Author speaks out against the war

Antonia Juhasz has never owned a car. It’s not because she doesn’t have the money to buy one, or a driver’s license—it’s because she’s made a decision not to be forced to “give money to evil gas companies.”

Juhasz spoke Tuesday night (Jan. 9) to about 30 people squeezed into the Chico Peace and Justice Center. A policy analyst and activist from San Francisco, Juhasz is touring Northern California to promote her book, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time, which she summarized in a seamless speech. The more she spoke about the Iraq war, the clearer it became that her passion and extensive research are what made her presentation flow with ease.

Juhasz compared public policy to a buffet consisting of human rights, environmental concerns, labor rights, small business and corporate business. But instead of having an opportunity to load the plate with everything, Americans are being forced to eat a plate loaded with nothing but corporate business.

“We are at the apex of a trend,” Juhasz said. “The trend is the complete blurring of corporate and government roles.”

Juhasz simplified the intricate relationship between the oil industry and the Bush administration. “George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have more experience running oil companies than in government,” she said. “And Dick Cheney is even worse.”

“Iraq is a giant pimple of oil,” Juhasz said. “It’s bursting at the seams.”

With companies like Lockheed Martin, Bechtel, Chevron and Halliburton profiting from the pressure applied to the giant pimple, it is no wonder that the ties between the current administration and large corporations are unprecedented, she said.

Bush wants two things, Juhasz said: to get what he wants out of Iraq and to distinguish himself. The latter is why he now wants to send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq.

“This is a definitional war that is happening,” Juhasz said. “We are beyond letter writing and phone calls.”

A member of Direct Action to Stop the War, which organizes nonviolent actions against the war, Juhasz said citizen action was the most important component of a resistance movement. She encouraged people to form a discussion group focused on combining efforts with surrounding communities in order to receive maximum media coverage.

“We need to get the resistance movement covered,” Juhasz said, adding: “You might have to march more than once.”