did You Expect The Democrats to Chant USA! USA?

Debra Sweet | August 3, 2016

No-More-Endless-WarsWorld Can't Wait, in coalition with other groups, formed a small yet politically important presence in Philadelphia last week outside the convention. Thanks to the generosity of the Arch Street United Methodist Church we had the use of the sidewalk outside the building (which was around the corner from the Convention Center - one of the locations being used by the DNC) and a place to enter to cool off and recover intermittently from the tremendous heat and sun.

We spoke to thousands of people: delegates for Bernie and some for Hillary, activists protesting outside the convention and Philadelphia residents. They saw three Reaper drone models, banners and signs reminding them that the U.S. is making war on 7 Muslim countries, masks painted by kNOw Drones of the faces of people killed by drone and by U.S. police and a handmade quilt of other drone victims brought by volunteers from Grass Valley, CA.

Our display stopped some people in their tracks and made them think. People cried at the photos of those targeted by killer drones. Some stood there with their children going over each part of the display and explaining the reasons why it was there on the street. Sometimes we had arguments with passersby. And, our message made some subscribers to this newsletter "unsubscribe."

Our presence dynamically interacted with what happened inside the convention (which included numerous disruptions and walkouts). Delegates passing by asked questions about the Democrats' continuation of U.S. war on the world and took our flyers + posters inside. Many people thanked us — the display was impossible to miss, positioned between City Hall and the downtown convention center where daytime activities took place.

When former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke on Tuesday evening, and again when Marine General (Ret) John Allen spoke Thursday evening, some delegates started chanting “No More War!” — audibly spreading throughout the arena to the point that even Wolf Blitzer had to comment on it. Power was cut to at least one delegation that was involved in these disruptions, effectively turning the lights out on whole sections of the seating. The leadership of the convention organized chants of “USA! USA!” to drown the anti-war chants out, going so far as to distribute chant sheets ahead of time.

Question: What do you make of the DNC organizing its convention to shout down chants of "NO MORE WAR!" with "USA! USA!"?  Write me.

Some responses:

Revcom.us: From “It’s All About the Children” to Endless War for Empire… in Four Days

"...But back to this ranting former general. The fact that Hillary Clinton picked him to give the speech setting up her acceptance speech speaks volumes about not just campaign tactics, but what she is preparing the “base” of the Democratic Party for. Allen is on the bloody leading edge of ratcheting up the hellish cycle of war and terror between Western imperialism and fundamentalist Islamic Jihad. In March of last year, Allen testified before Congress that “There’s no exit strategy for this” war—and he didn’t mean that as a bad thing. One Democratic Party congressman recently said of Allen: 'Once we get entrenched in the manner that the General is describing, we will literally never get out.'"

Margot Kidder: My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools

You people have no idea what it is like for people from other countries to hear you boast and cheer for your guns and your bombs and your soldiers and your murderous military leaders and your war criminals and your murdering and conscienceless Commander in Chief. All those soaring words are received by the rest of us, by us non-Americans, by all the cells in our body, as absolutely repugnant and obscene.

And there you all are tonight, glued to your TVs and your computers, your hearts swelled with pride because you belong to the strongest country on Earth, cheering on your Murderer President. Ignorant of the entire world’s repulsion. You kill and you kill and you kill, and still you remain proud.

Cartoonist Sam Wallman: #ImWithHer

Cartoon

Cindy Sheehan, Peace mom, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq five days after deployment. Cindy is caring for her sister Dede who has cancer, but released a statement she had made about Hillary Clinton several years ago:

My suspicions about Hillary Clinton were confirmed in a meeting I had with her on Capitol Hill [in September 2005] where she said that the US had to remain in Iraq to “honor” the sacrifices of those that had died after I told her that I didn’t want my son’s death honored with more murder and mayhem.

Gareth Porter: Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

As Hillary Clinton begins her final charge for the White House, her advisers are already recommending air strikes and other new military measures against the Assad regime in Syria.

The clear signals of Clinton’s readiness to go to war appears to be aimed at influencing the course of the war in Syria as well as U.S. policy over the remaining six months of the Obama administration. (She also may be hoping to corral the votes of Republican neoconservatives concerned about Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.)

Despite clear indications that with every aerial bombardment and drone strike, opposition to the U.S. is hardened across the region, Reuters reports that Monday the Obama administration began bombing "ISIS" targets — they say — in Libya.  The Intercept reports:

The U.S. launched a major new military campaign against ISIS on Monday when U.S. planes bombed targets in Libya, responding to requests from the U.N.-backed Libyan government. Strikes took place in the coastal town of Sirte, which ISIS took in June of last year.

The strikes represent a significant escalation in the U.S. war against ISIS, spreading the conflict thousands of miles from the warzones in Syria and Iraq.

All of these attacks took place without Congressional authorization or even debate.

No amount of justifications can cover this illegitimate, immoral, unjust war on the world!

More from the week of protest:

Mother Jones: These Photos Reveal Moments From Hillary Clinton's Philadelphia Convention That Few Will Ever See

The Nation: The Progressives at the DNC Who Weren’t With Her

RT: Activists demonstrate against ‘warmongering’ Hillary Clinton at DNC

Debra Sweet talking about Trump, Clinton, and the need for independent political protest

Nick Mottern gives a tour of the Anti-War protest presence

Bob Smith talks about the Horsham drone base, the system of drone bases, and ongoing protest

Nick Mottern: Hope Springs From The DNC Anti-War Protest

Voices from the Anti-War Speak Out:

Bob Smith, Brandywine Peace Community

Nick Mottern, kNOw Drones

Raed Jarrar, AFSC

Andy Thayer, long-time anti-war activist

Emily Yates, Iraq Veterans Against the War

CodePink

Elsa Rassbach German Drone Campaign & Ramstein Campaign

Photos:

World Can't Wait's Collection

Joel Simpson's Collection