U.S. Escalation of Iraq Occupation Continues

Remember all those comforting lullabies from before about how the U.S. had imminent plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq?

Open up the paper and you’ll read that “The United States has increased its forces in Iraq to 161,000 troops, the highest total of the war.”


Based on the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Drug War Chronicle estimates that more than 530,000 people were behind bars for drug offenses in the U.S. at . Drug offenders accounted for about 25 percent of jail inmates, 21 percent of state prison inmates, and 55 percent of federal prison inmates. The total number of people behind bars was about 2.3 million, an all-time record, giving the U.S. an incarceration rate of 724 per 100,000 — the highest in the world, according to the Chronicle, which says we even beat out China this time.

So where is everybody? The Iraq war drags on and is being quietly expanded, and that other war here at home continues to chew up Americans at a steady pace. The outraged? Are they really all sitting around the television hoping that Patrick Fitzgerald will put everything right?

For that matter — where am I? Don’t I know that Dick Cheney’s trying to get torture legalized by Congress? Don’t I see the next invasion on the horizon? Haven’t I noticed the growing militarization of our own police, and how the eyes of our national intelligence apparatus are increasingly turning back on those of us inside the borders?

Yeah… I know. But I’m not going to talk about all of that here. This blog is for people who’ve already heard the news and are ready to take the next step. If you don’t think things have already gone too far, I’m not going to spend a lot of time trying to convince you otherwise.

Claire Wolfe tries to explain why everyone is so quiet:

I’ve far from given up. I’ve just moved on to another phase of life. I know that virtually everything the federal government does is going to be horrible. Why remain in a perpetual state of lather? Why be in reactive mode through the course of an entire existence? There is life to be lived — live aside from politics, even if that life must often be lived in spite of the worst efforts of politicians and bureaucrats.

And there is freedom to be won. Not just talked about, but snatched directly from the jaws of the vicious total-control beast.

…outrage must have a purpose. And that purpose is eventually to do something productive with your righteous anger. And that’s what I’m doing these days. And that’s what I hope (and believe) thousands of other freedom lovers are doing. If we’ve stopped waving our arms and shouting, it’s not because we’ve given up. It’s because we’ve moved on to the next stage of opposition to tyranny. And that next stage is, of necessity, much, much quieter.

Of course, this can be a bluff, or an excuse. Why aren’t you raising a ruckus about these outrages? Because I’ve moved on to the next, more serious, more hush-hush stage of opposition! Uh huh. Sure you have.

But it seems even more common to confuse being noisy with being productive. Some of the government’s most dependable supporters have radical bumper-stickers on their cars and laugh loudest when The Daily Show comes on.

Myself, I never feel like I’m doing enough. But I keep doing what I am doing, I try to honestly evaluate what matters and what’s just blowing smoke, and I try to keep my eye on what my next step is going to be and prepare myself to take it.