Remarks by Ben Cohen Anti-War Rally Washington, DC October 26, 2002 -
The President's men have compared their war in Iraq to a new product, but this is a product that nobody wants. So, they've timed it, “from a marketing point of view,” and they've supported it with a “multi-million dollar P.R. blitz.” But their product is a deadly distraction, bristling with nasty side effects and violating national law.
Speaking as businessperson, if I put this product out on the market, my shareholders would have my head.
This is a war based on lies:
Many thousands of people -- fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, will be killed in this war, and yet there is no imminent threat to the security of America that justifies sending our brave men and women in uniform off to die. And the idea that the people of Iraq, who have already been terrorized by the loss of 500,000 of their children due to U.S.-led sanctions -- the idea that these mothers and fathers want to be liberated by being bombed by the United States, is absurd.
The Bush administration is engaged in the most extreme form of power politics that I've ever seen. What their actions are saying is that we are the biggest, baddest bully on the block and, therefore, we can make and break the law as we see fit. We are told that we are to attack Iraq because Saddam Hussein has violated U.N. resolutions. But just to put it into perspective, let's look at the U.S. record:
But enough about war and lost lives and the rule of law. I mean, let's talk about money. After all, I'm a businessman and money's my game.
I've got a chart here that gives you an idea of how our government has been spending our money. Now this is a big crowd, but this is a big chart:
Now these are tough economic times for the U.S. America is on the brink of recession. Median household income is down. Poverty and unemployment are up. The huge surpluses of the last years have been frittered away on tax breaks. City, state and school budgets across the country are in shock. Retirement and college savings have been decimated.
And now the administration wants to add another 200 billion dollars to that last line on the chart. 200 billion -- that's a lot of money. What could we buy with that if we didn't have this war?
All of those things I just reeled off add up to 100 billion dollars. This war is going to cost 200 billion. We have another 100 billion leftover!
The continued belligerence of our leaders saps our souls, saps our spirit, and saps our strength as a nation.
Let us instead rededicate ourselves to helping our nation to match its actions with the spirit and soul of our people -- in goodness and justice and compassion and love.