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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Comments

Forrest

Has any anti-war movement been successful?

I can think of a pro-war movement that was successful -- but the Kuwaitis didn't hold marches, they hired PR firms and lobbyists.

Zeus

Blogs are disseminated in the world..
Nice texts!
Kisses from Lisbon

Bicyclemark

This is taken from the latest blog entry:

On the one hand, I know what the movement did right. Mass mobilization...as I wrote about back then, millions world wide on the streets expressing their disapproval of this military invasion.

But what should have been done differently, because in the end it did not stop what happenned. Maybe nothing could have been done, because those with all the power have the ultimate say in these matters. The only thing I could think of is to really place ourselves in the paths of the machines, like the heavily criticized human shields were supposed to. But maybe that would still be seen as impossible and insane. One thing that should be pointed out is that we have not yet seen the full effect of the mass mobilizations in 2003. I'm referring to the political reprisals, which have been seen in Spain, Poland, and parts of Latin America. Where people have used the vote to express their dissent, even if it is now a bit late. We have yet to see how this will unfold in Britain, United States, Australia etc. But the signs are there, for instance in Japan or the Netherlands, where seemingly the entire population disagrees with their governments participation in this ïnvasion, and they won't forget that when they next go to the polls.

I guess I still haven't answered the question, but i still think its too soon.

Mark andresen

Eliminate greed.

Mr. Bill

something we should do is prepare for the coming 'next terrorist attack" in the US. Speak out broadly against the reactions of the Bush Administration, and begin now: you say we are going to be attacked: What are you planning to do after? What civil liberties are you planning to infring on now? If this forecast attack occurs,why didn't the intelligence and snooping help?
Can we turn an eye on the Media and it's blatant partisanship in presenting the rational for the war? (and check out BusyBusyBusy for the way Andrea Mitchell, aka Mrs. Allen Greenspan puts the media and prowar forces together.)

Mr. Bill

should be 'rationale'

Elaine of Kalilily

more than 200 words, but my take is posted here:
http://www.kalilily.net/weblog/04/07/11/205452.html

Lou

The problem is that war _is_ the answer if the question is "How do we preserve the status quo?", the question that the administration is always and obviously asking. They have woken up to the fact that petroleum is a limited resource. How convenient 9/11 was, how handy, an excuse to invade the country with the world's second largest petroleum reserves. North Sea oil is almost gone and the Russians, with a very bad record in the getting-and-keeping-it-together department, won't be able to keep Europe supplied for long before they start to run low.

The administration is no more interested in the opinions of mere citizens than are the governments of Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, or the former government of Spain, who were obviously offered a share of the loot, plus the satisfaction of being able to thumb their noses at the French and Germans when cold winds blowing in off the North Sea in about ten years make that nice, warm, humming oil furnace in the average Dutch home look very attractive to monsieur le president.

If you look at it from this adminstration's point of view, they're doing the obvious. I don't think there was anything that the rest of us could have done to prevent it after the events of December 2000 and September 2001 put the Bush handlers in office and then gave them an excuse to do what they think is necessary.

zagg

* A lot of people stopped protesting or threw their hands up "to support the troops" after the war started was a weakness as was buying into the "time for debate is over" line.

Tripping over whether or not to support the Iraqi resistance and to oppose the occupation is a continued weakness.

* We should not dumb things down to make white, middle-class liberals feel comfortable. The fact that the war was racist was not addressed enough. The fact that Arabs in the U.S. were targeted and had their lives destroyed at random was not addressed enough (and was omitted by Fahrenheit 9/11). The fact that Israel used the war to ramp up the violence in Palestine was not addressed.

* The anti-war movement did not stop the war. But it raised the stakes and put questions on the table. It delayed the war. It made Bush put forward a case that has been shown to be false. Without opposition, they could have put the war through easier, with less justification. Bush would not be as vulnerable. That's a victory.

* Break with the Democrats: The anti-war movement has disappeared (despite continued evidence of Bush lies & the torture scandal) to back Kerry, a pro-war candidate.

Gary

Zaag brilliantly illustrates the exact reasons the anti-war movement did not make even a dent: Taking positions that makes many Americans uncomfortable and put them on the defensive.

"Tripping over whether or not to support the Iraqi resistance and to oppose the occupation is a continued weakness. "

No political position will ever fly if it even hints at the idea of supporting our alleged enemies.
What are progressives thinking? Right or wrong, Americans will "support our troops" Any rhetoric that involves anything other than the positive hope for " success" is useless. I know this is might be morally and intellectually wrong but it the truth.

" We should not dumb things down to make white, middle-class liberals feel comfortable."

Again, just how fucking naive are you? But it is not middle class liberal we need to win over. First of all, there is no such thing as a "middle class liberal". Secondly, you better dumb things down if you are to convince semi-informed working class voters that the President is a liar and the administrations reasons for war are some strange combo of religion and economic imperialism. You can not sell that to a plumber who works too dam much for too dam little.


"The fact that the war was racist was not addressed enough. The fact that Arabs in the U.S. were targeted and had their lives destroyed at random was not addressed enough (and was omitted by Fahrenheit 9/11). The fact that Israel used the war to ramp up the violence in Palestine was not addressed. "


Now we come to the real indictment of the anti-war movement. TOO MANY OTHER ISSUES! I beg of you, please stop it. These OPINIONS, have nothing to do with the lives of most Americans. Most just do not give a shit. If you want to stop a war you have to speak to all americans, not some. Some people support Israel. Hell, some people are racist. Some people will do what ever told. Tell them something they care about and they might listen. When mixed together with the billions of other pet peeves of the left , important and ultimately reasonable progressive ideas, like not going to war, have no chance.

Just because the war will hurt Trans-gender bipolar union workers in Iraq or Iowa for that matter is not a basis for an argument to stop a major policy decision.
While these may be great crimes in small salons in Berkeley and SF, the average guy will turn that news off. How many issues do progressives need to take on??? Focus please.

"Break with the Democrats: The anti-war movement has disappeared (despite continued evidence of Bush lies & the torture scandal) to back Kerry, a pro-war candidate. "

Now you are really talking. Divide and lose. Good thinking. Remember, for every progressive action is this country's history there has been an awesome and ugly backlash. Baby steps kids. That is until there is a time to put our collective feet down. This is one of those times. We can not afford to keep losing, no matter how righteous our positions. The trans-gender bipolar union workers will just have to wait.

zagg

I'm not going to clog the discussion but I'm compelled to respond to a couple of things briefly.

First, a question: How does any of what you're saying jibe at all with the history of the anti-Vietnam War movement, which played a massive role in ending that war?

No political position will ever fly if it even hints at the idea of supporting our alleged enemies.

"Supporting the troops" doesn't mean becoming completely uncritical of the U.S. government and shutting down all dissent. "Supporting the Troops" can also mean arguing for them to be brought home. Now.

Moreover, supporting the Iraqi's right to resist is about supporting democracy and the right of self-determination. That is something I've found is actually quite easy to get people to support.

Again, just how fucking naive are you? But it is not middle class liberal we need to win over.

That's is exactly my point. And yet in discussions I was in before the major anti-war protests, this is precisely the audience that organizers were worried about alienating.

Secondly, you better dumb things down if you are to convince semi-informed working class voters that the President is a liar and the administrations reasons for war are some strange combo of religion and economic imperialism. You can not sell that to a plumber who works too dam much for too dam little.

See Gary I have a lot more faith in people's intelligence than you seem to. You're a condescending ass if you think you have to "dumb down" things for working class people. People are not working class because they are stupid. This is precisely the attitude I'm talking about. People talk about dumbing things down when I think people pick this stuff up more intuitively than you think. There's still a lot of mixed consciousness. But people aren't so dumb that they don't notice the same bunch of bandits ripping them off here and waging a war abroad.


"The fact that the war was racist was not addressed enough. The fact that Arabs in the U.S. were targeted and had their lives destroyed at random was not addressed enough (and was omitted by Fahrenheit 9/11). The fact that Israel used the war to ramp up the violence in Palestine was not addressed. "


Now we come to the real indictment of the anti-war movement. TOO MANY OTHER ISSUES! I beg of you, please stop it. These OPINIONS, have nothing to do with the lives of most Americans.

Again, this is exactly what I'm talking about. These issues have everything to do with the war. The fact that the government is using the war to ramp up attacks elsewhere makes these issues vitally connected. Moreover, we're not just part of an American movement. The anti-war movement has to be seen as a global thing.

Just because the war will hurt Trans-gender bipolar union workers in Iraq or Iowa for that matter is not a basis for an argument to stop a major policy decision.
While these may be great crimes in small salons in Berkeley and SF, the average guy will turn that news off. How many issues do progressives need to take on??? Focus please.

Gary, are you talking based on any concrete experience in trying to build the anti-war movement? Seriously?

Because everything you say directly contradicts with my own experiences where I've found that not treating people like they won't understand things, where not trying to make connections, where not dumbing down the politics has been successful in winning people to the anti-war movement, not away from it.

The Dems is a whole other issue. I won't go into that more other than to say that the evidence on the ground supports what I'm saying. Do we have mass mobilizing going on today? Did we have emergency protests after the torture, when a majority of Americans turned against the war and were seething with anger? No. And that's because most antiwar formations were weak and had their attentions placed on covering for Kerry's extremely weak positions.

If you're against the war right now, all you are told to do is back a candidate that wants to send 40,000 MORE troops into Iraq. Is there a wonder that people seemingly "don't care?"

Lou

The most important thing we can do to end the war is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. If Iraq didn't have the world's second largest proven reserves of petroleum, there wouldn't be any foreign soldiers there.

If you're looking for action, sell your SUV, or, if you're not in the right tax bracket to own one, disable someone else's.

Walter

This war is benefitting those who advocated for it: the corporations (through their lobbys and "think tanks"). The only way to stop the next invasion is to make it a losing propositon for the corporations. I don't how to do that.
Even a disaster like Iraq transfers billions from American tax payers and Iraqi citizens into corporate hands. Before long the US will install another Saddam (maybe they already have) who will brutalize the populaton into some sort of submission and the oil money will flow to New York and Texas: Mission Accomplished!

mrs mcmuffin

We learned a bitter lesson in the UK that even with massive demonstrations and overwhelming public disagreement with attacking Iraq, our government didn't listen.

I wonder if yours would have listened had the same proportion of US citizens expressed their disagreement. I'm not convinced that they would have done, but it must have helped their plans enormously to know that the majority supported them prior to the war.

Forrest

Demonstrations...

A rough bit of calculation suggests that if the Million Man March had not been a one-day event but rather a million men visiting their Senators (who have a vague obligation to see them) a few at a time, they could have tied up all the Senate's in-office time for three years.

joe combs

How foolish!!! We've been at war since the '70's hijackings. A war with poverty and ignorance in the middle-east. Terrorists are the fungus that has emerged from those terrible conditions. Let's go in, knock 'em off their stools and help them build some real schools(girls included).

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