Last week was busy and this week will be even busier as local peace groups prepare for the 7thÂ anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Iraq on Friday, March 19, 2010.Â The anniversary marks the on-going, illegal American invasion of a country â€“ brace yourself here â€“ that had nothing to do with 9/11.Â U.S. troops continue to occupy this Middle East country that â€“ brace yourself again â€“ did not have any weapons of mass destruction (WMD).Â So oops!Â You break it, you buy it, right?Â And if you break and buy a country with the third largest oil reserves in the world, thatâ€™s just coincidence for many Americans.Â Fortunately, Iraq comes with plenty of sand for Americans to bury their heads.
Many Americans donâ€™t want to face the facts of their governmentâ€™s illegal military actions.Â They donâ€™t want to hear it; they just donâ€™t.Â So in my efforts to point out the obvious transgressions of ourÂ military industrial complex, I will gladly accept help from other Americans in raising the collective consciousness.Â If powerhouse actorÂ Matt Damon wants to join the effort, I am more than willing to share the spotlight.
Exactly one week prior to Lansingâ€™s March 19thÂ noontime peace rally in front of the State Capitol Building, Damonâ€™s movie, â€œGreen Zone,â€ opened at local theaters. Â Needing a little R&R myself, I took a portion of Friday night to catch this movie, which is loosely based on the book,Â Imperial Life in the Emerald City.Â Of course, I was forced to sit through a glitzy HD commercial glamorizing the Marine Corps before the move started.Â Ultimately, the Marine Corpsâ€™ product placement was an epic Fail thanks to Damon, director Paul Greengrass, screenwriter Brian Helgeland, and the gamut of producers.Â They combined their talents to dramatize one of the bright shining lies of the ongoing Iraq occupation: the fact that there never were any WMDs in Iraq and American leadership knew it.Â (Of course, the highest ranking cluster f*cks of the story appear in other documentaries and movies, like â€œWâ€.)
As a Hollywood product, â€œGreen Zoneâ€ stands out in its rare frankness of exposing the lies and hypocrisy of American military establishment.Â There is growing realization, however, that not a lot of people will go to see this movie because it is being marketed as an action movie, implying the movie is similar to the Damon-Greengrass collaborations in the â€œJason Bourneâ€ shoot-â€˜em-up-beat-â€˜em-up trilogy. Â See the movie trailerÂ here. Â This realization spurred filmmakerÂ Michael Moore to react onÂ Twitter yesterday, â€œI canâ€™t believe this film got made.Â Itâ€™s been stupidly marketed as action film.Â It is the most HONEST film about Iraq War made by Hollywood.â€
â€œIf youâ€™ve seen the ads, it looks like a film that sucks.Â Like itâ€™s a dumbass shootâ€™em up.Â What a disservice.Â It is brilliant,â€ Moore wrote in 140-character tweets.Â â€œWhatever youâ€™re doing tonight, cancel (your) plans and go see â€˜Green Zoneâ€™ with Matt Damon!Â Stunning, brilliant, brave film.Â Just saw it.Â Amazing!â€
I had a similar reaction to the Green Zone. Â But Iâ€™m no Michael Moore.Â And Iâ€™m no Matt Damon.Â Yet, I have a local peace rally to help organize for next Friday at noon.Â I will do it â€“ along with numerous other Lansing-area peace activists â€“ because we know the spoiler to the â€œGreen Zoneâ€ movie:
- Seven years.
- 4,382 U.S. military personnel dead.
- NearlyÂ 32,000 Americans wounded.
- Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed.
- Trillions in U.S. deficit spending to finance.
- One big, bright shining lie to get it all started.
There isnâ€™t enough sand in Iraq to bury those facts.
â€“Â Rico Thomas Rico
PEACE ACTIONS THIS WEEK IN GREATER LANSING MARCH 18 -19, 2010
Speech by Michael T. McPhearson, former Executive Director of Veterans for Peace
7 p.m. â€“ 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
International Center, Room 115
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Greater Lansing Peace Rally and Vigil
With Special Guest Michael T. McPhearson, former Executive Director of Veterans for Peace
Noon â€“ 1 p.m.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Front ofÂ State Capitol Building
Downtown Lansing, Michigan
These Lansing-area peace actions are being organized by a local coalition including theÂ Peace Education Center, theÂ NorthStar Center, the Greater Lansing Network Against War & Injustice (GLNAWI). McPhearsonâ€™s talk on the MSU campus is also being sponsored by the MSU Peace & Justice Studies Program.