Buzzflash Author Promotes War Tax Resistance

An anonymous author over at BuzzFlash has jumped on the tax resistance bandwagon, and wants to tell the world about it, a sentiment with which I can sympathize:

Our Senators have now had the opportunity to say a very loud no to torture and to say it to a president who does not seem to know where the bounds of civilized behavior lie. But they blew it, big time. Oh sure, there were tough questions and a few righteous statements, but a tongue-lashing and a promotion just does not seem like appropriate treatment of a guy who wanted to see others tortured, I don’t care what they have done; not in my name!

It also makes everyone of us who voted for the Senators who voted for Gonzales, and all of us who pay taxes to pay their salaries, conspirators after the fact in war crimes. In paying these people we are enabling atrocities to be committed in our names and with our resources. This, in my mind, makes us all culpable.

Being a survivor of the Vietnam era, I knew where this was all headed when, as Andy Card said, the Bush administration in , rolled out its brand new product, better known as Bush’s Iraq Quagmire. It was then that I had to make my decision. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and that is not with this government and what has become, as I expected, its criminal policies. I became a war tax resister. Since then there have been more and more reasons for my action.…

It is now time for massive Civil Disobedience, on a scale not seen in this country since the Revolution and the ousting of that other King George. Tax Resistance is a very good place to start. Look carefully at the Budget and you will understand why.…

Civil Disobedience should, in my mind, never be a first choice, under most administrations and Congresses, but this administration has shown time and time again that it does not wish to hear from people who do not share its view. As a matter of fact, it has shown nothing but contempt for the opposition. Congress has shown time and time again that it is unwilling or unable to confront, in any meaningful way, and hold this administration accountable for its many astoundingly disastrous policies and criminal behavior on the world stage. We have spent marching, demonstrating, raising money, working ourselves into a coma on the election, blogging our fingers off, etc, etc, and if anything, we are worse off than we were. We might as well have spent the last year in Amsterdam, high as a kite, for all the good it has done.

These people only understand violence and money. I am not into violence, though I will damn sure defend myself and mine, so I say take their money away. Do you you really want to pay for top class healthcare for these people in Washington who cannot figure a way to make even minimal healthcare available to all Americans? I don’t. The very idea of it makes me furious, but I cannot afford to have a stroke, because I would lose everything, which ain’t much to begin with.

We have to find ways of depriving them of their drug of choice: Money, which, of course is the same thing as power. Tax resistance, Buying Blue, targeted boycotts of War profiteers and Bush-backers (is there any difference?), where possible, and costing them money, where possible, is only the first step in bringing these bastards to their knees.…

The fight to take our country back is ours to fight. We are not going to get much, if any, leadership from Washington. They are all too invested in the Status Quo. They will change only when the status quo becomes painful enough for them. It is up to us to make it very painful! This war, unlike Bush’s “war on terra” is going to require sacrifice from all of us. We are going to have to hurt to make them hurt, but the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Jonathan Schell reviews the apologists for torture, in both their primitive and cultured forms, but then reflects that in the Gonzales confirmation hearings…

More striking were the arguments against torture by those skeptical of the nomination. Two dominated. One was that torture hurts the image of the United States in the world. In the words of Senator Lindsey Graham, “I can tell you that it is a club that our enemies use, and we need to take that club out of their hand.” Or in the words of Senator Herb Kohl, “winning the hearts and minds of the Arab world is vital to our success in the war on terror,” and “Photographs that have come out of Abu Ghraib have undoubtedly hurt those efforts.” The second argument was that enemy forces would torture U.S. forces in retaliation. In Biden’s words, “This is about the safety and security of American forces.” Even Gonzales, who declined at every opportunity to repudiate the policies that had led to the torture, was ready to agree that Abu Ghraib had harmed the image of the United States.

But are these the fundamental reasons that torture is unacceptable? Can this nation now understand pain only if it is experienced by Americans or, through some chain of consequences, it rebounds upon the United States? Have all the people in the world but Americans become invisible to Americans?

Torture is not wrong because someone else thinks it is wrong or because others, in retaliation for torture by Americans, may torture Americans. It is the torture that is wrong. Torture is wrong because it inflicts unspeakable pain upon the body of a fellow human being who is entirely at our mercy.… To abuse or kill a person in such a circumstance is as radical a denial of common humanity as is possible. It is repugnant to learn that one’s country’s military forces are engaging in torture. It is worse to learn that the torture is widespread. It is worse still to learn that the torture was rationalized and sanctioned in long memorandums written by people at the highest level of the government. But worst of all would be ratification of this record by a vote to confirm one of its chief authors to the highest legal office in the executive branch of the government.

Less-curious and more-credulous members of Congress could once, with some justification, claim that they didn’t know the U.S. was practicing torture by policy. Anyone who claims that now is either incurious to the point of willful ignorance or is shoveling snow — in either case, at this stage, a willing part of the conspiracy to torture. The vote on whether to confirm Gonzales will be a good roll-call of those senators willing to join the conspiracy.