U.S. Taxpayers Responsible for Falluja

Greg Moses asks, and asks not:

So who made Falluja possible? Who enabled budgets to be filled with imperial plans? American taxpayers did. The moral tracer on this funding leads to me and you, the co-investors who backed this pre-holiday discount on the lives of Fallujans, thousands of lives, forever lost and unlived. To pay for this moral bankruptcy, we got up in the morning, worked all day, and sent money to the war machine. Ask not who bankrolled Falluja.

In this first of what he says will be a series of articles about war tax resistance, Moses briefly profiles resisters Shirley Smith, Andy McKenna, and Susan Van Haitsma and speculates as to whether the increased IRS enforcement activity targeting resisters in Austin, Texas is coincidental or part of a larger trend.

The group Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation sent out a press release yesterday about this increased enforcement activity. The release reads in part:

A state worker has had her bank account seized twice and recently received garnishment notices from the IRS. A non-profit employee was forced to reduce his income to the poverty level of $662.50 per month to avoid repeat levies. After 11 years of inaction by the IRS, an office worker had his wages garnished. An emergency room doctor, whose car was seized in , was recently visited by an IRS agent and faces possible seizure of her wages and another car. A teacher, who is new to war tax resistance, has already begun receiving collection notices. Another group member, a housecleaner and artist, continues living intentionally below taxable level to legally avoid paying war taxes.

“Having your wages or car seized is not fun. But it is nothing compared to living in a war zone like Iraq and daily facing permanent disability or death,” says Dr. Paula Rogge.

I’m seeing a lot more about deserters and refuseniks in the press lately. There are the eight soldiers who got caught up in the sneaky “stop-loss” net and who are trying to sue their way out. And Pablo Paredes decided not to come aboard when Expeditionary Strike Group Five left San Diego:

“I just want people to see how people feel about this. It’s not just a few crazy liberals talking to the media to make money. I’m not making any money, I’m going to jail for a year for this. I want to do because I feel that strongly about it and I know a lot of people feel this way,” Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes told 10News.

Paredes, 23, wore a T-shirt that read: ‘Like a cabinet member, I resign.’

He acknowledged that the action he is planning could result in a court martial and imprisonment.

“I know other people are feeling the same way I am, and I’m hoping more people will stand up,” he said. “They can’t throw us all in jail.”

Also , conscientious objector Jeremy Hinzman’s plea for political asylum was heard at Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.

From People vs. Empire by Arundhati Roy:

The disturbing thing nowadays is that resistance as spectacle has cut loose from its origins in genuine civil disobedience and is becoming more symbolic than real. Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are fun and vital, but alone they are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe.