Against all odds, throughout the years
of warlike attitudes and fears
of communists, we still beheld
a silent faction that rebelled.
A system built on military needs, a "larceny
against the poor," has faced resistance, somewhat quietly,
throughout the years. The Berrigans and other pacifist
dissenting Christians "beat the swords to plowshares" to resist
the arms expansion. Ronald Reagan's warlike policies
inspired the 4 of every 5 insisting on a freeze
to start a movement led by women, doctors, scientists,
and bishops, as our warlike leaders chased the 'communists'
through foreign countries. Reagan aided the El Salvador
dictatorship while government elected to ignore
the protests. Reagan tried to dominate South Africa,
and intervened in Nicaragua while America
(The People) disagreed. He wouldn't listen. His response
to poverty and crime? With Presidential nonchalance,
cut funding, fill the jails. Republicans and Democrats
alike were part of it, like governmental acrobats
avoiding contact with the issues. Social programs? No,
because the people don't want taxes. But the surveys show
they do! For health and education, tax the very rich
and cut the military, implement a budget switch
to help the poor. When People try to speak, the government
and business world and military simply circumvent
the interruption. But the nineties brought Latinos, gays,
and women to the stage again, against the odds, to raise
awareness. Part of Gulf War strategy was "shock and awe,"
allowing bombers to destroy the foe and then withdraw
before the protests started. Protests happened anyway,
a hundred thousand marched on Washington. And underway
as well were soldier boycotts: nothing in Iraq to brag
about, or die for! There's "no glory in a folded flag,"
an army widow told the world. Suggestions of Saddam's
concessions were ignored by Mister Bush, and so the bombs
continued, and it "saved us from the peacetime dividend,"
said those who feared the military spending spree would end.