My Family Won’t Pay War Taxes, Daily Kos Commentator Announces

The top-tier liberal blog Daily Kos is abuzz over a contributor by the nom-de-Kos of “Meteor Blades” whose family plans on personally defunding the war. Excerpts:

We won’t wait anymore. Since Congress, particularly the congressional leadership, refuses to do so, my wife and I are personally defunding the war and occupation of Iraq. We refuse for the foreseeable future to surrender the portion of our taxes that pays for U.S. imperialism and the militarization which backs it up.…

With the Cheney-Bush cabal openly defying the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution, and with the majority of Congress unwilling to stand up against this defiance, as long as we continue to pay our war taxes, we can no longer fool ourselves into believing that we are innocent of complicity in war crimes and other crimes against the Republic. Our taxes are the lifeblood of empire.…

Come this week, a congressional conference committee will pass a gigantic defense spending bill that includes no requirement for withdrawal of troops from Iraq and no prohibitions on attacking Iran. Sometime later , the “continuing resolution” will be renewed, allowing the war to continue being funded at the same levels as . There are no pledges or plans to add withdrawal language to the continuing resolution. The chance that withdrawal language — and language on Iran — will be added to the supplemental war-spending bill in is minuscule. The chance that the bill will not eventually be approved by a majority of Congress is nil. Thus, by , assuming no supplemental supplements are approved, the U.S. will have spent $660 billion for five-and-a-half years of war and occupation in Iraq compared with the (inflation-adjusted) $673 billion spent in . In current dollars, the average month in Vietnam cost $5.5 billion, while Iraq costs us $12 billion a month.

The government is going to have to do without my family’s portion of this. As well as a portion of the rest of its “defense” budget. Because that budget underpins a war and occupation in which 750,000 to 1.5 million Iraqi civilians have died, in which 4150 “coalition” soldiers have died and nearly 40,000 have been wounded, in which billions of dollars have disappeared. A budget that sustains more than 725 known military bases overseas, and some secret number of secret bases. A budget of which some “black” portion provides sustenance for all kinds of classified work — all kinds, including rendition and torture and secret prisons, and clandestine activities that, were they directed against America, would be labeled “terrorism.”

Neither my wife nor I oppose the 16th Amendment. We are neither anarchists nor libertarians. We abhor the Grover Norquists who would first starve government social services and then drown them. Nor are we pacifists. We believe in self-defense, both personal and collective. War as a last resort in the most extreme circumstances is not morally unacceptable to us. Sometimes, in our view, the only choice is kill or be killed. But empire building? concocted war? war for the benefit of profiteers? war for oil and strategic position? war to play out a perverted vision of America as the New Rome? That we can no longer condone with our taxes.…

Unlike the first seven years of the Vietnam War, when conscription grabbed up living bodies to stoke the machinery of unjustified war, today — for those of us not caught up in the backdoor draft of extended tours of duty — it is only our finances that are conscripted. My wife and I refuse to continue to allow that. We believe that resistance is the essence of democracy.

We also will keep marching against the war and occupation. But in the future, we won’t march except when it is a precursor to non-violent action that disrupts business as usual, even if only for a few minutes. Along with thousands (but, sadly, not millions) of others, we’ve been marching for , complying with permits, staying on the sidewalk or on the designated streets, being polite good citizens. No more. We won’t let specific actions of civil disobedience be undermined by announcing them in advance. Call this peaceful militancy or call it fruitless and fringy, we see no alternative with which our consciences can reside without turmoil.

Last I checked, 346 Kossacks had weighed in with their opinions on tax resistance.

War tax resister Larry Dansinger is profiled in The Boston Phoenix. Excerpts:

While anti-war rallies drew tens of thousands of protesters to cities nationwide , some American taxpayers choose a subtler (or supplementary) way to express their discontent with American foreign policy.

Take Larry Dansinger, who lives in Monroe, and who has withheld some or all of his owed taxes for years in opposition to US military action and policy.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter he sent along with his tax return :

“Again in , I am refusing to pay both federal income and social security taxes I owe because the US government is using that money to fund its invasion and occupation of Iraq, where thousands of innocent Iraqis and US military personnel are being killed and injured …This invasion is both immoral and illegal. If I were to pay any money to the US government, I would be an accomplice to these forms of violence that it perpetrates. I will not commit that crime. I would rather violate the law than to support the White House, Pentagon, and Congress which is killing innocent people by the tens of thousands for its own selfish ends.”