Watch Heather talk about contemporary US politics. For more of Heather's videos, click here
"We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation ... If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight." - Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
Agustín Aguayo might not be a household name, but his struggle pierces the core of the US anti-war movement.
News that U.S. Congressional Republicans had set aside $20 million for a party commemorating success in Iraq was met with disbelief last week, given the simultaneous all-time high of car bombs in Iraq, and the demobilization of an entire Iraqi police brigade because of alleged complicity with death squads.
The Bush administration's covert plan to help energy companies steal Iraq's oil could be just weeks away from fruition, and the implications are staggering: continued price-gouging by Big Oil, increased subjugation of the Iraqi people, more US troops in Iraq, and a greater likelihood for a US invasion of Iran.
That's just for starters.
Now that the Evil Prince of Iraqi Darkness has been captured by valiant US military forces, the Middle East is free to democratize and the world at large is a much safer place. As Bush put it, Hussein's capture means "sovereignty" for Iraq, "dignity for ... every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence."
Any problems with this rosy assessment? Maybe my bullshit detectors go into overdrive every time the Bush administration announces a success, but this latest scenario just doesn't stack up.
As America honors its service men and women this Veterans' Day, we especially owe it to those struggling on the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan - wherever fate and the Bush administration have sent them - to take a closer look.
Five Important Questions to Ask on Veterans' Day
1. Why did we invade Iraq?
With 140,000 active-duty, reserve and National Guard troops now on the ground in Iraq, almost 400 US soldiers killed since the invasion started (250 of those since Bush declared major combat over), and more troops being called up, it's important to remember why we're over there in the first place.
Outspoken Pentagon advisor Richard Perle recently called for Iraq's debt to be cancelled as a way of teaching banks about the "moral hazard of ... lend[ing] to a vicious dictatorship."
Fair enough. Other countries with "odious debt" incurred under nasty regimes may be granted debt forgiveness. Why not Iraq?