(delivered Jan. 3, 2004 at the Texas State Capital Austin Peace Rally)

I stand today on the steps of the Capitol of what was once a free and independent nation, that was a shining example to the world.

But, now we live in the country of Capitalism-Gone-Wild, where freedom and free enterprise comes only at the point of a gun, where the brokers of economic policy are merchants of death.

From the sale of the Iraq's Port of Umm Qasr to the future sell-off of Iraq's public hospitals, schools, and government ministries, the wet-dream fantasies of voodoo economists are coming to life overseas. The shame-filled neo-cons, who boil with frustrated narcissistic rage, are humiliating and subjugating the Iraqi people like school-yard bullies.

I returned from Iraq for the second time, three weeks ago, and saw with my own eyes a disaster in the making. Within 4-6 months Iraq will erupt in a bloody war to throw out the U.S., not because the people there desire more violence, but as a result of policies that are ill conceived and corrupt.

Meanwhile, our leaders in Washington boast of their evil intent, (see Psalm 52)

Don't they realize that goodness must ultimately prevail?
Yet, they continue to devise destructive plans,
Their sharp tongues cut opponents with deceit.
They love evil more than good,
Lying rather than righteousness,

They seek profit in the business of oppression and the plunder of war.

But we do not!

We stand here today as part of a growing worldwide movement with a new vision; one of sustainable economic, social, and environmental development that can bring peace and justice to all.

We will not be party to Capitalism-Gone-Wild!

At the height of another war in America's recent past, Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently and passionately challenged his fellow country men and women: (Riverside Speech, 1967)

He said, "We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate... If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess(ed) power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight."

As I stand here, my hope rests with You,
For ours hearts are full and trusting.
Together we will march, labor, and sing,
And bring an end to this - and future - wars.
And, so, we will witness a transformation,
In the affairs of this earth,
For this is the way of peace and justice.


Peace, Charlie

Jackson, founder of Texans for Peace, took a two-week trip to Iraq, undertaken through the Christian Peacemaker Teams organization of Chicago. He is the owner of Acceleros, a high-tech firm in San Antonio.


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