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Where Is The Antiwar Movement?

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    The Antiwar Movement Isn t Where You Think It Is By Dave Stratman November 21, 2005 newdemocracyworld.org On October 29 of this year there was an antiwar rally
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2005
      The Antiwar Movement Isn't Where You Think It Is
      By Dave Stratman
      November 21, 2005
      newdemocracyworld.org


      On October 29 of this year there was an antiwar rally on Boston
      Common. My wife and I and our daughter and two young granddaughters
      took part. After a few speakers one of the rally organizers announced
      to loud cheers that a contingent of antiwar demonstrators had gone to
      join gay activists who had been since 8 a.m. two blocks away outside
      the Tremont Temple Baptist Church. Later many other antiwar
      demonstrators plus the rally sound truck reportedly joined the gay
      activists outside the Temple, screaming and chanting their anger at
      what was going on within. The focus of their rage? A conference
      entitled "Love Won Out," organized by Focus on the Family, on
      recovering from homosexuality.

      Whatever else they did that day, the antiwar rally organizers
      certainly made clear who is welcome in their antiwar movement, and it
      doesn't include anyone who is unenthusiastic about homosexuality or
      gay marriage.

      The curse of the real antiwar movement is that it is largely
      invisible. It may show glimpses of itself in polls or in heartfelt
      letters from military families or interviews with bereaved mothers
      like Cindy Sheehan. But for the most part the profound antiwar
      sentiment of the majority of Americans is more likely to register only
      as a few words exchanged between friends at a local bakery or dry
      cleaner or a conversation over coffee at a diner. The real antiwar
      movement is not on the radar screen of the corporate media and appears
      to be just as invisible to the official Left-wing antiwar movement–the
      one that organizes periodic demonstrations in Washington, DC and which
      organized the demonstration on Boston Common–and also to its
      Libertarian Right-wing counterpart on the Internet.

      The invisibility of the real antiwar movement to those involved in the
      visible ones struck me once again when reading a new by John Walsh, "A
      Fractured Antiwar Movement," posted on Counterpunch and Antiwar.com.
      Walsh proposes that the Left and Right wings of the antiwar movement
      unite. It seems to me, however, that he has completely missed the real
      problem of the visible wings of the antiwar movement and has thereby
      come up with a strategy that has no chance of working.

      The American people are overwhelmingly opposed to the war in Iraq and
      want an immediate end to it, and yet these millions of ordinary people
      remain invisible and unwelcome to the Left wing of the antiwar
      movement, represented by such organizations as United for Peace and
      Justice (UFPJ) and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R).
      Whatever their conflicting views of the Democratic Party and the
      timing of withdrawal, the Left organizations are united in their
      contempt for people who do not pass the Left's litmus tests of civic
      virtue: support for gay marriage, gun control, affirmative action, and
      unlimited abortion rights. The Left wing of the antiwar movement
      remains united in the conscious exclusion from its movement of the
      great majority of Americans who oppose the war.

      Unfortunately ordinary Americans are also absent from Walsh's article.
      While Walsh acknowledges the overwhelming antiwar sentiment among
      Americans, he doesn't propose that the Left overcome its contemptuous
      and exclusionary approach to ordinary people. Instead he proposes that
      two self-isolated groups come together: the gay-marriage-loving Left
      should unite with the unfettered-capitalism-loving,
      Social-Security-and-Medicare-hating Libertarian Right. Surely that
      will solve the problem.

      Walsh apparently believes a powerful antiwar movement can be built by
      wrenching the war free from its social context, thereby allowing Left
      and Right to bury their disagreements–as if these two puny groups have
      the power to overcome the Great American War-Making Machine without
      engaging and effectively mobilizing the majority of Americans against
      it. This is sheer fantasy.

      The war in Iraq is part of the class war being waged not only against
      Iraqis but also against American working people and workers
      everywhere, and it can be successfully opposed only on this basis. The
      war in Iraq and the war on terror are meant to frighten us and drive
      us into the arms of our leaders while they steal our pensions, cut our
      wages, out-source our jobs, test our children into despair at school,
      and construct a police state around us. As Steve Lopez wrote in the
      "There's a dirty secret [behind this war] no one has told you, and
      here it is: This war is not about changing Iraq, it's about changing
      America....The whole idea is to train you to expect less and to feel
      patriotic about it."

      Ordinary American workers–the people who build our cars, teach our
      children, nurse our sick, build our houses, harvest our crops, keep
      our offices and hospitals and airlines running–are under attack as
      never before. They are opposed to this war–it is, after all, their
      sons and daughters who are being "poverty-drafted" or "stop-lossed" to
      fight it–but the sheer ferocity of the assault on them at work and
      their children at school and their elderly parents in their homes is
      distracting and debilitating. People are under assault from so many
      different directions that they find it hard just to keep running in
      place.

      The only strategy to oppose the war-makers that can succeed is one
      that makes the connections between the many-sided corporate and
      government assaults on people's lives and the savage assault of the
      war-makers on the people of Iraq. Our analysis of the war and our
      strategy for mobilizing against it must be firmly rooted in the class
      war. The strategy must have as its goal not merely to stop this war or
      even to dismantle the war-making machine. The strategy must have as
      its goal the overthrow of the class of war-makers and exploiters here
      and abroad–the capitalist (and, in China, communist) ruling elite, the
      Wall Street financiers, the masters of great wealth–and the rebuilding
      of society on a new and democratic basis.

      The only people who can accomplish these things are working people
      who, for the most part, fail the litmus tests of Left and Right. They
      largely oppose gay marriage and gun control, and they support Social
      Security and Medicare and reject any attempt to dismantle them. And
      yet they are deeply opposed to the war.

      What needs to be done is not to join marginal Left and Right groups
      together in splendid isolation but to organize the movement on a new
      and revolutionary basis, rooted in the lives and decency of ordinary
      working Americans. This movement should reach out to the silent
      majority of people who oppose the war and help them find their voice.
      It should have as its goal to win the class war.


      Comment

      In reference to the opening paragraphs: one cannot help wondering if
      the decision for anti war demonstrators to join gay activists hadn't
      been made by some undercover elements among those leading the
      demonstration. The anti-war movement itself has been heavily
      infiltrated with the intention of undermining legitimate protests and
      leading the movement astray. Some are just low-level operatives out to
      sow confusion and discord among protestors, but some are quite
      prominent (see below). Moreover, associating with gay activists and
      anti-gun campaigners will naturally alienate ordinary folk. But maybe
      that was the intention: to create dissension among protestors so that
      they don't coalesce into a cohesive, broad based, and hence more
      powerful movement. In essence, the principle of divide and rule is
      being extended to fragment and neutralise potential opposition. Ed.

      See:
      Controlled Asset of the New World Order I
      www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3632

      Controlled Asset of the New World Order II
      www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3633

      Also see our Michael Moore archive:
      www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/category.asp?ID=43

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