‘Obama we’re hopeful — but we’re watching, marching, too’

(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Obama We’re Hopeful

(Nelson 2008, tune of “O Come All Ye Faithful”)

Obama we’re hopeful, cautiously believing

you meant when you told us that you’d end this war,

Sooner than later, let’s get our troops back state-side!

OBAMA WE’LL BE WATCHING,

OBAMA WE’LL BE MARCHING,

OBAMA WE’LL BE HOLDING YOUR FEET TO THE FIRE!

Ensconced in the White House, trying to get your bearings,

Oil men and gen’rals whisp’ring in those big ears,

Filling your head with doubts and grim scenarios,

OBAMA WE’LL BE WATCHING,

OBAMA WE’LL BE MARCHING,

OBAMA WE’LL BE HOLDING YOUR FEET TO THE FIRE!

That could be the theme song* for Camp Hope, which opens a 19-day presence in the president-elect’s Hyde Park neighborhood on New Year’s Day, also known as Emancipation Proclamation Day.  Activities and actions are planned daily in Chicago, ending on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 19.

 

Organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Camp Hope is designed to help build popular momentum behind the progressive goals of Obama’s campaign — and to remind him of those commitments in eight specific areas. Among them, what Camp Hope organizers call “a starter step” that Obama could immediately take:

… [I]ssue an order directing the U.S. military to reduce the overall levels of U.S. military personnel deployed in Iraq by no fewer than 6,000 military personnel per month and to immediately cease offensive combat operations, with the ultimate objective of removing all military personnel from Iraq … and the complete cessation of hostilities within Iraq.

Six thousand troops is roughly equal to the one combat brigade per month Obama promised to withdraw, as well as the support troops for a brigade.  Obama’s response, Voices for Creative Nonviolence says,

would help clarify whether or not his administration is serious about promises that were made during the campaign.  If the new administration won’t commit to reductions of 6,000 troops per month, than we have much more work to do in clamoring for troop withdrawals.

Obama’s election notwithstanding, nothing has yet changed about the war and occupation of Iraq.  It has disappeared from the news.  US troops aren’t withdrawing, but the TV networks have pulled out, reducing what little coverage they had before.

Camp Hope represents what the antiwar movement should be doing — as the lyrics say, holding Obama’s feet to the fire.

The oil men and generals — and people like Robert Gates and James Jones — will indeed be whispering in those big ears.  We need a loud, sustained roar from across the country to drown out those voices and remind the new president that we are, indeed, watching.

No honeymoon on ending the war.

As Juan Cole writes in The Nation this week:

Bush’s costly and illegal war has been a drain on the economy to the tune of a trillion dollars if hidden costs are included, a sum likely to triple in coming decades as the public pays for the care of injured veterans.  The war has left tens of thousands of military personnal wounded, suffering from brain trauma, or dead.  The toll on Iraqis has been momumental.  It cannot end too soon.

*More lyrics here.

2 comments

    • xofferson on December 30, 2008 at 5:44 pm
      Author

    … but keep activism alive, too.

    Tips to Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  

    • dennis on December 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    at the Iraq Moratorium is “It’s Got To Stop. We’ve Got To Stop it.”

    Only sustained activism–and outreach to our own neighbors–is gonna end this sucking chest wound of a war. Or, for that matter, have any chance of countering the conventional wisdom of the Serious People in DC, the army of lobbyists at every level of government and the billions in campaign donations from the rich and their corporations on any issue.

Comments have been disabled.