, I noted that Chris Hedges had said on a radio show that he’d start resisting his taxes if the U.S. went to war with Iran.
Now, he’s expanded on his statement in an article for The Nation (excerpts):
I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran — which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election — will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d’état that has been under way since the attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.
A country that exists in a state of permanent war cannot exist as a democracy. Our long row of candles is being snuffed out. We may soon be in darkness. Any resistance, however symbolic, is essential. There are ways to resist without being jailed. If you owe money on your federal tax return, refuse to pay some or all of it, should Bush attack Iran. If you have a telephone, do not pay the 3 percent excise tax. If you do not owe federal taxes, reduce what is withheld by claiming at least one additional allowance on your W-4 form — and write to the IRS to explain the reasons for your protest. Many of the details and their legal ramifications are available on the War Resisters League’s website (www.warresisters.org/wtr.htm).
I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know. But I do know this: I have friends in Tehran, Gaza, Beirut, Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cairo. They will endure far greater suffering and deprivation. I want to be able, once the slaughter is over, to at least earn the right to ask for their forgiveness.