Barry Crimmins

words to live near



Buffalo Peace Rally Speech 2/15/2003 Saturday, February 15, 2003

by Barry Crimmins

I'm happy to be here in Buffalo today because I couldn't find an outdoor speaking engagement anywhere further north.

What a winter we've had! It's been colder than Nancy Reagan's heart and longer than Ronald Reagan's presidency.

Speaking of fogbound chiefs of state, I owe Court-appointed President Bush an apology. In the past I have compared him to Adolph Hitler. This was excessive and inaccurate. In fairness, he is really much more comparable to Benito Mussolini. W's fascism leans more toward economic than racial bigotry. He loves making planes run on time. Given half a chance you just know Bush would bomb Ethiopia. The Italians had Il Duce and now we have Il Dupe. Never fear, Cheney, Rumsfeld , Ashcroft and Rove provide us with more than our fair share of bona fide Nazis to eviscerate.

Speaking of the court-appointed vice-president, any American who crosses his path has a sacred duty to – startle him. Slip up behind him and drop a phone book or something. Heart trouble? I thought he had the hiccups!

Rumsfeld? Arggh! It's bad enough advocating the massacre of tens of thousands of innocents but he's smug about it. This guy sucked three wars ago.

Kaiser Ashcroft is a great advocate of integration–integration, that is, of church and state. Here's a grown man who is afraid of getting caught flagrante delicto with statues. There's a law I think we should enact: if you lose an election to a dead guy – you shouldn't get appointed to a better gig.

One day during Gulf War I (or was it Spanish/American War VI?) I woke up to what I thought was good news. A newscaster told me They're shooting patriots. I said, Now there's a start! It turned out they were just talking about missiles. Nationalism plays a big part in our current crisis. Bush has himself wrapped so tightly in the flag that it's been years since any blood has reached his brain. That explains the nonsense he propagates. His only explanation for terrorists is, they hate our freedom. If they really hated our freedom then why can't they get along with Kaiser Ashcroft? The only freedom of ours most people around the world hate is our freedom to kill them, whenever we like.

Does anyone feel more secure now that there is a Department of Homeland security? A better name for it would be KGB-2003. This make-work program for fascists makes life much more dangerous for Americans – particularly Americans who still believe they have a right and duty to speak out when madness engulfs our nation.

We are braving this frigid Buffalo afternoon because we have had enough of the corporate media and the court-appointed Bush Administration spinning bloodlust for innocent Iraqi lives into some sort of salute to American greatness. Bush gave a speech last fall and said, Americans won't live in fear.' The audience clapped and clapped. You know why? Because the people were afraid to stop clapping. Busybody civilians racially profiling their fellow patrons at bad restaurants can shut down interstate highways with one phone call, but we won't live in fear? Turning our interstate highways into the New Jersey Turnpike is not the act of a brave and free people. Our airports are manned by jackbooted national guardsmen, wearing camouflage. Here's a tip to the military: camouflage does not help you blend in at an airport.

Before he ever speaks again of freedom, W should learn that lovers of independence do not jail people without giving them the opportunity for a fair defense against properly filed charges. But this has happened to several men in Greater Buffalo and we are here today to say it is wrong. We are here to say they are not forgotten. We are here to say we want America to be truly free and brave enough to believe in its own Bill of Rights "even for alleged terrorists.

We are here to say that it is the cowards in the Court-appointed Bush Administration who represent the greatest threat to our freedom and way of life. We do not need judges to protect us by ruling that peace marches are illegal. New York City is not any safer now that it has been declared out of bounds for roving hordes of pacifists. Anytime hundreds of thousands of Americans want to march anywhere but to war, they should be encouraged " especially since marchers are on foot.

At this time when oilwellian interests have deployed young Americans to massacre innocents to protect a gluttonous way of life, we must march in protest. The people who need restriction are the ones who organize traffic jams of sport utility vehicles every day of the week. It's time to get out of the Humvees and back into trains and buses. We Want MASS TRANSIT, NOT MASS MURDER.

Today I propose a simple yet foolproof energy policy: Nobody below the rank of forest ranger gets a sport utility vehicle. And anyone who places anything on their automobile that increases wind resistance, thereby decreasing gas mileage, will be charged and jailed. This includes American flags.

George W. Bush speaks of valor and courage but all he really stands for are the petty interests of the already engorged super-wealthy, the narrow-minded religious right and the bloodless and soulless corporations. His doctrine of the Preemptive Strike represents anything but bold and courageous leadership. Preemptive strikes are the essence of fear. They say: we are scared that you might do something so we are going to kill you " just in case.

And no matter what it tells you about respect for innocent lives in Iraq, the court-appointed Bush Administration's announced plan to awe and shock Baghdad --by leveling it --reveals the real story. There is no such thing as precision carpet-bombing. And what is the intent of a terrorist if not to awe and shock? Did we not feel awe and shock on that horrible morning of September 11, 2001?

Court-appointed coward George W. Bush has absolutely no qualms about terrorizing a jittery nation with bogus terrorist warnings whenever he needs a distraction from his nefarious conduct or addlebrained policies. We now know what an Orange alert means – it means that more massive and embarrassing peace rallies are scheduled. And it means that it is time to stop scrutinizing Colin Powell's remarks at the UN because they do not stand up well under examination. We know enough to understand why the rest of the world doesn't put too much stock in the remarks of a secretary of state who has to lean on the CIA director for credibility. Why not just bring in Arthur Andersen to certify the books? Bush doesn't want to answer legitimate questions raised by the burgeoning antiwar movement and by Powell's suspect rationales for carnage. And so a diversion was necessary " a nice big bright orange one concerning threats of impending chemical and/or biological assaults. It's too bad the Bushists can't speak with the same certainty about the anthrax attacks of 2001.

At a time when we are forcing poor people into starvation wage labor for a little public assistance, the insult that is militarism grows harder to take. The Pentagon is so greedy it has an extra side on its building. And what good does it do? The United States will spend over $400 billion on what it calls Defense this year yet we are asked to protect our homes using duct tape and plastic! Some defense!

I hate to point this out but you know what is a very effective countermeasure to duct tape and plastic? Box cutters! Kind of brings us back to Square One, doesn't it?

While we spend $400 billion to inflict carnage upon the rest of the world, our streets are filled with the homeless veterans of previous wars. The problem with this country is it would rather create veterans than care for them. I say not another dime for the military until it provides for the people it has used as cannon fodder in the past. All recruiting offices for the armed services should be on the top floors of Veterans Administration Hospitals. All potential recruits should have to walk through the entire facility before they can sign their lives away to Uncle Sam.

Unlike many members of the court-appointed Bush Administration, I have never supported or aided Saddam Hussein. But I do know that he is no ally of Osama bin Laden's. In fact, it's too bad Al Qaeda isn't on the Security Council. That would be one vote for war upon which Bush could have surely relied.

And please spare us talk of Hussein's threat to the region. What do you suppose he will try to take over next? The two-thirds of his own country he does not control? And we know he has weapons, CIA director Tenet can prove that by going through his files. But the weapons that most threaten Americans are the ones in the ever-growing nuclear, chemical and biological stockpile that are rotting away on our own shores. If we want to make the world less dangerous, we should start by ridding ourselves of these cursed implements of death.

To all of our friends here today from Canada, please know there are millions of Americans mortified by our moronic court-appointed president's failure to promptly apologize for the slaying of Canadian troops by US pilots. These hopped-up airmen represent a connection between drug use and terrorism you'll never see mentioned in a TV commercial. And before I leave, I would be remiss not to offer this simple phrase: Vive la France! And a heartfelt Danke Shoen to Germany, as well.

I'm sure most of you in this large and enthusiastic crowd will be asked by self-appointed guardians of America, 'If you don't love this country, why don't you just get out of it?

The answer is simple, Because I don't want to be victimized by its foreign policy!

Thank you all for coming out and joining the world in standing up to madness with sanity. Peace!

updated: 14 years ago