No excuse for idle hands, Mike!

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sun Feb 16 11:40:24 MST 2003

I think Mike has a point that a vastly intensified redbaiting effort is on
the way, including such things as attacks on the growing number of "human
shields" in Iraq from the U.S. and other countries, not to mention
"Lafayette, we are here" baiting of the French and Nazi-baiting of the
Germans.  Note that Lerner is talking about forging a "third-way" pro-Israel
antiwar movement, charging all wings of the movement with being anti-Semitic
because they do not take a stand in support of Israel, but instead focus on
the attacks on Palestinians and the fact that Israel is with Britain (so
far) Washington's only truly hard-core ally in the war with Iraq.  A antiwar
coalition whose pivot is support to Israel in the Middle East today (even if
it is sniffish about Sharon's "extremism") is sure to become an openly
prowar movement once the massive escalation takes place.

There is also the option of massive repression, which is not to be
dismissed -- the establishment of an emergency wartime regime under the
aegis of the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, anti-immigrant legislation and
other powers that can be assumed under a decree of national emergency.  It
is clear that the federal government was directly involved in the denial of
a march permit in New York, and I assume this was also true about the
attacks by the cop cavalry on sections of the protest in New York on
Saturday.  Without knowing details, I know there were a number of clashes
and arrests in the course of the day.  The United for Peace coalition"s
office phones (which I, among others, had been answering  as a  volunteer
during the previous week) went dead at the beginning of the protest, went on
line again after WBAI reported the fact, and then went dead again.

But one danger that should not exist is the danger of idle hands.  There is
a national student-called moratorium for March 5.  In his excellent brief
talk toward the end of the New York rally, Larry Holmes of ANSWER called for
a March 1 march on Washington around the demand, "Bring the Troops Home
Now" -- an  outstanding idea.  (My ANSWER mailings tell me that the march is
also demanding impeachment of Bush, which I don't think is needed as a
central slogan  today and hope will be  on the back burner on March 1.)
Leslie Cagan ended the rally by announcing that there would be March 8
International Women's Day antiwar protests in Washington and other cities..
Perhaps the latter two actions  can be pulled together in a single big

But if not, I plan to support both even if it means two trips to Washington
in a week (that may depend on just what "other cities turns out to mean).

Anyway, no reason for unoccupied folk to be drawn into the devil's work
Fred Feldman

Mike Friedman wrote:
In the pages and microphones of their major
mouthpieces like the Wall Street Jornal, New York Times and Washington
Post, as well as through their toy poodles like Corn, Lerner, etc., they're
playing the divide and conquer game, directed first and foremost at ANSWER.
They also know that there is no better environment to play that game than a
period of uncertainty and apparent inaction, aware that "idle hands..." Our
response (Lou P.) shouldn't be to write to the Post to complain that they
have their facts regarding this incident wrong, but rather that we won't
stand for their attempts to divide us!

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