Going Forward in Stopping the Crimes of Your Government

By Debra Sweet

I was on 125th Street in Harlem Tuesday night, and down through Manhattan until late, among people dancing in the streets, honking horns, blocking streets with joy at the election of Barack Obama.

As we promised, World Can't Wait was at Grant Park (left, with banner reading, "No More Wars for Empire") and other locations around the country, talking with people, experiencing the moment, and yes...arguing with and learning from people on what they think Obama will change. My favorite moment was an exchange with an African American woman, age 75. I was wearing the orange "no attack on Iran" t-shirt. She pointed to it and said, "I see you haven't drunk the kool-aid...You know, that's what Obama wants to do!"


The World Can't Wait! Stop the Crimes of Your Government!

People are dancing with joy to see Republicans voted out after the 8 miserable years under the Bush regime. Many are placing huge hope in Obama's election.

But, based on what president-elect Obama says, and who he has already chosen for his team, he will preside over changes we don't want and shouldn't get sucked into supporting.

Some hard facts & questions:

What is there to celebrate in an Obama presidency? Making us feel good about the country again when Obama is trying to unite us to behind what he calls "the good war" in Afghanistan? While people in the US were lining up to vote, a US air strike on an Afghan wedding party killed 34 civilians. Another strike killed 7 more yesterday.

Obama, the "anti-war" candidate, wants to leave 50 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, and move more combat brigades to Afghanistan. He promises to increase the US military by 92,000, ready to project American empire further on the lives of kids in high school now. Obama proposed sending drones and special forces into Pakistan - a sovereign country - and the Bush regime secretly began attacks on Pakistan in July, which have killed scores of civilians, as part of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war.

How could we celebrate "national unity" when Obama's vote for the FISA law opens the way for unprecedented political repression and spying on the people? People expected Obama, who taught Constitutional law, to protect their rights, but Obama went out of his way to make an unpopular vote to bolster the "war on terror" and set the basis for expanded political repression. He voted for an amended USA PATRIOT Act that had more draconian curbs on political protest than the 2001 version.

How can we feel Obama is "for the people" when he put all his backing behind the bailout of Wall Street banks, but tells the people only to have faith in their leaders? When he supports the notoriously racist death penalty, and blames Black people themselves for the huge prison population? When he finds "common ground" with the most rabid Christian fundamentalist plans to do away with abortion and gay marriage? The ban on gay marriage passed in California, benefiting from Obama's expressed opposition to gay marriage.

In the face of huge crimes perpetrated by the Bush regime,.Obama said, "I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president's authority."

There is a responsibility and a way for us to act:

This is not the time to "wait and see" what Obama will do after January 20, or after 6 months or a year...or never, because if he does what's in the peoples' interests he won't be re-elected? He's telling us what he will do, and the worst thing would be to get passive in the face of more crimes being done in our name.

There is a force to join with that will firmly oppose this program. World Can't Wait will be here, organizing a movement of resistance with a realistic aim -- to bring these crimes and this whole direction to a stop. If you don't want to join us now, remember what we're saying, and when it does become clear to you that the crimes of your government - not matter who is president -- have to be stopped, join with the kind of movement that CAN make that happen.

Only the independent action of the people can create the conditions where those in power can be forced to act in accordance with our demands. This is the change we can believe in.

Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking like someone who cares for the whole planet.

  • Join the World Can't Wait.
  • Support the "We Are Not Your Soldiers" tour of high schools in opposing military recruiters.
  • Join the demand to end torture and dismiss, disbar and prosecute John Yoo and other high Bush administration officials for war crimes.
  • Attend the national meeting of The World Can't Wait Nov 22/23 Chicago.

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.