The Washington demonstration and its importance

Ben Courtice benj at connexus.net.au
Sun Jan 19 14:51:16 MST 2003


Fred Feldman wrote:
> One of the most striking experiences I have had in these protests is the way
> people who enter the fight  against the war under various patriotic or
> seemingly half-hearted slogans have stubbornly stayed with the fight even as
> their supposed partial demands (let Congress vote! No unilateralism! Let the
> Security Council be heard! Let the inspectors in! Of course Iraq must be
> disarmed but....) have stayed with the fight and hardened their opposition
> even as their partial demands were met as part of  Washington's war
> preparations.  The whole movement is directed against the US war, and is in
> that sense anti-imnperialist, not just those who put forward the more
> unconditional slogans that I advocate and march under.  This is why I am
> also unwilling  to denounce anyone
> putting forward limited or inadequate or even downright bad slogans as
> "prowar."  Their stance on the war has to be derived from their deeds more
> than from their words, which may not adequately express their deeds.

I think actually a lot of these people are truly antiwar and make these liberal demands
because they have faith that some element of the establishment will have the sense to see
what the liberal demonstrators personally see, that the war is a criminal adventure for
oil. All they think needs to be done is give the decision-making power away from maniacs
like Bush, Rumsfeld etc to the responsible ones -- the UN, Congress, whoever. Although to
us their slogans don't sound anti-war, and of themselves aren't, they really are intended
to be, which is why these people come on marches. It will be interesting which direction
such people develop in politically when the war starts and the UN and Congress back it...

Here in Australia I think that mentality underpins a large part of the 68% who would not
support war without UN backing. The Labor Party is going with this sentiment in its public
statements although I expect it to back a war when one starts...

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